America is the land of opportunity, and the unique work ethic, industry and values of the Heartland offer Hoosier children a chance to succeed in life. But Harvard University’s Equality of Opportunity Project shows that might not be the case for every child. There is a growing gap between wealthy Hoosiers and others. In fact, the rungs on the ladder to success have grown further apart for children who want to raise themselves out of poverty. Data from school systems across the state reveal almost 50 percent of Hoosier school children use free or reduced price lunch, a telling fact about the large number of young ones who live in poverty in our state. This topics looks at what are the factors in getting out of poverty and how adults can help struggling children.
Below is the percent chance of a child born into one of the poorest families in each of the 17 Indiana regions being able to move into a top income bracket as an adult, where he or she would earn $70,000 or more by age 30 or $100,000 or more by age 45:
Center (Includes the region around Boone County): 7%
Concord: (includes the regions around St. Joseph & Elkhart Counties): 6%
Fort Wayne: 7%
South Bend: 6%
Terre Haute: 8%
Wayne (Includes the region around Putnam and surrounding counties): 8 %
Wayne (includes the region around Wayne County) 5%
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