The facility of friendship between poor children and wealthy children

For a poor child, having wealthy friends was one of the strongest determinants of economic mobility later in life.

Why is it important: That data point, from one rivety published in a magazine Nature today, emphasizes the real-world power of friendship.

  • We know how to accumulate friends In different stages of our life can reduce stress, extend life, improve our performance at work, and even make us better parents.
  • We know the friendship with our neighbors maybe Difference between life and death in tragedy and disaster.
  • And now we know the friendship between classes is the driving force of wealth and success for underprivileged children.

Big picture: The study authors performed a first-of-its-kind analysis of 72 million Facebook friendships among US adults.

  • What they found: If poor kids grow up in neighborhoods where 70% of their friends are wealthy, their future incomes will be 20% higher than kids growing up without constraints. this between the classes.
  • This is a stronger indicator future income rather than factors such as family structure and school quality, as well as the child’s racial characteristics and ability to work in the community.

Reality check: It’s not that simple. Class friendships are increasingly rare in our divided country.

  • Johannes Stroebel, an economist at NYU and one of the study’s authors, told Axios, for example, for those in the bottom 10% of the income distribution, just 2.5% of their friends. in the top 10%.
  • There are some cities that are performing better than others. In Salt Lake City and Minneapolis, nearly half of the friends of people in the bottom half of the income distribution are in the top half. But in Indianapolis, only about 30% of people’s friends are poorer than rich.
  • And there are certain spaces where linkages between layers are built more often, says Stroebel. Churches, temples, and other religious spaces fall into that category.

What to see: There are big policies – like implementing student transfers, diversifying college admissions by grade, and increasing the availability of affordable housing – that can boost the popularity of cross-strait friendships. Class.

But we all can make more efforts to diversify our circle of friends.

  1. Approach for the people at your place of worship, your dog park, or your grocery store.
  2. Meeting people through volunteer work around your community.
  3. Take your kids to free activities at local parks and libraries for families of all backgrounds and where kids can make friends with children from all walks of life.

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