What Growing Up in Henderson County Does for Future Income

My 19 year old son dreams of living in Alaska one day and my 16 year old daughter wants to be living in New York City in her 20’s. I have this whole dialogue in my mind that goes something like, “But what about me seeing my grandkids?” and “Don’t you realize I’d miss you?” To be honest, that dialogue has slipped right out of my head and through my lips. I can remember aching to get out of this tiny town and be off to bigger-city things. I made it as far as three hours away from here and it only took me seven years to move right back, just in time for my oldest to be born. The truth is, as much as I love our town, I think this would be a pretty tough place to be a 20-something year old and it all centers around ‘opportunity’ and the ability to start a career and earn an income that can equal to what could be earned in other places. Earlier this year the NY Times released a fascinating study on income mobility. Income mobility measures the odds that a child of poor parents will be able to move up the income ladder. Income mobility for the US has remained steady over the past decades and, as North Carolinians, we are in a geographic region where income mobility is about the lowest it can be compared to other places (a child has the best chances growing up in the Midwest). The data drills right down to the county level where I learned that Henderson County is described...