Affluent and non-affluent Americans really do have a lot in common

Cara DavidManaging Partner
July 12, 2018, 5:00 PM GMT+0

This is the first in a series from YouGov’s Affluent Perspective that compares and contrasts affluent and non-affluent Americans. While there certainly is one obvious difference – the size of their wallets – the affluent and non-affluent have a great deal in common.

Both affluent Americans – those who live in households with an income of more than $150,000 – and non-affluent Americans describe themselves as honest, intelligent, friendly, loyal and independent. It’s worth pointing out though that while both groups say they are intelligent, the affluent do so at a greater rate.

And what about their values? They share the same top three: freedom, stability, and friendship. They also share in common what they value the least: power, authority, and social status – values many associate with the wealthy.

Affluent and non-affluent American’s also share similar concerns about the world. The majority are worried about the future of their children, the healthcare system, the quality of education, the security of their personal information, and gun control.

While 90% of the non-affluent grew up in households that were middle class or lower, 53% aspire to a higher economic status. What’s more, the majority (94%) admire affluent people who have come from modest backgrounds, which the majority of affluent (72%) have.

And what about the so-called “American Dream”? Whatever their interpretation might be, non-affluent Americans are more likely to believe that it’s alive and well – 67% compared to 57% of the affluent.

Despite these similarities and aspirations, 46% of non-affluent Americans say that “people like me don’t have a chance to make it into the upper class.” Our next release will take a closer look as at the obstacles that non-affluent Americans face when trying to move up the ladder.

Learn more about Affluent Perspective.

Image: Getty

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