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The American Dream: Broken Down By Neighborhoods

National  + Weekender  | 

The Opportunity Atlas, a new online tool developed by a Harvard University economist and researchers, aims to break down neighborhoods in America on a scale of how they affect one’s chances at achieving the “American Dream” of upward mobility.

Based on anonymous data from 20 million Americans from childhood into their mid-30s, the Google Maps-look alike national view provides information that the creators hope will be used by policymakers to implement new ways to level the playing field for opportunity and advancement. The research is already being used in states like North Carolina, where residents have drafted a task force to attack the problem of inequality…and lawmakers are listening.

Raj Chetty, the economist who worked to design the Opportunity Atlas says, “We hope citizens, local policymakers, nonprofits, people working on these decisions can use [the data tool] to make better decisions.” 


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