If you are poor and grow up in Jefferson County you’re likely to make more money as an adult than if you grow up in any other county in the Denver Metro area, according to a new study and this interactive article from the New York Times.
In fact, if you are poor and grow up in the suburban county west of Denver, you’re likely to make more money than children in 88 percent of the United States.
However, if your Jefferson County parents are considered “rich” (they make more than $100,000 annually) or are in the top 1 percent of household incomes, you’ll likely make less money than your wealthy peers elsewhere. Students in Arapahoe County who live in households with incomes exceeding $100,000 will likely earn the more in their adulthood than their peers in neighboring counties, according to the study.
Poor students in Denver were the least likely of any students in the region to see upward mobility. Poor children raised in the Mile High City are actually likely to earn about $3,000 less than their peers by the time they are 26 years old.
The Colorado county that provides the best upward mobility for its poor students? Yuma, on the Eastern Plains. Poor students there are likely to make $7,200 more a year than a 26-year-old who grew up in counties the survey ranks as average, including Pueblo and Larimer.
The study was completed by the Equality of Opportunity Project. From the New York Times:
Across the country, the researchers found five factors associated with strong upward mobility: less segregation by income and race, lower levels of income inequality, better schools, lower rates of violent crime, and a larger share of two-parent households. In general, the effects of place are sharper for boys than for girls, and for lower-income children than for rich.