One of Twenty Facts About U.S. Inequality that Everyone Should Know

Intergenerational Income Mobility

Intergenerational income mobility can be measured by calculating the rate at which individuals move to income quintiles that are different that that of their families of origin. The proportion of sons who remained in the bottom quartile declined between 1961 and 1972 and stayed the same afterward.

Family Background and Income in Adulthood (individuals age 30 to 59)

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Source: Harding, David, Christopher Jencks, Leonard M. Lopoo, and Susan E. Mayer. 2008. “Family Background and Incomes in Adulthood.” Pp. 505-515 in Social Stratification: Class, Race and Gender in Sociological Perspective, edited by David B. Grusky. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.