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Study finds Illinois near bottom of all states for residents’ social mobility

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(The Center Square) – Illinois is one of the worst states in the country for social mobility, according to a new study.The Archbridge Institute, a nonpartisan, independent public policy think tank, released the report titled “Social Mobility in the 50 States.”Archbridge defines “social mobility” as the opportunity to better oneself and those around them in hope of living the American Dream. To rank each state, Archbridge measured a series of indicators based on the four key pillars of entrepreneurship and growth; institutions and rule of law; education and skills development; and social capital. “The first step toward reform is recognition of where we are today, and Archbridge’s new report will help policymakers, at all levels of government, understand social mobility like never before,” said Gonzalo Schwarz, president and CEO of the Archbridge Institute. “Defining social mobility based on four key pillars, our research team has spent many months analyzing all 50 U.S. states, identifying opportunities for growth in the best- and worst-performing states.”Illinois ranked 40th overall in the 2023 Social Mobility Index, with the lowest score in the East North Central region. The state ranked in the bottom 10 for predatory state action (49th) and taxes (46th). Education quality and freedom (12th) is the only area where Illinois scores in the top half of states. “Really where Illinois seems to be struggling is in their entrepreneurship and growth areas which regards basically regulation, taxes and a dynamic business environment,” said research fellow Justin Callais.According to the index, Iowa and Wisconsin both ranked in the top 15 states for social mobility.In ranking Utah first in its index, Archbridge recognizes the state for its business dynamism, parent engagement and stability and charity, among other factors. Louisiana ranked last in the country. “From Utah to Louisiana, we are proud to share the most comprehensive snapshot of opportunity in America to date, and we hope that it will lead to positive, lasting change for millions of Americans,” said Callais. “The time for reform is now.”

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