Is the American Dream still alive?

Is the American Dream still alive?

A new study shows that a majority of Americans are living the American Dream—even if they largely don’t realize it. The poll, conducted by marketing firm DDB as part of its 2014 Life Style Study, found that only 40 percent of American adults over the age of 18 believed they were “living the American Dream.”

That same 7,015-person study also found that sizable majorities reported owning a home, receiving a “good education,” finding a “decent job” and giving their children better lives than they themselves had—all traditional tenets of the American Dream. Although these findings may not seem intuitive, the answer behind this discrepancy could lie in an important trend in American financial security.

“Even though people report that they are not living the dream, they actually are when you look at the traditional benchmarks,” said Denise Delahorne, SVP, Group Strategy Director, DDB Chicago, who worked closely with the survey. She theorized that many people do not see themselves as having attained the traditional American Dream because of a shifting definition of the term.

Is the American Dream still alive?

“If you’re new to this country, then life seems pretty good here,” Delahorne said. “But for many people who have lived here a long time, they’ve started to think of the American Dream less as the traditional elements, and more relative to wealth.”

In the DDB survey, only 25 percent of adults reported that they have been able to “make a lot of money” in their life. But Erin Currier, director of economic mobility at The Pew Charitable Trusts, told CNBC she does not think the disparity between the DDB respondents’ life histories and their own assessment of American Dream fulfillment lies in an evolving definition. Still, she agreed with Delahorne: The explanation lies in wealth.

“[American families] have enough that they are able to consume those indicators of the American Dream, but they aren’t financially secure,” Currier said, drawing the distinction to an increase in citizens’ incomes, but not their wealth. “My instinct is that people feel that on a day to day basis.”

Because Americans are “treading water,” she said, they are too insecure to be able to enjoy their achievements. Still, Pew research from 2009 confirms that the elements listed on the DDB survey roughly align with what citizens see as the American Dream.

Are you living the American Dream?

Are you living the American Dream?

The answer depends a lot on your income, according to a new survey.

Despite the “official” end of the recession over a year ago, life remains dull for much of the population: Nearly half the U.S. population does not live what they call the “dream U.S. “according to a new survey published this week.

StrategyOne, part of Daniel J. Edelman PR firm, surveyed 1,008 Americans and found 48% of respondents answered “no” when asked: “Are you living the American dream today?”

In households earning between $ 40,000 and $ 50,000 per year, only 41% responded affirmatively to the question. However, for households earning more than – those at or above $ 75,000 per year – 71% of respondents said they lived the American dream. This supports the idea that money might not be everything, but it helps.

The survey also suggests a lack of faith in the possibility of upward mobility: the 48% who said they do not live the American dream, more than half said they did not think they ever would.

Define the American dream, of course, will vary from person to person. Although stereotyped as one might think of the suburban house, the fence, a family, a sensitive dog and cars, which could be a long way from your own goals and reality. That said, the results strengthen the argument that from an economic standpoint, the locals are mixed in their views, regardless of what the academics argue.

Not surprisingly, official unemployment rate of nearly 10% – and worse by wider measures – and the collapse in housing prices has created considerable uncertainty. However, pockets of hope has been found. “Despite the doubts that were wondering if people have reached or will reach the American dream, 74% believe that the ideal of achieving the American dream and be able to” do in America is largely true and possible, rather than being just a myth. Sixty-eight percent of those households earning less than $ 25,000 per year also share this belief, “according StrategyOne.

The survey revealed that 81% of respondents strongly or somewhat (most were in this camp) “believe that if you work hard and playing” a middle-class life in the U.S. is available, 74 % say success is more a function of hard work, rather than good fortune.

So what’s the takeaway? The American dream is not dead yet, but it’s hard to maintain interest for many of us. Maybe we just need him to, and we find that it is still very much alive, that a different form. Let us know what you think.

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