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Want to Make More Money? Move!

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A new report on economic mobility, the ability of those in certain income ranges to either increase or decrease their earnings, shows that moving out of your home state could give you more economic advantages.

Increased economic mobility is seen most often in states along the Atlantic Seaboard and New England, and lags significantly in many southern states, according to a report from Pew’s Economic Mobility Project. The research judged economic mobility three ways: the ability of state residents to increase their earnings over time and upward or downward relative mobility.

States that ranked above the national average in two or more of these categories were considered to have “better” mobility, the report said. Those which were below average in two or more were considered to have “worse” mobility.

Maryland, New Jersey and New York were ahead of the curve on all three measures, while Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, along with Michigan and Utah, came in above average on two measures, the report said. Meanwhile, Louisiana, Oklahoma and South Carolina were subpar for all three measures, and Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Texas were considered below average for two of those factors.

The study found that the ability of consumers to move geographically does not affect the differences in state-to-state economic mobility, the report said. However, when it comes to individuals, the ability to move to a different state than the one in which they were born has a positive impact on their ability to increase their personal income, at least relative to those who stayed in their home state.

“When it comes to achieving the American Dream, it matters where you live,” said Erin Currier, project manager of Pew’s Economic Mobility Project. “Understanding that mobility rates differ by state is the first step towards helping policy makers pinpoint what enhances their residents’ mobility.”

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Economic mobility may also have a positive impact on consumers’ ability to handle various lines of credit. The more they take home, the better position they will likely be in to make sure all their bills are paid on time and in full. This will help them to avoid costly late payment fees, high credit card balances and the large amount of damage their credit scores can suffer as a result of these financial missteps.

Image: Robert Couse-Baker, via Flickr

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