According to a recent survey from the Archbridge Institute, the American Dream is still seen to be attainable by a sizable majority of Americans, although skepticism has increased among specific populations.
Although a study of 2,100 Americans indicated that 75% of participants think they can achieve the American Dream, there were indications of growing skepticism among young individuals and those with less education and wealth.
Gonzalo Schwarz, president, and chief executive officer of the Archbridge Institute, stated that “although overall support for the American Dream is still high, it is alarming that uncertainty has started to spread, particularly among younger and less educated individuals.”
The percentage of respondents who believed the American Dream was out of reach grew to 24% this year from 18% in 2022.
Only 14% of people in the 18 to 29 age group in 2022 reported having fewer chances than their parents. However, the ratio has now risen by 11 percentage points, and 25% of the age cohort now believe they have fewer possibilities than their parents.
The American Dream, however, is viewed as being out of reach by 31% of people who have not completed high school and those who have but have not completed any college coursework. Only 16% of those who have earned a bachelor’s degree or above think it is impossible.
Only 11% of those who earn $100,000 or more per year think the American Dream is gone, compared to 21% and 29% of people who earn between $60,000 and $100,000 and $30,000 and $60,000, respectively. 38% of those who earn less than $30,000 per year believe that the American Dream is unattainable.
White respondents are less likely to agree, with just 22%, compared to 25% of black respondents and 28% of Hispanic respondents who feel it is out of reach. Respondents who identify as white are more inclined than those who identify as black or Hispanic to claim that they have less prospects for achieving success than their parents.
However, opinions on what accomplishments qualify as living the American Dream vary. Only 14% of respondents in 2023 believed that achieving financial success was crucial for living the American Dream; in contrast, 28% believed that giving back to your community was essential.
82% of respondents, by far the majority, cited “freedom of choice in the way they live” as being crucial, while 79% cited the importance of having a happy family life. A vital component of the American Dream, according to half of the respondents, is house ownership. A comfortable retirement, according to 68% of respondents, is a crucial component.