Bad news for SC residents who want to climb the income ladder

Pew Charitable Trusts Economic Mobility Project

If you aim to climb the income ladder you might want to think about not sticking around in South Carolina, or anywhere in the South for that matter.

According to a new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts Economic Mobility Project, comparing the ability of people to increase their average earnings over time, the South, in general, ranks relatively low while South Carolina ranks towards the bottom. The 12% earnings growth of South Carolina puts us in the bottom bracket of all the 50 states in regards to the average percent of growth of residents over a ten year period.

However, a few states in the Northeast far outperform the rest of the country in mobility—New York, New Jersey, and Maryland were the clearest winners, with Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania not far behind. In New York, average income grew 20 percent over a decade, three points above the national average of about 17 percent.

The Pew Charitable Trusts Economic Mobility Project says this is the first time anyone has attempted a study of this depth by following Americans from age 35 to 39 for 10 years, assessing how their income levels changed and adjusting the results for inflation. Combining these three different measurements for a comprehensive ranking gives us a pretty clear picture of where you want to be if you want your income to increase precipitously during your prime working years. 

Below is a comprehensive interactive map detailing the findings of the Pew Charitable Trusts Economic Mobility Project.

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