Alana Semuels

Alana Semuels

Alana Semuels is a staff writer at The Atlantic. She was previously a national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times.

A line of homeless people wait for food in Charlotte

Why It's So Hard to Get Ahead in the South

Compared to kids elsewhere in the country, poor children in Charlotte and other Southern cities have the lowest odds of making it to the top income bracket. Why?

Is Economic Despair What's Killing Middle-Aged White Americans?

Two Princeton economists elaborate on their work exploring rising mortality rates among certain demographics.

When Factory Jobs Vanish, Men Become Less Desirable Partners

Declines in manufacturing employment are shaping the structure of the American family.

How Charlotte's Nasty Early 1900s Politics Paved the Way for a Century of Segregation

During the late 19th century, blacks and whites in the South lived closer together than they do today.

How Norwegians and Americans See Inequality Differently

According to a recent study, the former are much less comfortable with luck determining well-being.

What RVs Say About the American Economy

Sales of mobile homes are a good data point for inferring the mood of consumers.

The End of Public Transit?

Start-ups are proving more efficient than government in areas like transportation. Should some services be privatized?

An Unsteady Future for New England's Suburbs

As people move to warmer climates and cities, small towns throughout the region are weathering decline.

The Racist History of Portland, the Whitest City in America

It’s known as a modern-day hub of progressivism, but its past is one of exclusion.  

Segregation Holds On in the Twin Cities

Once known for their inclusiveness, Minneapolis and St. Paul have become more divided in recent decades.

The Near Impossibility of Moving Up After Welfare

In the wake of welfare reform, unemployed people are pushed to quickly find work, any work. But too often those jobs lead nowhere.

The Uncertain Future of a Middle-Class Stronghold

As incomes fall across the nation, even better-off areas like Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, are faltering.

No Driver's License, No Job?

Conservative policymakers urge those in need to get work. But for those without driver’s licenses—who are by and large people of color—that’s not such an easy task.

The Graying of Rural America

As young people increasingly move to cities, what happens to the people and places they leave behind?

The Artist Loft: Affordable Housing for White People?

Does this type of tax-subsidized apartment perpetuate segregation?

Can Portland Avoid Repeating San Francisco's Mistakes?

The city is facing a housing crisis, but despite its progressive reputation, it’s done little to ensure affordability for longtime residents.

How Segregation Has Persisted in Little Rock

Nearly 60 years after the integration of Central High, the city’s schools are still divided by race.

Why Promising Students Struggle to Escape Poverty

Researchers tracked hundreds of students in Baltimore to find out what top achievers had that others didn’t.

The U.S. Cities Doubling Down on Highways

Physically expanding roads doesn't cure congestion. So why are places like Arkansas spending millions to do just that?

The U.S. Neighborhoods Without Water, Sewers, or Building Codes

Low-income residents bought cheap land outside of border cities decades ago. But the promised infrastructure never came.