How housing matters for economic mobility

Increasing income inequality and stagnant rates of economic mobility have called into question the promise of equal opportunity and the plausibility of the American Dream. Forty-three percent of individuals born into the lowest 20 percent of the income distribution (the bottom quintile) remain there the rest of their lives, earning $11,490 per year on average. Seventy percent never reach the middle quintile.

Black Americans have a particularly difficult time getting ahead; they are more likely to be born into the bottom income quintile (65 percent vs. 11 percent of whites) and less likely to escape the bottom rung (47 percent […]