As in previous years most Americans, regardless of race, income, or education, believe that they have
either achieved the American Dream or are on their way to achieving it. And the trend shows that fewer
people believe the American Dream is out of reach, coming down to only 18% from 24% in 2020 an
20% in 2021.
Most Americans regard living better and fuller lives—rather than simply becoming wealthy—as
essential in achieving the American Dream. When asked about how essential different issues associated
with the American Dream are, freedom of choice in how to live and having a good family life ranked at
the top with becoming wealthy as the issue least considered essential. This has been a consistent
finding since we started the survey.
Most Americans, and especially blacks, believe they have more opportunities than their parents. And
most Americans think their children will have the same or more opportunities than they did, not fewer.
In terms of changes from previous years we have seen an improvement where more people believe that
both themselves and their children will have more opportunities, and fewer people respond that either
themselves or their children will have fewer opportunities.
Most Americans, to the tune of three out of four Americans—and regardless of age, race, education,
and income—feel proud to be American.
Despite the encouraging news around the American Dream, opportunity, and pride in being
Americans, when asked if they feel optimistic about the future of the country, most people say that they
feel more pessimistic than optimistic. However, there is more than meets the eye, as the results (at least
by race) are a bit more nuanced. Whites are the most pessimistic, 65%; whereas Hispanics are just
slightly more pessimistic than optimistic, 53%. Asian Americans are more evenly divided, and blacks are
more optimistic to the tune of 64%.
Read the Archbridge Note “The American Dream is America’s Political Common Ground” for additional findings based on survey participants’ self-identified political affiliation.2022-American-Dream-snapshot_Schwarz