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The new normal poll: Americans care more about the rainbow than the pot of gold

May 17, 2012

Since the economic downturn in 2008, Americans are redefining what success looks like. According to a survey by Solomon McCown & Company and Anderson Robbins Research, eight out of 10 Americans indicate the recession forced them to change the way they looked at life. A happy marriage, a healthy retirement and environmentally responsible living matter 33 percent more to Americans than being successful in a high-paying career.

“Economic status and all the creature comforts it brings are less important in the New Normal,” Ashley McCown, president of Solomon McCown & Company, said in a news release.

 In the poll, 24 percent of Americans reported that their household had “mostly recovered” from the impact of the recession; 41 percent said they “still have a ways to go;” and 14 percent said they “might not ever fully recover.” But even a majority — 56 percent — of those who feel they might not ever recover said they have already achieved the American Dream or are on their way to achieving it.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Home or apartment: 67 percent feel owning a home as part of the American Dream.
  • Children or empty nest: 54 percent ranked “having children” important to achieving the American Dream. Married Americans with no children at home were the most likely to feel they have achieved the American Dream.
  • Money or time: 51 percent said they preferred more money than more time.

The New Normal Infographic

(Click on the image above for an infograph with more survey results)


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