New Economic Study Presents a Disturbing Map of the United States


by Pam Martins and Russ Martins,

A new study backs up a theory that many Americans have long suspected: the U.S. is no longer the land of opportunity, despite what national statistics would have us believe. Rather, America is now narrowly constrained to zip codes of opportunity.

The new research comes from the Economic Innovation Group (EIG), a bipartisan public policy organization funded by successful tech entrepreneurs. The study provides detailed data on the economically distressed communities that have fundamentally changed the economic landscape of America. The authors write:

“A remarkably small proportion of places fuel national increases in jobs and businesses in today’s economy. High growth in these local economic powerhouses buoys national numbers while obscuring stagnant or declining economic activity in other parts of the country. EIG’s prior work shows that this trend represents a fundamental shift in the geography of economic growth in the United States.  Geographic disparities have, of course, always existed in this country, but the prospects of different communities used to rise or fall together to a far greater extent than they do today. Now, national statistics are often far removed from the experience of the typical American community.”

Some of the key findings from the groundbreaking study are the following:

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