Survey: American Dream Varies by Gender, Age

October 13, 2017

When it comes to the American dream, women are more concerned about affordability and financial security than men, according to a recent survey from Hearth, a financial tech startup focusing on home renovation loans.

In a survey of 2,000 Americans, both genders ranked owning a home they love as the most important element of attaining the American dream, with 46 percent of women and 42 percent of men putting it at the top of their list. However, women ranked “affording rent and living expenses without hardship” closely behind homeownership at 41 percent. This element of the American Dream ranked fourth at 27 percent for men, who put starting a family (34 percent) and finding a fulfilling career (33 percent) second and third.

Another area that men and women ranked differently was savings. Women said saving money to send their children to college (27 percent) is key to achieving the American dream, while men prioritized building retirement savings (23 percent).

Survey responses also varied by generations, with millennials being 77 percent more likely than baby boomers to see homeownership as a primary way to build wealth. However, all generations said creating a living space for family was the most important reason for owning a home.

When asked what’s putting the American dream at risk, 1 in 5 respondents cited consumer debt.

Source: The State of the American Dream, August 2017.