WashPost Poll: US Hispanics Say Their Lives Better Than Parents'

Friday, 31 Jan 2014 08:02 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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A majority of Hispanics in the United States believe they are enjoying a better standard of living than their parents were at the same age, a new poll reveals.

The survey by The Washington Post and the University of Virginia's Miller Center shows most Hispanics — 54 percent — say they are leading better lives than their parents, with only 18 percent thinking they are worse off.

And 39 percent say their children will be even better off than they are, compared to 28 percent who think their kids will not be as well off.

A total of 84 percent either think the American dream basically or very much means doing better than one's parents.

The poll also shows that 65 percent of Hispanics believe hard work is the answer to getting ahead in life, while 34 percent say hard work and determination "are no guarantee of success."

Six in 10 Hispanics are "satisfied" with their personal financial situation, even though a Pew Center Research poll has shown that the median income for a three-member Hispanic household is about $39,000, compared with $58,000 among all Americans, says the Post.

The reason for their positive attitude lies in the fact that Hispanic immigrants and their children start life with very little and are willing to make sacrifices to move up in the world, according to the report.

"The reasons they came here all look to the future — a better standard of living and a better place to raise their kids," said Mark Lopez, executive director of the Pew Hispanic Center in Washington. "They may be in bad shape today, but they believe things will improve."

Most Hispanics predict they are more likely to move up in social class over the next few years rather than down, while 64 percent believe that a college diploma is a major part of the American dream, says the Post. And 68 percent of Hispanics believe that hard work is the biggest factor in reaching for those dreams.

The figures show that three out of every five Hispanics believe that owning a home plays a key role in obtaining the American dream.

The survey also revealed that 52 percent of Hispanics think that President Barack Obama is not doing a very good job in the White House, compared to 44 percent who feel he's doing good work.

But Hispanics' attitudes toward the GOP are even more negative, with 62 percent feeling that Republicans are not doing too good a job while only 32 percent says they are doing a good job.

The survey, conducted by telephone Sept. 6-12, 2013, sampled 120 Hispanic adults with a margin of error of 10.5 percentage points.

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