The rags-to-riches, Great Gatsby-esque storyline may be more reality than fiction in the Pittsburgh area, a national study suggests.
Pittsburgh is in the top tier of cities for social mobility, according to a report released this week. The survey, which incorporated earnings filings from millions of Americans to assess people’s likelihood of moving between income classes, found that Pittsburghers born to parents who make just $30,000 per year typically move further up the income ladder than similar people in any of America’s 50 largest commuter areas except Salt Lake City.
And on a more regional level, Pittsburgh stands out among communities in the Rust Belt for its propensity toward social mobility.
“Pittsburgh does look more like an outlier from the perspective of the general economic situation, from the types of economic shocks that have been hitting that region in the past 20 years,” said Nathaniel Hendren, a Harvard economist and one of the report’s four authors, who hail from Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley, and are affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research.