Latest Gallup poll finds pessimism about the American dream
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A new Gallup poll out today shows a grim outlook when it comes to young people, and their prospects of achieving the American dream.
Gallup has been asking some version of the following question since 2008: “How likely do you think it is that today’s youth will have a better life than their parents?” said Megan Brenan, a senior editor on the news team at Gallup.
This year’s responses were among the most pessimistic yet. Less than half of those surveyed in Gallup’s most recent poll said they expected young people to have a better life. That’s an 18 percentage point drop since 2019.
And there was an even more significant change in how Republicans answered that question. The percentage of Republican and Republican-leaning respondents who said it was somewhat or very likely the next generation would surpass their parents was half what it was three years ago.
“It’s pretty stark. Partisanship is really a large driver behind this,” she said.
Brenan said the downturn in the economy, marked by high inflation, is another major driver of the pessimism.
Siwei Cheng, an associate professor of sociology at New York University, said many Americans, especially young Americans, are frustrated.
“There are a lot of concerns of the lack of intergenerational mobility. That’s affecting how they think about their future and prospects,” Cheng said.
But Gallup found households with lower incomes were more hopeful about young people’s chances than those with higher incomes.
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