Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

The Opportunity Atlas

October 1, 2018

“The Opportunity Atlas,” an interactive tool created to trace the roots of today’s affluence and poverty to the neighborhood where children grew up, by Opportunity Insights launched in October 2018.

Opportunity Insights is a non-partisan, not-for-profit institute formed by economists from Harvard University and Brown University, including Associate Professor John Friedman, whose “mission is to develop scalable policy solutions that will empower families throughout the United States to rise out of poverty and achieve better life outcomes.” The organization was launched “because the American Dream of upward income mobility has faded out of reach for many Americans,” according to Harvard economist and co-founder Raj Chetty.

The Opportunity Atlas answers the question: which neighborhoods in America offer children the best change to rise out of poverty? It uses anonymous data of 20 million Americans from their childhood to their mid-30s to “see where and for whom opportunity has been missing, and develop local solutions to help more children rise out of poverty.”

To learn more about Opportunity Insights, click here. To explore The Opportunity Atlas, click here

Press coverage:

Detailed New National Maps Show How Neighborhoods Shape Children for Life – The New York Times
New ‘Opportunity Atlas’ tracks economic mobility by neighbor - News from Brown
'Opportunity Atlas' shows how neighborhoods play role in whether kids get ahead – Columbus Dispatch
A One-Question Quiz on the Poverty Trap – The New York Times
Health disparities in R.I.: Wellness tied to race, income, education and ZIP code – Providence Journal
Why do some neighborhoods provide greater economic opportunity? – The Boston Globe

Queens' Broad Channel neighborhood has the move native residents in the city, mapping tool shows – AM New York
Same cite, different opportunities: Study maps life outcomes for children from Chicago neighborhoods – Chicago Tribune
Job growth is found to be no cure for a community's poverty – Associated Press
Does your zip code determine your destiny? – NBC 2 News (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
Leaving Baltimore behind – Vox