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Boosting Upward Mobility

Creating and assessing the conditions that can propel people out of poverty and narrow racial inequities in communities. Inspired to learn more?
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The Metrics and Evidence

Visit the sections below to learn more about the Urban Institute’s framework for boosting upward mobility, our research approach for identifying the metrics, and the evidence behind them.

Mobility Metrics Framework
Our framework provides a set of indicators representing key predictors of upward mobility. Local leaders can use these metrics to guide their efforts to increase mobility from poverty.
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5 pillars of upward mobility from poverty graphic

Planning Guide
Our recent publication, Boosting Upward Mobility: A Planning Guide for Local Action, provides a step-by-step guide for local government leaders to better understand impediments to upward mobility and build a cross-sector team that can plan, advocate for, and implement a set of systems changes focused on bringing all members of their community out of poverty and creating more equitable outcomes.
Learn more about the planning guide

Latest Blog Posts
  • Meeting Them Where They Are: How St. Lucie County Used Data Walks to Prioritize Community Engagement
    The Urban Institute’s Boosting Upward Mobility cohort counties have adopted various methods, including convening advisory boards and conducting focus groups, to hear residents’ thoughts on what needs to change to help lift people out of poverty in their communities. In St. Lucie County, Florida, leaders opted for a community engaged research approach called a data walk.
  • Nothing about Us without Us: Boosting Upward Mobility in Summit County
    Elected officials tend to view poverty as a purely financial issue. Often, plans to address economic inequality start with goals like growing small businesses, raising the minimum wage, or creating more jobs.
  • One Approach to Cocreating Sustainable Mobility from Poverty
    While developing the three-part definition of mobility from poverty, the US Partnership on Mobility from Poverty found that when people have power and autonomy over their lives, they are better positioned to create the kind of change they envision for themselves and their community.
See all blog posts

The Counties
A cohort of eight counties across the country applied our framework to develop a plan for boosting upward mobility in their communities.
Learn more about the counties

About the Project
Urban is measuring and building evidence on the key community conditions that have the potential to increase upward mobility and curb racial inequities.
Learn more about the project