Poll: More than 80 Percent Feel American Dream Is Achievable

Participants carry an American flag during the 4th of July parade in Santa Monica, Calif. on Tuesday, July 4, 2017. Decked out in red, white and blue, Californians waved flags and sang patriotic songs at Independence Day parades across the state. Americans (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
AP Photo/Richard Vogel

More than 80 percent of people think the American dream is achievable, according to a poll from the Pew Research Center released October 31.

The poll, which Pew conducted in August, found that 36 percent of the Americans surveyed felt that they had achieved the American dream while 46 percent felt that although they have not yet achieved the American dream, they are making progress toward it.

While the majority of the poll’s respondents agreed that the American dream is achievable, they had differing views on how the American dream should be defined.

Forty percent of respondents felt that attaining wealth is not essential to achieving the American dream, while 49 percent said that wealth is an important part of it. The remaining 11 percent said that becoming wealthy is “essential” to achieving the American dream.

The majority of respondents agreed that the essential parts of the American dream include the freedom to choose “how to live,” the ability to raise a good family, and being able to retire comfortably.

Only 43 percent of Americans thought the ability to own a home and have a successful career were essential to living the American dream.

While there is growing optimism that the American dream can be achieved, certain segments of the population are struggling with upward mobility.

Internal Revenue Service data released in December 2016 shows that only 50 percent of American children will be able to earn as much or more than their parents. A few decades ago, 92 percent of children could hope to make as much money as their parents.

President Trump, however, said in June that his administration is working to make the American dream a reality for Americans. The president pointed to the positive economic climate, citing low unemployment and an increase in jobs since the election, as signs that his administration is helping Americans achieve that sought-after American dream.


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