High inflation and poor economic conditions make Americans pessimistic about their future. According to a Gallup poll, six out of ten (57%) people believe that when compared to their parents, they are somewhat to very unlikely to have a better quality of life, better education or a better home, compared to 42% (an all-time low) who believe they will be better off in life.
Since 2019 (the year the last survey was conducted), the number of people who thought they would have a better quality of life than their parents decreased by 18 points. This is the largest drop recorded since 1995.
Pessimism among the two major parties is on the rise
Pessimism among supporters of the two major parties is also on the rise compared to 2019. Although it is true that Democrats have a better perception of their future than Republicans, both percentages have fallen.
In 2019, with Donald Trump leading the federal government, 66% of Republicans thought that they were going to have a more prosperous future than their parents. Three years later, with Joe Biden as president, this perception dropped to half (33%).
The Democratic Party's drop is milder, with only a two-point difference between 2019 and 2022 (55% to 53%). Keep in mind, this represents an all-time low since 1995 and the downward trend among the Republican Party started even before then. People’s optimism has been shrinking since 2016.
Those with lower income are the most optimistic
According to Gallup, the majority of Americans earning less than $40,000 per year are the most optimistic. 52% of respondents in this category believe that young people will achieve a better standard of living than their parents, compared to 48% who think the opposite.
The rest of the salary ranges are more pessimistic. Just 40% of people who earn between $40,000 and $100,000 a year and 39% of people whose incomes are over $100,000 say that young people will have a more prosperous future.