The American Dream, Is it still Alive?

May 18, 2012

The American Dream

Is it still alive?1

Growing up dreaming of being a doctor, buying your first home, sending your kids to college – whatever your American Dream may be, you have one. No, money can’t buy you love or happiness, but it’s a means to an end. So do wishes still come true in a time of economic uncertainty? Take a look at what Americans are saying.

The numbers say it all.

1986:
87% say the American Dream is somewhat alive
11% say the American Dream is not really alive
2% say they are not sure

2011:
70% say the American Dream is somewhat alive
27% say the American Dream is not really alive 2% say they are not sure

The story goes on. In 2011:

  • 54% of Americans believed their families are getting along alright or fairly well.
  • 45% of Americans believed their families feel pinched or are not able to make ends meet.
  • 62% of Americans do not think they earn enough money to lead the kind of life they want.
  • 68% of Americans believe they are in control of their personal economic situation.
  • 58% of Americans believe other people in the country are not in control of their economic situation.

When asked if looking forward, they believe the next generation will be better off economically than the current generation:2

  • 20% said strongly yes
  • 10% said yes
  • 1 1% were unsure
  • 10% said no
  • A whopping 49% said strongly no.

To view this document as a .pdf, click here.

 

  1. Unless otherwise noted, all sources taken from a National Survey of Adults by the Mellman Group, Inc. and Public Opinion Strategies. March 24- 29, 2011. Questions 3, 5, 6, 18, and 21.
  2. February 2012 Tarrance Group Poll.

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