4 in 10 say they have achieved the 'American Dream'

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New York, May 5 (ANI): Recession, it seems, has failed to dampen the American spirit. A whopping 44 percent of Americans feel they have achieved their dreams.

Another 31 percent are optimistic that they will achieve it someday, while twenty percent think that the American dream is beyond them.

According to a CBS News/New York Times poll, more Americans are admitting that they have achieved the American dream, up 12 points from such contentment in 2005.

In a survey taken in April and released Monday, 31 percent say they will reach the American dream in their lifetime, while the other twenty percent is not so positive.

Older Americans are also more likely to say they've achieved the American dream than younger people.

But what, exactly, is the American dream? Twenty-seven percent of those surveyed chose "freedom and opportunity," making it the top answer. That was followed by "being successful" (18 percent), "financial security and a job" (13 percent) "having a home" (9 percent), and "happiness/peace of mind" (6 percent). Predictably, attitudes on the topic are correlated to income levels. More than half (58 percent) of those who make more than 50,000 dollars per year say they have achieved the American dream, while only a third of those who make under 50,000 dollars say so. Nearly three in four Americans (72 percent) believe that Americans who start out poor have the opportunity to get rich despite their initial circumstances.

But optimism is diminished from two years ago, when 81 percent felt that such social mobility was possible. Americans with lower levels of education and income are less likely to believe they have a chance to becoming wealthy. Concerns about standard of living are on the rise. While 58 percent of Americans said that their standard of living is better than that of their parents. Only 43 percent of parents think that their children will have a better standard of living than they do. This poll was conducted among a random sample of 998 adults nationwide. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. (ANI)

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