Maine Data Glimpse: Geography and Economic Mobility

This graphic uses data from the unique Opportunity Atlas (U.S. Census Bureau, Harvard University & Brown University) to illustrate social mobility for children raised in each of Maine’s counties. The map shows average household income in adulthood for people who were born in the 1980s to low income parents. All these children had parents in the 25th income percentile—about $27,000 per year.

All Maine counties provide some mobility for children: the average household income is $29,600
in Maine’s lowest income county (Washington), higher than the $27,000 that their parents

However, there is great disparity between counties. For children who grew up in Piscataquis
County, for example, household income reached over $36,000 per year, compared with just
$31,705 in neighboring Penobscot county.

The Opportunity Atlas researchers indicate that while propellants of mobility are still
understudied, correlates of higher mobility areas include better schools and greater shares of
two-parent families (see