Not So Mobile In NC
A recent brief from the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center looks at the extent of economic mobility in North Carolina.
According to a recent study by the Pew Center on the States, economic mobility varies across states and regions in the United States. The study looks at individuals born from 1943 to 1958 and examines their income data during their prime working years—the 10 years between ages 35 to 39 and 45 to 49—with the most recent data coming from 2007.
In the study, North Carolinians ranked lower than Americans and Southeasterners on average in absolute mobility, which the study defined as earnings increases over the 10‐year period. The study found that North Carolinians experienced average earnings growth of 14 percent, 3 percentage points lower than the American average. North Carolina also ranked lower on upward mobility, which is defined as the ability of individuals in the bottom half of the earnings distribution to move up 10 or more percentiles over the 10‐year period. Only 26 percent of North Carolinians were upwardly mobile relative to their peers, compared to 34 percent of Americans.
The study found no notable difference in downward mobility—residents starting in the top half of the income distribution and falling by 10 percentiles or more—between North Carolina and the nation as a whole