NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Homeownership and the American Dream

May 22, 2013

A new Political Report from the American Enterprise Institute explores the relationship between homeownership and the American Dream. The two may not be as intertwined as they once were, but many still aspire to own their own homes. The report also examines the new culture wars, pressures facing families, personal economic outlooks and more, say Karlyn Bowman, Andrew Rugg and Jennifer K. Marsico of the American Enterprise Institute.

  • Seventy-two percent of non-homeowners aspire to homeownership. Forty-five percent of renters say they rent because they can't afford to buy.
  • Fifty-five percent of Americans believe owning a home is a very important part of the American Dream. But 61 percent say renters can be just as successful as homeowners in achieving the American Dream.
  • Forty-four percent think the government should promote traditional values in our society. Fifty-two percent think government should not favor any particular set of values. In the past, a majority favored promoting traditional values.
  • Sixty-eight percent of Americans say economic pressures to make ends meet is a very serious problem facing families today. The problem ranked highest among 16 possible problems facing families.
  • Immigration and gun control rank low on a list of issues for the president and Congress "to work on right now." Forty-two percent chose the economy and jobs, 4 percent choose immigration, and 5 percent guns.

Source: Karlyn Bowman, Andrew Rugg and Jennifer K. Marsico, "Homeownership and the American Dream," American Enterprise Institute, May 2013.


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