The Opportunity Atlas

By Leslie Wright

Opportunity Atlas

On our Heart & Soul Talk in May we heard from researcher John Friedman, associate professor economics and international affairs and public policy at Brown University and co-director of Opportunity Insights (formerly the Equality of Opportunity Project). He outlined how his team was using big data to track upward mobility in the U.S. The research identified certain characteristics about where people grow up that predict higher incomes later in life—neighborhood effects.

Today the researchers released The Opportunity Atlas, an interactive map that allows users to see which neighborhoods offer children the best chance at a better life than their parents.

Using anonymous data that followed 20 million Americans from childhood to their mid-thirties, The Opportunity Atlas shows how much kids who grow up in a neighborhood earn as adults.

The researchers note that these new data make it possible to learn where and for whom opportunity has been missing, and how this could lead to local solutions to help more children rise out of poverty.

The Opportunity Atlas is the result of a collaboration between researchers at the Census Bureau, Harvard University, and Brown University.

How does your community fare? Find out here: