New Research: First Generation Millennials and the American Dream

COM16MM_AmericanDream_1200X900Express Employment Professionals recently teamed up with the School of Media and Strategic Communications at Oklahoma State University (OSU) in Stillwater, OK, to conduct research about Millennials and their attitudes toward the American Dream. Also known as “Gen Y,” Millennials were born between 1979 and 1995 and currently make up 30% of the population. According to The Council of Economic Advisers for the White House, “Millennials are now the largest, most diverse generation in the U.S.” As they enter the workforce and establish career paths, it’s important to understand the motives and desires behind this robust generation. To help you get to know “Gen Y,” Movin’ On Up is bringing you an eight-week series titled “Millennial Monday.”

In this week’s installment of “Millennial Monday,” Express and OSU students surveyed Millennials, the majority of whom are working full- or part-time, to paint a picture of the generation’s view of heritage and its effect on the American Dream.

The Ideal American Dream
When asked what they include in their definitions of the American Dream, survey respondents indicated that the following are the most important:

  • Owning a home
  • Good work/life balance
  • Enjoying work
  • Raising a family
  • Owning a vehicle
  • Culture’s Effect on Goals

While 72% of respondents identified as American, they are also very proud of their cultural and family traditions. According to Millennials who either grew up in another country or were raised by immigrant family members, 44% believe that it was “very important” to follow American culture when they were growing up. Another 48% believe that following the tradition and culture of their family’s native country while growing was “very important.” When asked how likely they are to pass on their parents’ culture and traditions to their own families, 49% reported they are “very likely” to do so.

While 19% of respondents reported they speak in the language of their family’s native country “very often,” 29% reported that they speak in their family’s native language “not often” around family. Additionally, 43% of those surveyed answered “not often” when asked how often they use media in the language of their family’s native country.

According to the results, Millennials believe in the American Dream, but that dream is different for every individual Millennial. Those whose families have recently immigrated to the United States report different views and attitudes about the American Dream than their parents.

Do you agree with the survey results? Are you a Millennial who either grew up in another country or have family members who did? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

Refresh Leadership is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

2 Responses to New Research: First Generation Millennials and the American Dream

  1. Ed Burghard July 31, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

    Xavier University has done extensive research into what the American Dream is. They have a statistically validated determination and run a monthly national survey to monitor resident sentiment regarding the degree to which they are achieving the American Dream. In general, their findings confirm your own. Everybody has an individual Dream, but collectively they can all be defined by a set of 35 dimensions. Your readers can learn more about this study by visiting –


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