Gen Z, also known as iGen or Centennials, is nothing if not thoughtful and critical. According to our recent study on iGen’s Political & Civic Outlook, they’ve taken a pretty hard look and have a seemingly dismal view about many aspects of our society and political culture. Distrust in elected officials, dissatisfaction with the way our country is run and the direction of our economy, and deep problems like gender and racial inequality, access to healthcare, and illegal immigration don’t paint a pretty picture for this generation, nor does it give us any indication on how they will react.
So in light of all this apparent negativity, how does Gen Z feel about that quintessential American ideal, the “American Dream”?
It turns out that while Gen Z recognizes some very real problems facing our country, they aren’t ready to quit society altogether or make a collective exodus overseas. Perhaps this might change after the results of the upcoming election, but, in fact, the study revealed that more than any other generation, Gen Z believes in the American Dream.
What is the American Dream, exactly? In our study, we defined it as the ideal that no matter where you as an individual start out in life, whether new to the U.S., currently poor or facing other challenges, that you have an equal opportunity in America to achieve success through hard work, determination, and initiative.
We discovered that 78% of Gen Z believes this version of American Dream is attainable!
This tells us A LOT about this generation because this view of the American Dream doesn’t align with a group of critical naysayers ready to abandon all hope. On the contrary, we believe that Gen Z is simply pragmatic and realistic, much like their Gen X parents. They have only known the bust – not the boom – of the economy, which makes them cautious and practical in their assessment of their future prospects. What it has not done, however, is crush their hope that change is possible.
Read our complete findings on Gen Z and politics here.