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This is the second in a series from YouGov’s Affluent Perspective delving into the affluent and non-affluent in America. In our first piece, we identified that despite a large percentage of Non-Affluent Americans believing the American Dream is alive and well, 46% of the non-affluent agree that “people like me don’t have a chance to make it into the upper class”. 

To understand this line of thinking, we must first establish just what the “American Dream” is for non-affluent Americans. For a majority it is freedom (90%), financial stability (88%), a good education (78%) and owning a home (75%). Nearly three-quarters (71%) add that the American Dream means “starting from nothing and becoming a success.”
 

For most, the American Dream isn’t at all about joining the upper class – less than one-third said the American Dream is about getting rich, and more than half (57%) admit that life isn’t about joining the growing ranks of the Gatsby’s.

This is not to say that Non-Affluent Americans don’t aspire to a higher economic status. More than half (53%) say they have this aspiration, and nearly nine in ten (89%) say they aspire to be financially successful.  For many though, wealth and social status are not included among the things that they value. While there may be external forces preventing many from reaching affluence, the desire for wealth is more than just being a part of the financial elite. 

And that’s the Affluent Perspective.

Learn more about Affluent Perspective.

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