What does child opportunity look like in your metro?

Published: 12.17.2019 Updated: 04.15.2020

Child Opportunity Index maps for the 100 largest metropolitan areas are avail­able below. You can explore the geography of child opportunity within a metro and where children of different racial/ethnic groups live in relation to opportunity.

Use the pull down menu below the map to select a metro area. The small areas in the map represent all neighbor­hoods (census tracts) in that metro. Each neighborhood is shaded a color ranging from very light blue (the bottom 20% of neighborhoods with very low opportunity) up to the darkest blue (the top 20% of neighborhoods with very high opportunity).

You can also explore where children of different racial/ethnic groups live in relation to the geography of opportunity. Select one or more racial/ethnic groups from the pull down menu. The colored dots show the distribution of children from that racial/ethnic group across the metro. The higher the density of dots, the more children of that racial/ethnic group live in the neighborhood. Note that the locations of the dots do not represent the precise location of children.

The bar chart on the right shows the percentage of children of a given racial/ethnic group by opportunity level in a metro.

Child opportunity maps

Vastly unequal opportunity for children

Each metro has its own unique geography of opportunity. The tool above allows you to compare these geographies in different metros. For example, in metro Milwaukee, very low-opportunity neighborhoods are clustered together within the city of Milwaukee. In Albany, the geography of opportunity is quite different. Both within the city of Albany and its suburbs, there are neighborhoods of all opportunity levels from very low to very high.

Although the geographic distribution of opportunity is different in Milwaukee and Albany, in both metros there is a very high concentration of black children in very low-opportunity neighborhoods, and a large inequity between white and black children. In Milwaukee, 58.2% of black children live in very low-opportunity neighborhoods compared to only 1.1% of white children. In Albany, 68.7% of black children live in very low-opportunity neighborhoods but only 9.2% of white children do.

Nick Huntington
Nick Huntington
Data Scientist
Photo of Mikyung Baek
Mikyung Baek
Senior Research Associate, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity