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New poll shows that only one-third of Americans still believe in the American dream

Similar polls in 2012 showed that 53% believed the American dream still holds true. Last year, 68% of those asked agreed people who work hard were likely to get ahead.

Published: November 24, 2023 3:01pm

In a surprising shift from just last year, a little more than one-third of Americans believe that anyone, regardless of background, can get ahead through hard work, according to a Wall Street Journal/NORC poll released Friday.

Similar polls in 2012 showed that 53% believed the American dream still holds true. Last year, 68% of those asked agreed that people who work hard were likely to get ahead.

Half of those in the latest poll said that life is worse today than it was 50 years ago, and half agreed with the statement that the economic and political systems of the U.S. are “stacked against people like me.”

Republicans and Democrats alike, according to the poll, reported a sense of uncertainty and dissatisfaction.

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