News

Economic opportunity falling, but signs point to broader gains

Economic opportunity falling, but signs point to broader gains

OPPORTUNITY:Graduating student Katherine Thomas has "I Did It" written on her mortar board during Commencement Exercises at Boston College in Boston, Massachusetts May 19. Photo: Reuters/Brian Snyder

By Moriah Costa

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Economic opportunity has dropped in the United States over the past 40 years, but a broader gauge of opportunity incorporating crime, education and healthcare has been on the rise, according to a study released on Tuesday.

The study released by advocacy group Opportunity Nation and research group Measure of America showed that opportunity increased 13 percent from 1970 to 2010, even as economic opportunity decreased by 22 percent.

“I think that the important thing to recognize is that opportunity is more than just the unemployment rate,” said Mark Edwards, executive director of Opportunity Nation, a bipartisan group that seeks to expand economic mobility.

“Access to education is important, access to healthcare is important. These are all pieces that are critical to opportunity,” he said.

The study measured data from a variety of government sources to determine a measure of success in each state and Washington, D.C., in terms of economics, education and community life. The study took into account a range of factors from access to healthcare to household income and violent crime.

It found that educational opportunity rose by 80 percent and community opportunity increased by 20 percent, more than offsetting the decline in terms of economics.

The slow recovery from the 2007-2009 recession weighed on the measure of economic opportunity, as did a 30 percent increase in income inequality and a 12 percent rise in poverty.

Based on the broad measure, however, almost every state has seen opportunity increase over the past four decades, with the biggest gain in Virginia. Only Nevada and Michigan registered declines.

(Reporting by Moriah Costa; Editing by Leslie Adler and Lisa Shumaker)

Latest Headlines

14 hours ago in Music

Corey Taylor lands ‘Sharknado’ role

coreytaylor61861556506

The Slipknot star joins other musicians - including Wayne Newton and Vince Neil - in the upcoming SyFy channel movie.

16 hours ago in Sports

Furyk to make PGA Tour return next week in Charlotte

10-overlay-2

Jim Furyk makes his season debut as he joins an elite field boasting 31 of the top 50 players in the current FedExCup standings.

17 hours ago in Sports

Dallas judge tells quarterback Manziel not to contact former girlfriend

manzielindictmentAP

Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel made his first appearance in a Dallas court on Thursday on a charge of assaulting his former girlfriend, and the judge told him to keep away from her.

17 hours ago in Sports

Favored Nyquist draws lucky 13 for Kentucky Derby

kentuckyderbyREUTERS

(Reuters) – Unbeaten Nyquist was rated the 3-1 early favorite for Saturday’s 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill…

17 hours ago in Sports

LeBron, Cavs rain threes in record-setting win

20-overlay-2

The Cavaliers knocked down an incredible NBA record 25 three-pointers in their 123-98 Game 2 win over the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference semi-finals, taking a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.