Explore our approach

Measure Access to Opportunity
Our annual Opportunity Index measures economic, educational and civic factors that foster economic mobility at both the county and state levels. The Index is designed to identify concrete solutions to lagging conditions for opportunity.

At the core of America is a shared belief that no matter how humble your beginning, with hard work and perseverance, you can improve your prospects in life and give your family a fair shot at a secure and productive future.

But our American Dream is at risk. Too often it is your zip code that pre-determines your destiny.

The Opportunity Index is an annual composite measure at the state and county levels of economic, educational, civic and health factors that foster opportunity and is designed to help identify concrete solutions to lagging conditions for opportunity and economic mobility. From preschool enrollment to internet access, from volunteerism to access to healthy foods, expanding opportunity depends on the intersection of multiple factors.

The Opportunity Index is jointly developed by Opportunity Nation and Child Trends and measures 20 indicators, scoring all 50 states and Washington, DC on a scale of 0-100 each year. Additionally, more than 2,600 counties are graded A-F, giving policymakers and leaders a useful tool to identify areas for improvement and to gauge progress over time. The Index guides all of our work at Opportunity Nation, and is the framework for our gatherings, advocacy, research and messaging.

Visit the interactive Opportunity Index to explore your community’s score. 

Advance Bipartisan Legislation
We promote common-sense, bipartisan approaches to increase access to education, tackle the skills gap and expand opportunity for young adults.

Opportunity Nation believers the most direct and powerful way to ensure that young Americans secure a foothold on the ladder to opportunity is to help them succeed in high school and receive some form of post-secondary training or education that prepares them for viable and successful careers and futures.

Bipartisan legislation can spur cross-sector partnerships to get our young adults on the right path to success.

Convene Cross-Sector Groups
Public, private and nonprofit sectors must collaborate to promote change on a sweeping scale. We convene diverse groups through the National Opportunity Summit, Opportunity Index updates, policy briefings and other events across the country that lead to innovative collaborations and partnerships.

Opportunity Nation brings together leaders and representatives from nonprofits, businesses, higher education and government institutions from across the nation to address issues related to economic and social mobility. These bipartisan, cross-sector convenings elevate solutions and catalyze actions for expanding access to the American Dream.


Changing the odds for young people has never been more important