Nearly one in three, or 29% of Americans think the American dream is unobtainable.
Moreover, a growing number of Americans believe most people will never achieve the American Dream, a new Gallup Poll estimates. In 2009, 25% of Americans said the dream is unobtainable that number grew to 29% in July 2019.
Disturbingly, pessimism about America’s future is growing dramatically among some groups. For instance, 42% of women between 18 and 49 believe the American dream is unobtainable.
However, 73% of men in the same age group think the American dream is obtainable. Oddly, 73% of women over 50 believe the American is obtainable. That is close to the 74% of men over 50 who think the dream is realistic.
In addition, 39% or nearly one out of four Americans think today’s youth will have a worse life than their parents, Gallup estimates. Notably, 60% of Americans think today’s youth will lead better lives than their parents. Thus, 40% of Americans think younger people’s lives will be worse than their parents.
Are Americans Losing Faith in America?
Interestingly, Gallup finds Republicans are more optimistic about the future than Democrats. For instance, 88% of Republicans said they believe is obtainable. However, only 60% of Democrats believe the American dream is obtainable.
Thus, 11% of Republicans and 38% of Democrats say the American Dream is impossible. Thus, a lot of Americans have little faith in their country or its future.
Gallup’s poll is interesting but deeply flawed. Notably, Gallup does not define the term American Dream. In addition, the survey does not include important demographics like race. For instance, I would like to know what percentages of black and white Americans think the American Dream is obtainable.
Why Americans think the Dream is dead
However, a large and growing percentage of Americans admit they believe the American Dream is unobtainable. Therefore, faith in America is declining among Americans; in general, and younger women in particular.
One reason Americans think the Dream is dead, is stagnant wages. For example, the average hourly pay for American manufacturing workers; once the backbone of the middle class, is now slightly below the average wage, Truth Out estimates.
This data could have some interesting repercussions at the ballot box in 2020. Particularly, if the female backlash against Republicans and old white men continues. There is a growing disillusionment and frustration in America we need to address.