How much does your zip code determine where you end up in life?
New research released Monday from the Census Bureau and a team of researchers visualizes the data, taking a close look at children’s possible outcomes based on where they grow up.
One of the researchers, John Friedman of Brown University, said they wanted to explore the data because it is such a pressing issue in society today — too many people in the country feel they do not have a shot at success.
Friedman worked with Raj Chetty and Nathan Hendren of Harvard University, along with the Census Bureau, to create the Opportunity Atlas.
It’s an interactive map that lets you zoom in on different cities and neighborhoods to see data like household income, job growth rates and incarceration rates.
Kate Warren, a research associate at The Center for Community Solutions, said the map confirms what many have known all along — where you live matters.
“It confirms that if you grow up in a mostly poor community, an urban community, a community with a high percentage of people of color, you are less likely to have access to opportunities you’ll need to succeed later in life,” Warren explained. “That’s access to education, or a two-parent household, for example.”
Friedman said they hope the data will help cities and communities better understand the barriers when it comes to moving people out of poverty — and encourage leaders to create policy that will help.
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