Top five states for upward mobility

The Opportunity Project ( 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.

5.Nebraska (78.71)

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. (Nati Harnik/AP/File)

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.

Vermont (79.4)

This file photo shows the Congregational Church sits at the top of Main Street in Middlebury, Vermont. The state has an exceptionally low crime rate and many primary-care providers, giving it a high "community" score. (Melanie Stetson Freeman /The Christian Science Monitor/File)

Economy, 7; education, 6; community, 9. Low crime and many primary-care providers help explain its high "community" score.

Massachusetts (80.85)

In this file photo, a member of an American Legion Color Guard, center, carries an American flag during Veterans Day ceremonies in front of the Statehouse, in Boston. Owing partly to its large percentage of citizens with college degrees, Massachusetts has a high education score. (Steven Senne/AP/File)

 Economy, 8; education, 9; community, 7. High preschool enrollment (60 percent) and its many citizens with college degrees (nearly 39 percent) add to its "education" score.

Minnesota (81.21)

This file photo shows wild rice growing along the banks of Upper Whitefish Lake in Pine River, Minn. Minnesota boasts a low crime rate, about half the national average. (Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor/File)

Economy, 7; education, 8; community, 9. Low crime (about half the national average) and high volunteerism (10 percentage points higher than US average) boost its "community" score.

Connecticut (89.02)

In this file photo, students and others spend a fall afternoon on Yale University's Cross Campus in New Haven, Conn. Connecticut scored a perfect 10 out of 10 in education and fared well in the economy and community categories. (Bob Child/AP/File)

 Ranked high on economy (8 of 10), education (10) and "community" (8).