Looking Ahead: Pessimism About The Next Generation's Chances

July 10, 2013, 4:54 PM UTC

(Week of 7/6/2013)  Even though the public has started to feel better about the overall economy, most Americans worry about what will happen down the road. And for many, the prospects for the next generation may be bleak. In the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, more than twice as many say the next generation will have a lower standard of living than people today as say the standard of living will be better. The parents of the next generation are just as pessimistic as the public overall.

There is a political component to the answers: Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans to be optimistic about the next generation’s economic chances, while Republicans are much more likely to be negative. Independents, like Republicans, see a poor future, too.

The young, as usual, are more hopeful than their elders. 28% of those under 30 think the next generation will have a higher standard of living. But even more in this group (36%) expect it will be worse. 

This pessimism comes at a time when other economic measures have been improving. Nearly a third sees home prices in their areas increasing (just 9% say they are still dropping). And the percentage that believes the economy is improving has grown to match or nearly match the total that thinks things are getting worse, a major change from earlier in the Obama Administration. However, this week and last week economic pessimism has been on the rise again.

When it comes to the President’s management of the economy, the view is still negative: in this week’s poll, 39% approved, and 49% disapprove.

Economist/YouGov poll archives can be found here

Photo source: Press Association