Reports

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ALL PUBLICATIONS
  • Community-Level Racial Inequities in Young Adults’ Credit Scores Are Likely Driven by Differences in Wealth-Building Opportunities
    June 2024
    Large and persistent community level racial inequities in young adults’ credit scores shape their access to credit and borrowing costs. New evidence suggests that a significant portion of racial disparities in young adults’ credit scores reflects systemic differences in wealth-building opportunities across communities, including differences in residential segregation and housing wealth. Policies can reduce structural inequities and advance equitable opportunities to equalize returns to homeownership and education for young adults in communities of color.
  • Exploring the Relationship between Racial Segregation and Low Birth Weight
    June 2024
    Among the 350 largest counties in the US, the median rate of low birth weight was 8.1 percent in 2018. The median rate of low birth weight was 13.5 percent among births to Black mothers, which is more than twice the median rate among births to white mothers. More diverse neighborhoods and higher household income are associated with a lower rate of low birth weight among Black mothers. To reduce racial disparities in low birth weight, policymakers should foster opportunity-rich and inclusive neighborhoods.
  • Achieving Clean Air and Affordable Homes for All
    June 2024
    Seventy percent of Superfund sites are within a mile of federally assisted housing. Such proximity to environmental harms has cascading effects on people’s well-being, further exacerbating the burdens of poverty. Majority of counties with the most affordable housing and best air quality are located in a corridor of the Great Plains and upper Rockies, whereas most of the unaffordable and polluted counties are concentrated along the West Coast and throughout the Southeast and East Coast. Policymakers looking to expand affordable housing stock while advancing environmental justice goals can engage community members in decisionmaking, take holistic approach to neighborhood investment, and invest in antidiplacement policies. 
  • Boosting Upward Mobility: Metrics to Inform Local Action Second Edition
    November 2022
    Communities across the US are aspiring to create and bolster the local conditions that substantially boost upward mobility and narrow racial and ethnic inequities for children, youth, and adults. Actionable, evidence-based metrics play an important role in building public will and shaping local action. In 2019, the Urban Institute established a working group of distinguished scholars across relevant disciplines who advised the development of a concise set of metrics supported by strong evidence showing predictive relationships to mobility and which can be influenced by local and state policies. This original framework of metrics was published in 2020 (Turner et al. 2020). In 2021, a cohort of 8 counties across the country embarked on an 18-month beta test of the original framework, providing feedback and on-the-ground insights. Drawing on this experience, the expertise of the working group, and other feedback, the upward mobility framework and metrics have been revised. These updated metrics can help communities assess current conditions, establish priorities, set targets, catalyze action, change policies and practices, and monitor their progress over time.
  • Boosting Upward Mobility: Metrics to Inform Local Action Second Edition Technical Report
    November 2022
    Communities across the US are aspiring to create and bolster the local conditions that substantially boost upward mobility and narrow racial and ethnic inequities for children, youth, and adults. Actionable, evidence-based metrics play an important role in building public will and shaping local action. In 2019, the Urban Institute established a working group of distinguished scholars across relevant disciplines who advised the development of a concise set of metrics supported by strong evidence showing predictive relationships to mobility and which can be influenced by local and state policies. This original framework of metrics was published in 2020 (Turner et al. 2020). In 2021, a cohort of 8 counties across the country embarked on an 18-month best test of the original framework, providing feedback and on-the-ground insights. Drawing on this experience, the expertise of the working group, and other feedback, the upward mobility framework and metrics have been revised. This technical report further elaborates on the considerations, research, and analysis that led to the changes summarized in the updated framework (Turner et al. 2022).
  • Boosting Upward Mobility: A Planning Guide for Local Action
    November 2022
    Across the US, local leaders are grappling with the challenge of boosting upward mobility and narrowing racial and ethnic inequities in their communities. The Boosting Upward Mobility: Planning Guide for Local Action builds on a foundation of data and evidence to help local governments better understand impediments to upward mobility, bring people out of poverty, and create more equitable results in their communities. The guide presents a comprehensive planning process that takes the user from start to finish to assess their readiness for action, build a cross-sector team, gather and analyze data, conduct community and stakeholder engagement, and identify needed systems changes to create a mobility action plan. Informed by best practices drawn from communities that have participated in our Upward Mobility cohort and from research on systems change and evidence-based decisionmaking, this guide presents real-world examples, worksheets, talking points, and checklists to help leaders track their advancement along the planning process.
  • Boosting Mobility and Advancing Equity Through Systems Change
    April 2022
    As local leaders seek to substantially boost upward mobility from poverty, they are increasingly recognizing the need to center an approach that directly engages with the sources of deep-seeded disparities. By pursuing systems change (meaning a fundamental shift in practices, underlying values, or norms that reshapes processes, relationships, and power structures), practitioners can design programs and policies that meaningfully address the root causes of long-standing inequities rather than just ameliorating their effects. This brief articulates the importance of systems change, provides examples of how programmatic approaches to boosting mobility from poverty have proved insufficient, and recommends the types of measures that local policymakers can use to track progress on comprehensive systems change.
  • Boosting Upward Mobility: Metrics to Inform Local Action
    June 2020
    Increasingly, communities across the country aspire to create the conditions that boost the long-term mobility of their residents and narrow long-standing inequities. And metrics can play an important role in both motivating and shaping local action. In early 2019, the Urban Institute established a working group composed of distinguished scholars representing relevant disciplines to advise the development of a concise, comprehensive set of evidence-based metrics. The Mobility Metrics Working Group collaborated with Urban researchers to systematically review a wide range of factors that influence mobility from poverty over the course of a person’s life. Researchers applied rigorous criteria to select metrics that strong evidence shows have predictive relationships to mobility and that can be influenced by local and state policies and programs. These metrics can help communities establish priorities, set targets, catalyze action, change policies and practices, and monitor their progress.
  • Boosting Upward Mobility: Metrics to Inform Local Action Summary
    June 2020
    Increasingly, communities across the country aspire to create the conditions that boost the long-term mobility of their residents and narrow long-standing inequities. And metrics can play an important role in both motivating and shaping local action. In early 2019, the Urban Institute established a working group composed of distinguished scholars representing relevant disciplines to advise the development of a concise, comprehensive set of evidence-based metrics. The Mobility Metrics Working Group collaborated with Urban researchers to systematically review a wide range of factors that influence mobility from poverty over the course of a person’s life. Researchers applied rigorous criteria to select metrics that strong evidence shows have predictive relationships to mobility and that can be influenced by local and state policies and programs. These metrics can help communities establish priorities, set targets, catalyze action, change policies and practices, and monitor their progress.
  • Boosting Upward Mobility: Exemplars
    June 2020
    Although the challenge is daunting, programs and policies being implemented across the US have demonstrated success in supporting people’s upward mobility. Researchers examined six interventions that have been shown through rigorous evaluation to boost economic and social mobility. By exploring these programs, they aimed to better understand how successful interventions have increased economic success, power and autonomy, and being valued in community. They also examined how more proactive application of the mobility dimensions might help to scale what is successful about each exemplar across varied places and even to the level of systems reform.