Top five states for upward mobility

The Opportunity Project (opportunityindex.org) calls itself a campaign to promote "access to the American Dream." Its state-by-state report ranks upward mobility. Instead of looking only at gross domestic product and poverty, the index weighs such things as household income, percentage of children in preschool, and crime. Here are 5 states that scored high in the Opportunity Project's report.

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5. Nebraska (78.71)

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    In this file photo, corn detasslers work a field by an irrigation pivot, in Goehner, Neb. Nebraska gets high marks in economy and education, and its 4.3 percent unemployment rate is far below the national average.
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Economy, 8; education, 7; community, 8. Low unemployment (4.3 percent) and high volunteerism (35 percent) lift its ranking. "Community" looks at civic engagement, volunteerism, and public safety, among other factors.

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