If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


Only 17% Say Today's Children Will Be Better Off Than Their Parents

Americans historically have always worked to make sure their children were better off than they were, but the number who believe today's youth will be better off than their parents has fallen to its lowest level ever.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 17% of Adults think today’s children will be better off than their parents. Sixty-one percent (61%) disagree with that assessment.  Another 22% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Since early January of last year, most Americans have consistently believed today’s children will not be better off than their parents.  Pessimism has ranged from a low of 47% to this new high of 61%.  Optimism in the future for today’s youth has run from 17% to 34%.

Interestingly, younger adults are more confident about the future than those over the age of 30.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls).  Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Adults nationwide was conducted on December 2-3, 2010 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.

Want to read more?

Become a Rasmussen Reader to read the article

Have an account?

Log In

Become a Reader


Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.

We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.

To learn more about our methodology, click here.