Virginia’s ‘economic mobility’ close to national average

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A national study finds that Virginia hews close to the national average in the portion of its population moving up or down the earnings ladder.

The Economic Mobility Project by the Pew Charitable Trusts said results from the Old Dominion were not statistically different from the national average in “absolute mobility,”  which measures residents’ average percent of earnings growth over 10 years.

Virginia ‘s average was 18 percent, one percentage point higher than the national average of 17 percent and three percentage points higher than the Southeast region average of 15 percent

The study also measured relative upward and downward mobility.

Pew defines relative upward mobility as the percentage of residents starting in the lower half of the national distribution of earnings who move up 10 or more percentiles over 10 years.

Relative downward mobility, by contrast, is the percentage of residents starting in the upper half of earnings distribution who move down 10 percentiles or more.

In relative upward mobility, Virginia’s 10-year average was 31 percent, three percentage points lower than the national average of 34 percent.

Virginia’s relative downward mobility, however, was 22 percent, better than the 28 percent national average.

The Southeast regional averages were 29 percent for upward mobility and 30 percent for downward mobility.

Regionally, the “Mideast” (including Maryland, Delaware, the District of Columbia, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) and New England states performed better than the national average on economic mobility measurements.

The Southeast and Southwest regions had the lowest averages.




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