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Americans View Poverty As A Bigger Trap Than Ever

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Even as thousands of new illegal immigrants flood over the border, more Americans than ever doubt whether it is possible for most people in this country to escape being poor. 

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 44% of American Adults still believe it is possible for just about anyone in the United States to work their way out of poverty. That’s consistent with findings since April of last year but down from the high 40s and low 50s for several years prior to that. However, 40% now think it is not possible for just about anyone to escape poverty, up just two points from 38% in March but the highest finding in regular surveying since January 2009 just after the Wall Street meltdown. Sixteen percent (16%) more are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

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The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted on July 18-19, 2014 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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