Laissez les bon temps rouler on the State of the South blog
Since its publication last year, MDC’s State of the South report on the upward mobility of Southern young people—or, rather, the lack of it—has touched a nerve across the region. Starting today, we’re launching a new version of our State of the South website and a new State of the South blog to keep the conversation going.
This being Mardi Gras, today’s blogpost takes a look at mobility data in New Orleans. It turns out that as parades featuring pretend kings and royalty roll through the streets, the city faces growing economic inequities that—despite a remarkable recovery after Hurricane Katrina—have grown as tourism and a service economy replaced the port and oil business as the city’s largest employers. The blog will often highlight specific data about the places we write about, and this post looks at two-generation mobility data that shows more than half of the young people in New Orleans who are born at or near the bottom of the income ladder don't rise above it as adults.
After the good times roll today on the streets of New Orleans, we invite you to return to the blog as we continue looking at issues and data related to economic mobility, as well as highlighting examples and insights about the ways that Southern communities are building what we called in the report an “infrastructure of opportunity.” Soon you’ll hear about the relationship between job quality and mobility, the growing racial wealth gap, and patterns of disinvestment in public opportunity systems.
It is the mission of the State of the South reports—and our new blog—to contribute to the South’s understanding of itself, using data and analysis to provide a realistic perspective on what the Southern economy looks like now, how it is changing, and how our region’s people fare in it. The blog aims to provide a way for leaders and residents around the South to continue the conversation about how the region can, and must, build an infrastructure of opportunity for its youth and young adults.