Although there are clearly direct ties between growing up rich and maintaining an upper-class lifestyle as an adult, it might be enough to simply spend your formative years around other kids from wealthy families.
That seemed to be the conclusion of a Harvard University study that focused on the social media profiles of individuals in various regions of the country. Using anonymous details obtained from Facebook, the team of researchers determined that even children with low-income parents can expect to make more money as adults if they become friends with kids whose parents make a lot of money.
Networking is the key to success
Raj Chetty, one of the study’s authors, said that the experiment was based on widespread speculation “that the individual’s access to social capital, their social networks and the community they live in might matter a lot for a child’s chance to rise out of poverty.”
By setting a median household income at roughly $58,000 the research took a look at families below and above that number to compare the future earning potential of the younger generation. Unsurprisingly, a clear majority of kids from high-income families socialize almost exclusively with others in the same economic group. Only about 38% of children in low-income families had friends from families that earn above the median income, but they had a much higher likelihood of earning more money as adults.