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More Than 70% Of Americans Believe Kids Will Be Poorer Than Their Parents

Last updated on August 12, 2022

According to a recent poll from Pew Research Center, more than 70% of American adults believe that the next generation will be poorer than their parents.

The poll was conducted across 19 countries and the data from the United States closely tracks with the global trend: 72% of Americans believe kids will be worse off than their parents, compared to a median 70% of respondents. The share of Americans who believe their children will be more prosperous mirrored the survey median exactly, with 27% expressing an optimistic view of their youth’s financial prospects.

Japan was the least optimistic nation surveyed, with 82% of respondents stating that they believed their children would be worse off than they were, while only 12% thought they’d be better off. Israel and Singapore were the most optimistic countries: only 27% of Israelis believed their children would be worse off than they were, while Singapore was the only nation where a majority (56%) of those surveyed believed their children would be better off than their parents.

Current economic woes were correlated with a negative outlook for the future: in the U.S., 81% of those who described the current economic situation as “bad” projected a worse economic future for the next generation. However, even among those who thought the current economy was “good,” 49% believed kids today would be worse off in the future.

Eleven of the 19 countries reported record high levels of pessimism, with Australia, Hungary, and the Netherlands reporting an increase of more than 10% from last year. The United States reported a 4% increase from 2021. In recent years, the global economy has been buffeted by the economic lockdowns of the COVID pandemic and shortages of food and fuel exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Interviews were conducted face to face in Israel, Hungary, and Poland, where more than 10% of respondents volunteered that they thought economic prospects for today’s children would be “about the same” as their own.

The nations that were polled are highly developed countries by most economic measures, and all but Israel have a fertility rate below replacement levels.

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