The American Dream is Dying. Some Are Finding It Overseas. – The Average Joe

    The American Dream is Dying. Some Are Finding It Overseas.

    Victor Lei — Head of Research

    December 20, 2023

    December 20, 2023

    RIP American Dream; we hardly knew ya. In a recent WSJ survey, just 36% of people agreed that the promise of prosperity through hard work still rang true — a sign that Americans aren’t feeling the benefits of the world’s strongest and most-valuable economy.

    In a year where the US achieved record-high GDP and markets soared, the economy is on the brink of achieving a soft landing, even with interest rates at their highest in 22 years. So why are Americans so pessimistic about the future?

    Wake-up call: Comedian George Carlin famously said that to believe in the American Dream, you’d have to be asleep — which makes sense, given that Americans have spent their waking hours this year observing the worst housing affordability since 1989, rising income inequality and the lingering impact of inflation. Instead, some Americans dream about leaving the US for a new home overseas.

    • The allure of countries where the dollar stretches further has grown — a move that allows for a higher quality of life.
    • Remote work opens the door to “digital nomad” visas in over a dozen countries, influencing moving patterns and convincing Americans to try something new.

    America, still the land of immigrants

    Contrary to the dreams of departure, the US remains a magnet for immigrants, with over a million people choosing to make it their home annually in search of a better life. In 2021, the country’s immigrant population reached a historic high of 46M, challenging the pessimism surrounding the American Dream.

    • Last year, an Axios-Ipsos poll revealed that 61% of Latino Americans believe in the possibility of achieving the American Dream through hard work.
    • A nationwide LA Times-KFF poll found that immigrants were more optimistic about life in the US than native-born citizens — and the majority said that their financial, education and employment situations improved after relocating.

    Growing optimism: While Americans remain skeptical about immigration, the foreign-born population of the US increased to 13.9% in 2022 (NPR) and is expected to continue rising as a pandemic-era freeze in immigration subsides — filling gaps left by lower birth rates and a slow-shrinking Baby Boomer population.

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