Los Angeles is home base for some very rich people, including billionaires Elon Musk, Eli Broad and Patrick Soon-Shiong. Hollywood celebrities and the people who sign their checks call L.A. home. We have sports stars and tech moguls galore, too.
But a new study from Raj Chetty and Nathaniel Hendren of Harvard's Equality of Opportunity Project says Los Angeles County is one of the worst counties in America to raise a child if you're low-income and hoping for your offspring to enjoy a better life.
Los Angeles ranked 84th among 100 counties examined.
The study looked at children raised in the “low-income” 25th percentile and found that L.A. kids could expect to lose 10.6 percent of what their parents made.
L.A. barely beat out New York, which ranked 85th and has poor children who will be nearly 11 percent poorer than their parents.
Riverside County in SoCal's Inland Empire ranked 86th. San Bernardino County came in at 80th. And, yes, Baltimore, home to recent unrest, ranked dead last on Havard's list.
Seems that America's big, wealthy coastal metropolises aren't so good at raising their children, at least not when it comes to giving them better lives.
Strangely, researchers found that even rich kids could face lower incomes if raised in some of these counties. According to a summary of the report:
The causal effects of counties are typically smaller in percentage terms for children who grow up in high-income families, but remain substantial. For instance, for children growing up in families in the top 1% of the income distribution, we estimate that every extra year of childhood spent in Manhattan reduces their earnings by 1.08% relative to [nearby] Westchester [County].
DuPage, Illinois topped the list for upward mobility. Poor kids there can expect, on average, to make .76 percent more than their parents.
Contra Costa County in California made 5th place, Ventura County made 12th place, San Mateo County, California made 15th place, Kern County, just north of L.A., came in 20th place, and San Diego County ranked 22nd.
The researchers concluded that “policies that reduce segregation and concentrated poverty in cities” could improve upward mobility for our kids.