More Americans have jobs, yet inequality is increasing nationally

by Monique Rizer   •  

After five years of incremental progress, the nation’s Opportunity Score has stalled, according to the 2016 Opportunity Index. Produced in partnership with Measure of America, the annual Index measures 16 opportunity indicators in all 50 states and the District of Columbia as well as more than 2,700 counties, representing 99 percent of the U.S. population. The continued mixed results seen in the Index year to year and over time serve as a powerful call-to-action to renew our efforts to expand access to the American Dream for the rising generation. We all must continue to prioritize this work.

Check out the Opportunity Index scores for your state and county and be a part of expanding opportunity in your community.

This is the first time in the six years that we did not see improvement in the nation’s overall Opportunity Score: the 2016 overall Index score is the same as the previous year’s, holding steady at a score of 54 out of 100. So as with 2015, overall opportunity in 2016 has increased 8.9 percent and 4.4 points since 2011, the first year of the Index. This lack of movement from 2015 to 2016 implies stagnant upward mobility and economic security for millions of Americans, including teens and young adults, despite improvements in several areas of the Index.

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Monique Rizer

Monique Rizer is the Executive Director of Opportunity Nation. Prior to this role, Monique served as Chief of Staff for Opportunity Nation's parent organization, Be The Change, Inc., a national nonprofit organization that creates issue-based campaigns designed to advance positive social change. Read Monique's Bio.

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