Economic Mobility

The great, hopeful churn of American mobility has slowed.

For the first time, today’s young adults risk having lower educational attainment rates, on average, than their parents.  Only six percent of children born to parents at the bottom of the income distribution make it to the top.  And children in many European countries now have greater socio-economic mobility than those in the United States.

In a free society, some inequality is unavoidable.  But inequality without mobility is unacceptable and violates the spirit of the American Dream.

Opportunity Nation is working to rebuild the ladder of opportunity in America, one broken rung at a time.

Using the research gleaned from the Opportunity Index, Opportunity Nation identified an early and critical rung on the ladder of opportunity that requires urgent action today: ensuring that every young adult today is equipped with the skills needed to compete in the current and future economies.  

Research shows that when young adults fail to connect to school or a career as a young adult (16-24 years old), their lifetime earnings diminish.  And young adults who aren’t connected cost society $93 billion annually in lost wages, taxes, and social services.

Our nation will not be competitive in the future if only our most privilege are able to succeed, and with nearly seven million young adults not employed and not in school, we are at risk of losing a generation of innovation and talent.  

Opportunity Nation’s Shared Plan of action is designed to change this.  

We invite you to read the Shared Plan and find out how you can become part of the effort to ensure that the leaders of tomorrow are provided the opportunities to improve their economic mobility and determine their own success in life.


Fareed Zakaria, Editor at Large, Time Magazine, Host of CNN's GPS

Fareed Zakaria, Editor at Large, Time Magazine, Host of CNN's GPs