Iowa has moved up to sixth place in an index that measures opportunity.
The Opportunity Nation Index's 2013 state rankings show Iowa clocking in a spot better than last year. The index uses data on jobs, the economy, education, community health and civic life to measure opportunity for upward mobility - the "first statistical measure of the American Dream," said Opportunity Nation Executive Director Mark Edwards.
Some factors leading to Iowa's improvement:
- The state had a slightly higher score on the economy component, as the state's unemployment rate decreased to 4.5 percent from 5.1 percent.
- Iowa also had an improved education score, reporting a higher percentage of on-time high school graduation and a higher percentage of adults 25 and older with an associated degree or higher.
Opportunity Nation is a national bi-partisan coalition made up of more than 250 nonprofits, businesses, educational institutions, faith-based organizations and individuals.
An affiliate organization in Iowa is made up of Des Moines Area Community College, the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, United Way of Central Iowa, Character Counts, Boys and Girls Club of Central Iowa, Iowa Jobs for America's Graduates, AARP and several other groups.
The index's top five is made up of Vermont, Minnesota, North Dakota, New Hampshire and Nebraska.