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The Atlantic/Aspen Institute Survey 2015: The American Dream - Abbreviated

Burson-Marsteller and Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) launched the seventh consecutive The Atlantic/Aspen Institute survey, an exclusive poll unveiling Americans’ views on the direction of their country. The quantitative survey collected insights from 1,988 members of the general population and 513 broad elites in the U.S. Most notably, this year’s survey found that Americans are overwhelmingly optimistic about their personal lives and ability to live the “American Dream,” even though three-fourths are worried the Dream is suffering overall.

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The Atlantic/Aspen Institute
The American Dream
June 2015
The Atlantic/Aspen Institute
The American Dream
July 2015
1
What Does the American Dream Mean in 2015?
Summary Report
The Atlantic/Aspen Institute
The American Dream
June 2015
2
The Atlantic/Aspen Institute
The American Dream
June 2015
PSB conducted an quantitative online survey in the US among 1,988 Gen Pop and 513 Broad Elites.
Methodology
Audiences PolledMethodology
SAMPLING
US
Gen Pop Broad Elites
Sample Size 1988 513
Margin of Error** ±1.75% ±3.58%
TIMING: June 8 - June 19, 2015 Gen Pop
Broad Elites
• College graduate or higher
• Income of $75,000 or more a year
• Engaged with politics/technology
Research Objectives:
 Defining the Dream—associations and obtainability of the American Dream
 Identifying barriers to the Dream—greatest obstacles to achieving the dream
 Reducing Barriers—Identifying whether there is a need or not, who is responsible, and best methods to reduce barriers
 Understanding American perceptions surrounding the American Dream today— core concepts of the dream, prevalence, and
views on the nation as a whole
2
The Atlantic/Aspen Institute
The American Dream
June 2015
The Atlantic/Aspen Institute
The American Dream
June 2015
Q31. Which of the following is closer to your view? (Right track/Wrong track)
Q32. Which of the following is closer to your view? (Best days still ahead, Best days behind us)
Americans are pessimistic about the direction of the nation country
43
36
57
64
Elites
Gen Pop
America’s Current Course
Currently on the right track Currently on the wrong track
3
The Atlantic/Aspen Institute
The American Dream
June 2015
The Atlantic/Aspen Institute
The American Dream
June 2015
Q128. Which of the following is closer to your view?
Most Americans believe that the American Dream is “suffering”
35
25
65
75
Elites
Gen Pop
The American Dream is…
Alive and Well Suffering
4
The Atlantic/Aspen Institute
The American Dream
June 2015
The Atlantic/Aspen Institute
The American Dream
June 2015
Q202. Which of the following is closer to your view?
Americans perceive the obstacles to attaining the American Dream to be more
severe today than in the past
34
31
66
69
Elites
Gen Pop
Obstacles to Realizing the
American Dream
Obstacles to realizing the American Dream are no more severe today than they’ve ever been
Obstacles to realizing the American Dream are more severe today than ever
5
The Atlantic/Aspen Institute
The American Dream
June 2015
The Atlantic/Aspen Institute
The American Dream
June 2015
Q130. Do you believe you are living the American Dream?
Q132. Do you believe you will have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream in your lifetime?
Almost three-quarters of Americans believe they are currently living the dream or
will be able to attain it in the future
28
14
22
14
50
72
Gen Pop Elites
Do you believe you are living
the American Dream?
Not living the dream, and don't believe they can Not living the dream, but believe they can Living the dream
6
72
86
Publicité

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The Atlantic/Aspen Institute Survey 2015: The American Dream - Abbreviated

  • 1. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream July 2015 1 What Does the American Dream Mean in 2015? Summary Report
  • 2. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 2 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 PSB conducted an quantitative online survey in the US among 1,988 Gen Pop and 513 Broad Elites. Methodology Audiences PolledMethodology SAMPLING US Gen Pop Broad Elites Sample Size 1988 513 Margin of Error** ±1.75% ±3.58% TIMING: June 8 - June 19, 2015 Gen Pop Broad Elites • College graduate or higher • Income of $75,000 or more a year • Engaged with politics/technology Research Objectives:  Defining the Dream—associations and obtainability of the American Dream  Identifying barriers to the Dream—greatest obstacles to achieving the dream  Reducing Barriers—Identifying whether there is a need or not, who is responsible, and best methods to reduce barriers  Understanding American perceptions surrounding the American Dream today— core concepts of the dream, prevalence, and views on the nation as a whole 2
  • 3. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 Q31. Which of the following is closer to your view? (Right track/Wrong track) Q32. Which of the following is closer to your view? (Best days still ahead, Best days behind us) Americans are pessimistic about the direction of the nation country 43 36 57 64 Elites Gen Pop America’s Current Course Currently on the right track Currently on the wrong track 3
  • 4. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 Q128. Which of the following is closer to your view? Most Americans believe that the American Dream is “suffering” 35 25 65 75 Elites Gen Pop The American Dream is… Alive and Well Suffering 4
  • 5. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 Q202. Which of the following is closer to your view? Americans perceive the obstacles to attaining the American Dream to be more severe today than in the past 34 31 66 69 Elites Gen Pop Obstacles to Realizing the American Dream Obstacles to realizing the American Dream are no more severe today than they’ve ever been Obstacles to realizing the American Dream are more severe today than ever 5
  • 6. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 Q130. Do you believe you are living the American Dream? Q132. Do you believe you will have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream in your lifetime? Almost three-quarters of Americans believe they are currently living the dream or will be able to attain it in the future 28 14 22 14 50 72 Gen Pop Elites Do you believe you are living the American Dream? Not living the dream, and don't believe they can Not living the dream, but believe they can Living the dream 6 72 86
  • 7. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 23 26 37 27 32 18 17 18 36 26 12 7 17 39 28 27 41 48 51 66 51 43 55 55 30 or under 31-50 51-64 65+ White African American Latino/Hispanic Asian Do you believe you are living the American Dream? Not living the dream, and don't believe they can Not living the dream, but believe they can Living the dream Q130. Do you believe you are living the American Dream? Q132. Do you believe you will have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream in your lifetime? 77% of Millennials say that they are living the dream or believe they can, racial minorities more optimistic than white Americans 7 77 74 63 73 68 82 83 82
  • 8. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 Most Americans are satisfied with their lives and optimistic about their future Q12. How satisfied are you with your life? Q13. How optimistic are you about your future? 4 1 10 6 50 41 36 52 Gen Pop Elites Optimism about Future 3 12 5 49 39 36 56 Gen Pop Elites Satisfaction with Life 8 Very Satisfied Somewhat Dissatisfied Somewhat Satisfied Very Dissatisfied Very Optimistic Somewhat Pessimistic Somewhat Optimistic Very Pessimistic 85 95 86 93
  • 9. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 Most Americans feel secure about their personal financial situation and are happy with their current employment Q27. Are you happy or unhappy in your job? 9 3 1 8 8 17 11 45 49 27 31 Gen Pop Elites Happiness with Job Neither Happy nor Unhappy Completely Happy Somewhat Unhappy Somewhat Happy Completely Unhappy 80 72 11 1 22 11 49 51 18 37 Gen Pop Elites Feelings About Personal Financial Security Very Secure Somewhat Insecure Somewhat Secure Very Insecure 67 88
  • 10. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 Q140.mA-Q170.mA. How attainable are each of the following for the average American? Most believe that the key characteristics of the American Dream are achievable 10 76 60 53 77 89 74 49 85 72 87 82 68 62 87 94 78 52 92 82 92 Living comfortably Achieving financial security Being debt-free Providing a comfortable quality of life for your family A healthy marriage Owning a nice home Having affordable healthcare Pursuing happiness Being free to pursue your personal or professional passions Getting ahead through hard work How Attainable are the Most Important Characteristics of the American Dream? Top 10 Most Important Elements of American Dream Shown Top 2 Box Shown Ranked by Most Important GenPop Broad Elite
  • 11. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 Q23. Which of the following is closer to your ideal in terms of where to live? Most Americans consider suburban neighborhoods closest to their “ideal” in terms of where to live neighborhood 64 53 19 19 15 26 1 2 Broad Elites Gen Pop Ideal Place to Live In a family-oriented, suburban neighborhood In a vibrant urban neighborhood In a more rural area Something else 11
  • 12. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 Q23. Which of the following is closer to your ideal in terms of where to live? Millennials also prefer the suburbs and are only slightly more interested in urban living than other age cohorts 63 53 53 53 29 29 32 14 8 16 14 31 3 2 Asian Latino/Hispanic African-Americans White Ideal Place to Live In a family-oriented, suburban neighborhood In a vibrant urban neighborhood In a more rural area Something else 50 53 54 52 15 15 19 24 31 29 25 23 4 3 1 1 65+ 51-64 31-50 30 or under Ideal Place to Live In a family-oriented, suburban neighborhood In a vibrant urban neighborhood In a more rural area Something else 12
  • 13. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 Most respondents have a PC, car, flat-screen TV and smart phone Q17. Which of the following items do you or your immediate family have or own? Please select all that apply. 89 85 82 76 71 61 55 55 45 33 33 90 94 91 88 94 83 83 83 73 70 72 Personal Computer Car Flat-screen TV Healthcare coverage Smartphone A living wage House or Condominium Tablet Home office/ Den/ Family room 6 months of emergency savings A financial plan for retirement Item Ownership Gen Pop Elites • Broad Elites are more than twice as likely to have 6 months emergency savings and a retirement plan vs. Gen Pop 13
  • 14. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 Americans who do not believe they are living the American Dream have much less in terms of savings or retirement planning than those living the Dream Q17. Which of the following items do you or your immediate family have or own? Please select all that apply. 88 88 84 80 71 71 67 59 58 47 45 89 81 81 73 70 50 44 51 31 19 20 Personal Computer Car Flat-screen TV Healthcare coverage Smartphone A living wage House or Condominium Tablet Home office/ Den/ Family room 6 months of emergency savings A financial plan for retirement Item Ownership Living the American Dream Not Living the American Dream 14
  • 15. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 Q139. Which of the following are most important to your, personal, American Dream? Please select top 5 that apply. Most Important Themes of the American Dream Ranked by 30 or Younger 30 or younger 31-50 51-64 65+ Financial Security 80 75 80 83 Being debt-free 37 31 40 42 Achieving financial security 31 35 41 46 Getting ahead through hard work 17 17 19 22 Retiring when you want 13 13 20 20 Owning your own business 11 7 6 3 Being/becoming wealthy 10 11 4 2 Traditional family values 67 68 66 68 A healthy marriage 29 26 27 30 Owning a nice home 25 26 27 26 Having kids 20 15 10 11 Having access to a good education 14 14 14 18 My children attending college 13 17 12 8 Living in a family-oriented suburban community 8 9 4 4 Personal happiness 61 52 56 49 Pursuing happiness 32 23 18 15 Being free to pursue your personal or professional passions 18 18 19 19 A healthy balance between my professional and personal lives 18 18 20 11 Lifelong friends 17 9 15 15 Living near your peers 2 1 1 0 Most Important Themes of the American Dream (cont.) 30 or younger 31-50 51-64 65+ Comfort, quality of life 48 62 71 73 Living comfortably 31 39 47 49 Providing a comfortable quality of life for your family 21 38 38 42 Luxury 32 23 20 15 Traveling to other countries 9 5 3 5 Owning a nice car 6 7 7 5 Taking yearly vacations 7 6 7 5 Having the latest technology 6 5 2 1 Membership in exclusive social club or organization 5 1 0 0 Access to great technology and entertainment online 3 1 2 0 Having a vacation or second home 2 2 2 1 Helping Others 22 23 24 29 Helping others 14 14 19 22 Having a job that has a meaningful impact on my community/society 9 10 7 11 Having affordable healthcare 11 20 33 38 Living in a vibrant urban neighborhood 7 4 3 2 Other 0 1 1 3 All ages view Financial Security as central to their own, personal American Dream 15 Top 2 Answers
  • 16. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 Professional Goals Ranked by Gen Pop 30 or Under 31-50 51-64 65+ Having a good work/life balance 45 49 45 37 Pays a lot of money 46 40 31 23 Working near where you live or having an easy commute 18 30 36 39 Having flexibility in when and where you work 27 31 30 21 Working in a fun workplace environment 30 22 28 21 Reflects your personal passions 28 20 19 15 Making an impact 20 16 16 17 Working in a humane, nurturing workplace environment 9 13 16 15 Having opportunities for training and development 11 13 9 11 Being able to navigate your own career path 9 8 7 8 Being able to take on new professional challenges 8 9 6 9 Uses the most up-to-date technology 7 7 5 4 Being able to support social causes that are important to you 6 5 5 6 Encourages an entrepreneurial spirit 6 4 4 2 Traveling for work 6 4 3 5 Offers opportunities to work abroad 3 5 3 3 None of the above 4 6 11 19 Q30. Thinking a little more about your professional goals... Please pick the three things that would be the most important elements of your ideal job situation. Please select your top 3. Younger Americans want jobs that Pay a lot of money, whereas older Americans are interested in Work/life balance and an Easy commute 16 Top Answers
  • 17. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 15 6 85 94 Gen Pop Elites 10 12 20 17 90 88 80 83 30 or Younger 31-50 51-64 65+ 23 5 3 16 77 95 97 84 White African American Latino/ Hispanic Asian Americans 51-64 are the most pessimistic about their future, particularly among white Americans Q12. How satisfied are you with your life? Q13. How optimistic are you about your future? 17 Optimistic Pessimistic Optimism about Future 51-64 All Age Ethnicity among 51-64
  • 18. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 Q175. Do you think getting married is part of the American dream? Q176. Do you think having children is part of the American dream? When asked directly, Millennials are the most likely of all age cohorts to indicate that marriage and having children are part of the American Dream 62 51 42 47 30 or under 31-50 51-64 65+ Is Marriage Part of the American Dream? % Yes Shown 62 55 48 53 30 or under 31-50 51-64 65+ Is Having Children Part of the American Dream? % Yes Shown 18
  • 19. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 Q173. Which of the following is closer to your view? Q174. How does your race impact your ability to achieve the American dream? Roughly one-third of Americans believe race is an important factor for attaining the American Dream, though most don’t believe it has affected them personally 30 22 53 60 17 18 Broad Elites Gen Pop The Impact of Race on Achieving the American Dream Probably helps me Probably has no impact for me Probably makes it more difficult for me 39 34 61 66 Broad Elites Gen Pop The Importance of Race and Availability of The American Dream Race is an important factor Race is not an important factor • However over half of both audiences believe it has made it more difficult for them 19
  • 20. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 Q173. Which of the following is closer to your view? Q174. How does your race impact your ability to achieve the American dream? African-Americans believe that race is an important factor in the availability of the American Dream and has affected them personally 31 22 11 24 49 48 32 68 20 30 57 8 Asian Latino/Hispanic African-American White The Impact of Race on Achieving the American Dream Probably helps me Probably has no impact for me Probably makes it more difficult for me 45 47 60 25 55 53 40 75 Asian Latino/His panic African- American White The Importance of Race and Availability of The American Dream Race is an important factor Race is not an important factor 20
  • 21. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 Q125. If everyone had roughly the same opportunity to achieve their goals based on their own effort and merit, would it still be okay that some people in America do not achieve their goals? As long as everyone has opportunity, Americans believe it is okay that some people fail to achieve their goals 84 76 16 24 Elites Gen Pop If opportunity was all equal, would it be okay that some do not achieve their goals? Yes No 21
  • 22. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 Q123 Which of the following is closer to your view? Concentration of wealth is not a problem so long as they are able to provide for themselves and their family 58 64 42 36 Elites Gen Pop Perceived Concentration of Wealth As long as I am able provide the life I want for myself and my family, it doesn’t matter if others are substantially wealthier than me The concentration of wealth and privilege within the top 1% of American society is a problem 22
  • 23. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 Q134. Which of the following is closer to your view? Most believe the Dream is achievable if you work for it 71 65 29 35 Broad Elites Gen Pop The American Dream is… Still achievable for those who are willing to work for it No longer a possibility for most Americans no matter how hard they work 23
  • 24. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 Q203. Does action need to be taken to reduce the barriers to the American Dream? Americans believe action should be taken immediately to reduce the barriers to the Dream 68 19 13 74 15 11 Yes, immediately Yes, in the future No Does Action Need to Be Taken to Reduce Barriers to the American Dream Gen Pop Elites 24
  • 25. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 Q178.mA. Please rank each of the following from the greatest barrier/ obstacle to achieving the American Dream to the least. Top 3 Barriers/Obstacle Themes to The Dream Ranked by Democrat Democrat Independent Republican Lack of opportunity 82 74 54 Rules favor the wealthy 27 18 10 Economic inequality 24 18 10 Lack of economic opportunity 22 19 13 Decline of the middle class 18 16 16 Unequal access to education 16 14 9 Access to affordable housing 13 10 7 Lack of government support for programs for the disadvantaged 10 6 3 Lack of socio-economic mobility 7 8 7 Lack of access to technology tools and training 5 6 3 Government 37 45 58 Lack of government policies to support economic growth 11 9 9 Big government 9 18 25 High government spending 9 16 18 Obamacare 9 10 18 Excessive government regulations 8 10 17 Top 3 Barriers/Obstacles Themes to The Dream (Cont.) Democrat Independent Republican Values 26 38 44 Decline of work ethic 14 24 28 Decline of values/moral standards 14 20 26 Erosion of personal liberties 3 7 8 Personal debt 21 18 20 Discrimination 21 10 9 Racial discrimination 16 7 6 Gender discrimination 7 3 3 Cost of healthcare 14 17 12 Political gridlock 11 8 11 Too much immigration 7 10 13 Lack of immigration reform 5 6 7 Republicans view Government as the biggest barrier to the dream, while Democrats and Independents view it as Lack of Opportunity 25 Top Answers
  • 26. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 Q205. Which of the following could have the most impact in reducing the barriers to the American Dream? Please select your top three. Democrats and Independents focus on Expand Access/Opportunities to reduce barriers to the Dream, while Republicans Focus on Reducing Government Reducing Barriers to The American Dream Ranked by Democrat Democrat Independent Republican N-Size 593* 496* 465* Expanding access/opportunities 68 56 38 Make college free or much more affordable 31 23 18 Expand access to free healthcare 14 11 7 Improve access to quality education in poor communities 13 11 6 Provide free job training 12 14 8 Expand access to affordable housing 12 10 6 Increase funding of anti-poverty programs 10 6 3 Redistribution 57 37 27 Increase taxes on the wealthy 28 20 15 Increase minimum wage nationwide 29 19 10 Increase taxes on corporations 12 8 6 Reduce government 36 52 71 Reduce government spending 15 23 31 Increase economic growth by cutting taxes 13 21 27 Repeal Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) 7 13 24 Increase economic growth by reducing regulation 5 13 24 Eliminate regulations that limit personal liberties 4 7 11 Reducing Barriers to The American Dream (cont.) Democrat Independent Republican Discrimination 19 18 20 End race-based discrimination 16 8 4 End gender-based discrimination 9 4 2 Fix our public schools 18 18 17 Work ethic, entrepreneurship 14 21 29 Emphasize work ethic and personal accountability 9 15 23 Increase support for entrepreneurship 5 8 7 Reduce immigration 11 15 18 Reduce political partisanship 7 9 9 Immigration reform 7 10 10 26 *Asked of only those that indicated action needs to be taken Top Answers
  • 27. The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute The American Dream June 2015 Q207. Do you consider yourself wealthy, middle class or poor? Nearly 7 in 10 respondents describe themselves as Middle Class 27 28 3 69 86 3 11 Gen Pop Elites Class Poor Middle class Wealthy