Is The American Dream Dead Or Alive?

2 hands holding the American flag - is the American dream dead or alive?
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Whether the American dream is dead or alive can not be answered with a simple yes or no. According to the simplest American dream definition, the idea meant that anybody could attain success in life with hard work and perseverance, irrespective of the place they are born or the condition they are in presently.

But is this a neo-economic setup? Does this statement still hold a firm relevance? Well, things are way more complicated than it was before regarding this subject. First of all, let’s unravel the fact that the idea of the American dream was not only limited to the U.S. After the idea got popularized in America where the media and the essay examples made sure that the people understood the concept, it was also accepted by many other countries around the globe.

However, in recent times, this idea has shown its shortcomings. It is not because people lack hard work, dedication, and perseverance but because of the revised socio-economic structure, which may or may not allow someone to succeed even after following all the notions of the idea. However, the idea has still got some pertinence in the present society which you will know gradually. 

What Is The State Of The American Dream?

There are essay examples written by scholars which showed that the American dream is a full-proof way to succeed. But, things are much more complicated in the present scenario. Modern studies started to unfold some undeniable drawbacks of the American dream. Recent research was done by the Hamilton Project, which shows that a child who was born in the population of the bottom 20% of the yearly income distribution has less than a 5% chance to reach the top 20% of the yearly income distribution.

Along with this, many essays also concluded that birthplace plays a very important role for a person to succeed, a fact that was nullified by the American dream.

Realities Of The American Dream

Before, the idea of the American dream was not minutely studied with the socio-economic structure. Or, we can say that, back then, this idea was well and truly within reach. The idea impressed and influenced almost every student and was widely accepted as a maxim in every college and university. Now in the present scenario of the American dream reality, four categories were found by comparing the data of economic mobility in the most prosperous and the most financially backward place of a country.

There are mainly four categories that depend on the place a person lives. The four categories are alive and well, fenced off, within reach, and distant prospect.

Where Is The American Dream Is Alive?

This question falls in the category of ‘Well and Alive.’ In this category, the American dream is affluent alive. The places or counties that are getting covered in this category are, however, quite prosperous and have great economic mobility. This is somewhat against the aphorism of the American dream.

There are 420 (72% of the total prosperous counties of the U.S.) such counties in this section. The main clustered regions of these counties are:

•           West Coast metro areas

•           Parts of Industrial Midwest

•           Most parts of Texas

•           Eastern Seaboard.

We see that the Southeast is missing from this section despite being highly prosperous. This is because the economic mobility in this region is not that good.

The total American population that falls under these ‘well and alive’ counties of the American dream is 71 million. Between the span of only five years from 2010 to 2014, 96% of these “well and alive” counties indicated job growth, 80% showed growth in new business opportunities and comfort of business, and 88% showed a steep rise in the population.

Fenced Off Counties

Fenced-off counties are those places in the United States that are prosperous but face harsh economic immobility. This is the reason why following the American dream for the population of these regions is a tough ask.

It comprises 28% of the prosperous regions in the U.S. However, properties in these counties are very unevenly shared. These counties are home to more than 48 million U.S. citizens. These counties are mainly clustered in metropolitan areas of the Midwest, South, and all across the West.


The traditional view of the American Dream, which states the notion of “place does not matter,” is well and truly nullified in the present economic scenario. The places where this concept is still alive are the places with good economic mobility and financial prosperity.

Nonetheless, we can not conclude that the American dream is completely a futile idea in the present. But, it has changed in all forms and shapes with time.

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