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More people find ‘American Dream’ ‘out of reach’, poll finds

More people say the American dream is “out of reach” for them than a year ago, according to an annual poll released Monday.

While 75% of respondents to the Archbridge Institute survey said they had achieved or were close to achieving the American Dream, 24% said it was out of reach, compared to 18% the year last.

In a summary of the findings, the Washington, DC-based public policy center cited “economic challenges, social hardships and a [divisive] presidential primary race” for change.

The attitudinal shift occurred mostly among younger, less educated respondents, according to the poll, which Archbridge has commissioned from NORC at the University of Chicago since 2020.

“While belief in the American Dream remains strong overall, it’s troubling that doubt has begun to creep in, especially among the young and less educated,” said Gonzalo Schwarz, president and CEO. towards Archbridge.

He added, “Instead of focusing on what divides us, we should embrace our common vision and work to break down barriers so that all Americans can lead better, richer, and more fulfilled lives.

According to the survey, most respondents defined the American Dream as “living a better, more fulfilled life” and listed “getting rich” as their least essential consideration.

The survey found that eight in 10 adults say they have more or about the same opportunities as their parents, compared to 20% who think they have fewer opportunities. He also revealed that 60% of respondents think their children are likely to have more or about the same opportunities as them.

At the same time, the proportion of people saying their children are likely to have more opportunities than before has risen from 41% in last year’s survey to 33% this year. And nearly twice as many survey respondents with only a high school diploma (31%) said the American dream was out of reach than those with a college degree (16%).

NORC at the University of Chicago interviewed 2,187 members of its AmeriSpeak panel from May 11-15 for the nationally representative survey. The margin of error was plus or minus 2.87 percentage points at the 97% confidence level.


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