Originally published in Patch.

While more Americans believe that it’s tougher to move up the income ladder as the gap between the rich and the poor widens, one recent study suggest that economic mobility hasn’t changed dramatically for the past 3 decades nationally.

The National Bureau of Economic Research reports,  “the probability that a child reaches the top fifth of the income  distribution given parents in the bottom fifth of the income distribution is 8.4% for children born in  1971, compared with 9.0% for those born in 1986.”

According to the Pew Chartiable Trust, those who have a college degree are three times more likely to rise from the bottom of the income ladder all the way to the top, but living in high-poverty neighborhoods plays a significant part in their ability to move up the income ladder.

Nearly 50 million Americans lived in poverty in 2012, including 13 million children.

Do you think it’s become more difficult to climb the income ladder? Tell us in a comment or a blog post.