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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
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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.


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Mobility Metrics Framework
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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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Mobility Infographic

Latest Blog Posts
  • 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.
  • How Systems Change Can Advance Upward Mobility Goals
    Just over a year ago, the Urban Institute convened its first meeting of mobility stakeholders, a group of people from 12 peer organizations, to explore common themes and discuss shared challenges emerging from their work to boost upward mobility. Out of conversations on power shifting, community-informed data, and the principles of implementation, one topic held sway: systems change.
  • What Does It Take to Design a Sustainable Mobility Action Plan?
    The Upward Mobility Cohort’s Mobility Action Plans (MAPs) resemble municipal plans in that they reflect a vision for a community’s future and include a roadmap to get there. Achieving that vision in a lasting manner can be difficult, but sustainability is key to systems change.
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The Counties
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A cohort of eight counties across the country are applying our framework to develop a plan for boosting upward mobility in their communities.
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About the Project
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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