Americans make more than parents, but no more likely to get ahead

The vast majority of Americans are making more money than their parents did at the same age, but most still aren’t able to move up to a higher income bracket, new research from The Pew Charitable Trusts shows.

People in the lowest income bracket are doing the best compared to their parents when it comes to earnings, with 93 percent in the bottom fifth having improved their lot. At the same time, that group is the least likely to move out and up from their income bracket.

Overall, 84 percent of Americans had higher incomes than their parents, with adjustments for inflation, the non-profit organization found.

The lack of mobility among income groups may be the most noteworthy finding in the report.

Pew said that 43 percent of people raised in the lowest fifth of income earners did not leave that bracket. Only 4 percent climbed into the top fifth.

A number of factors affected mobility, or the lack of it, Pew said.

“The ideal of the American Dream is complex, and we see again that one’s ability to achieve it is impacted by race, education and family background,” said Erin Currier, manager of Pew’s Economic Mobility Project.

2 comments Add your comment


July 11th, 2012
12:40 pm

All the wrong conclusions drawn by a group with a socialist/racist policy agenda. Certainly don’t blame government, the Federal Reserve, the high taxes accross the board (not just income), the welfare state, the warfare state, the massive regulatory state or any other non-free market mechanism that exists in our society.


July 11th, 2012
1:37 pm

Free Markets don’t exist. They never have existed at a macro level. The idea is merely a tool that allows us derive mathematical proofs and theory. I am so tired of seeing tea partiers scream about fictional free markets.