UTICA, New York – The percentage of people who believe it is possible for themselves and their families to achieve the American Dream has dropped 10 points since immediately after the November 2008 elections, falling from 67% then to 57% now.
This result comes from a Zogby Interactive survey of 2,068 U.S. adults conducted from Feb. 17-19, 2010. The poll has a margin of error of +/-2.2%.
Loss of belief in the attainability of the American Dream was fairly consistent across all demographic groups. It was largest for those with household incomes below $25,000, falling from 46% in 2008 to 28% now.
When we asked the same question in July, 2001, less than two months before the September 11 attacks, 76% said they could achieve the American Dream.
Pollster John Zogby: “The U.S. may have avoided a real economic depression, but not a psychological one. People obviously see the current recession and job situation as more than the normal business cycle. Still, 57% still believe in the American Dream. It is a deeply ingrained concept, and while its meaning may adapt to new circumstances, the American Dream will endure.”