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18% Say Today’s Children Will Be Better Off Than Their Parents

Most Americans continue to believe today’s children will not be better off than their parents, but they are a bit more optimistic about the possibility of someone working their way out of poverty.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 18% of American Adults believe today’s children will be better off than their parents.  That’s down six points from the previous survey in June and is just a point higher than the lowest level measured to date.  Sixty-seven percent (67%) don’t believe that today’s youth will be better off than their parents, while 15% are not sure.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Thirty-two percent (32%) think it’s still possible for anyone in the United States to work hard and get rich.  A majority (55%) disagrees with that assessment, and another 13% are undecided.  These findings have shown little change since January 2009.

Just under half (49%) say it’s possible for anyone in the United States to work their way out of poverty, the highest level measured since May of last year.  Thirty-five percent (35%) don’t believe this to be true.  Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on September 1-2, 2011 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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