Study finds green space affects income

Local News

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS (WCIA) — A study at the UI found the more green you see growing up could affect the amount of green you make as an adult.

It looked at people who were children in the years 1978 – 1982 growing up in poverty in the 10 largest U.S. cities. It also looked at how much green space, like parks or golf courses, they were exposed to.

The study followed the children who had green space around them, all the way through 2014, and took a look at how successful those children became as adults.

The findings were those adults were making about $30,000 more throughout their careers than adults who didn’t grow up with a lot of greenery around them.

“Certainly, it seems like there’s some benefit of total vegetation, so preserving vacant lots, planting street trees, these might actually help places like southside Chicago, help children rise out of poverty,” said Dr. Matthew Browning, with the UIUC Department of Recreation, and one of the researchers on the study.

Browning says the next step is testing this theory through virtual reality. It would determine if putting someone in a virtual green space makes them test better in attention. 

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