We've known it for a long time, just by observation.
Income status, overall well-being and prospects for success in life don't hinge on individual effort alone. The quality of life in a community, in a neighborhood outweigh factors related to the individual.
Malcolm Gladwell said about the same thing when he observed that a child raised in a good family residing in a bad neighborhood had less chance of success in life than did a child raised in a bad family in a good neighborhood.
Now comes a more definitive study conducted by the Pew Charitable Trusts focused on neighborhood impact on long term economic status of African Americans compared to white Americans.
What follows is a report published by The Washington Post (July 27, 2009).
Neighborhoods Key to Future Income, Study Finds
By Alec MacGillis
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 27, 2009
Researchers have found that being raised in poor neighborhoods plays a major role in explaining why African American children from middle-income families are far more likely than white children to slip down the income ladder as adults.
The Pew Charitable Trusts Economic Mobility Project caused a stir two years ago by reporting that nearly half of African American children born to middle-class parents in the 1950s and '60s had fallen to a lower economic status as adults, a rate of downward mobility far higher than that for whites.
This week, Pew will release findings of a study that helps explain that economic fragility, pointing to the fact that middle-class blacks are far more likely than whites to live in high-poverty neighborhoods, which has a negative effect on even the better-off children raised there. The impact of neighborhoods is greater than other factors in children's backgrounds, Pew concludes.
Read the entire report here.
[Later this year and into next, I'll share details and progress on a significant endeavor to revitalize one inner city neighborhood in South Dallas that will involve a creative partnership. More soon!]