Social Inclusion Indicators:

Economic Mobility Wages & Income Disparity & Class Measuring Inequality Income Segregation

Social Inclusion

Income disparity directly affects the ability of some people to participate in civic life. It is a measure of how material resources are distributed throughout a given society. When disparity is great, it can impact where people live, how engaged they are in their communities, and social mobility. Where resources are less evenly distributed, those with fewer resources may feel powerless and have less trust in the system, which in turn reduces their level of civic engagement.¹ The reverse is true, in that communities with a greater number of engaged individuals tend to be more resilient and stronger economically.² Income disparity can lower intergenerational mobility, shaping the opportunities available to earners and their children.³ The unequal distribution of earnings between demographic groups, income segregation, and intergenerational mobility all help to describe how income disparity has changed in the Houston region over time, and how we compare to other regions across the country.

Income segregation has critical implications for a community’s education and health. Higher levels of residential segregation predict a significant decrease in proportion of local children who attend college. In terms of health, residential segregation has been linked to high infant mortality and preterm birth rates.

Sources cited

1. Eric M. Uslaner and Mitchell Brown, “Inequality, Trust, and Civic Engagement,” Sage Publications: 2005, Retrieved from: http://gvptsites.umd.edu/uslaner/uslanerbrownapr.pdf.

2. Kristen Cambell, “How Civic Engagement Builds Resilient Communities,” February 19, 2014, Retrieved from: https://opportunitynation.org/latest-news/civic-engagement-builds-resilient-communities/.

3. Miles Corak, “Income Inequality, Equality of Opportunity, and Intergenerational Mobility, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), July 2013.