The quarterly Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll found a striking disparity between teenagers and adults with regard to their outlooks on the future.
The poll found that nearly 70% of adult respondents think that the children of today will enjoy less financial security and experience less success in keeping a job and owning a home without accumulating excessive debt. The majority (62%) also expressed doubt regarding the retirement prospects for today’s children.
"The operative definition of the American Dream is that each generation will live better than its predecessor," said Ronald Brownstein, editorial director of Atlantic Media, which owns the National Journal. "The latest Heartland Monitor survey shows how much the sustained economic slowdown has frayed that expectation among average Americans."
Conversely, the poll found that teenagers—those between the ages of 13 and 18—were largely confident about their futures, specifically in comparison to when their parents were their ages. More than half—54%—of responding teens think that it's better to be a teen today than when their parents were growing up. Many also shared the belief that, when they reach their parents’ age, they will have more opportunities for success than were available to their predecessors.
Sanjay Gupta, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Allstate, noted the importance of the positivity expressed by the young respondents.
"The optimism of the younger generation gives us hope in the enduring American dream," said Gupta.