Pew Report: Philadelphia’s Middle Class Is Shrinking

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Philadelphia middle class, a backbone of economic vitality that once made up the majority of residents in most of the city’s neighborhoods, has declined in steep numbers since 1970, from 59 percent to 42 percent by 2010, according to a report released Monday, the first of its kind.

The precipitous decline of adults within this long-celebrated class occurred widely across the city and most sharply before 2000, sparing only chunks of Far Northeast Philadelphia and Roxborough and smaller pockets elsewhere. Those areas remained majority middle-class as of a few years ago, said the Pew Charitable Trusts, which spearheaded the study.

The data capture what has been sensed and dreaded by policymakers for years: Philadelphia is decidedly poorer than when it was a manufacturing powerhouse, losing even a greater share of higher-taxpaying middle-class residents than the nation as a whole, and failing even to see increases in its upper-class population to match other cities that fared better.

Whether middle-class Philadelphians fell into a lower-income class, moved into the suburbs, or died is not shown by Pew’s analysis, as researchers have found such detailed tracking to be elusive.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140225_New_Pew_report_shows_city_s_middle-class_shrinking.html#GakidtL6rbcd5xYK.99

Enhanced by Zemanta
Advertisements

Pittsburgh #2: Top 10 Cities To Achieve The American Dream

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the most important lessons from today’s blockbuster social mobility report is that place matters. (And, because your parents choose the place where you’re born and live, parents matter.)

Tucked into the appendix are two colorful maps of America that tell you where social mobility—the chance to move up the income ladder, a.k.a. The American Dream—is living and where it’s not. First, the graphs. Then, five facts. [GlossaryAbsolute upward mobility measures how children stack up to their parents. Relative mobility measures their chances of moving up or down the income ladder relative to their peers. Different measures; similar stories. Lighter colors suggest higher mobility.]

To check out the rankings and maps, click here: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/01/the-geography-of-the-american-dream/283308/

Enhanced by Zemanta

Study: Pittsburgh’s Social Mobility Among Best In U.S.

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro ar...

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro area in the western part of the of . Red denotes the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area, and yellow denotes the New Castle Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Pittsburgh-New Castle CSA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/study-pittsburghs-social-mobility-among-best-in-us-696470/#ixzz2Zt4OJRJU