Looking beyond poverty: impact of “toxic” neighborhood environments on social mobility

Yellow tape that reads "Crime scene do not cross"

Harvard Pop Center faculty member Robert J. Sampson is co-author of a paper published in PNAS that has found that a harsh neighborhood environment—high in violence, incarceration and lead levels—is linked with lowered social mobility later in life, after accounting for concentrated poverty and racial composition. Robert Manduca is also a co-author on the paper. Photo by Kat Wilcox from Pexels

Geotagged tweets used to better assess urban mobility, neighborhood isolation in 50 U.S. cities

Findings of a research study show that even though residents of black and Hispanic neighborhoods traveled outside of their home neighborhoods, they were far less exposed to nonpoor or white middle-class neighborhoods than residents of primarily white neighborhoods, suggesting that segregation persists in some of the country’s largest cities. Two authors of the study—Mario L. Small, PhD, and Robert J. Sampson, PhD—are affiliated with the Harvard Pop Center.