NEW YORK (CBS) — After decades of financial prosperity for a nation that served as the economic engine of the world, more than half of Americans say they are losing hope of ever achieving the success of previous generations, according to a new survey.

Is The “Dream” Over? Pollster Bradley Honan Joins KFWB’s Maggie McKay

While over half of U.S. families believe they are indeed “living the dream, in households earning between $40,000 and $50,000 –typically considered that the middle class earners – that belief drops to just 41%.

Even among college graduates, slightly less than half don’t feel they are living the Dream. About 1 in 3 (29%) of those in households earning $75,000 or more a year — the highest income category in the survey — report they are not living the American Dream.

In spite of widespread doubts about whether individuals have achieved or will achieve the American Dream, 74% believe that the ideal of reaching the American Dream and being able to “make it” in America is largely true and possible, as opposed to being just a myth. Sixty-eight percent of those in households earning less than $25,000 a year also share this belief.

“Even though many consumers are worried about their own prospects for success, they have not shaken the belief that the American Dream remains a very strong possibility,” said Bradley Honan, senior vice president of StrategyOne, the firm behind the survey.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

  1. The other half already said goodbye.

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