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NEWS3 March 2017

Half of Americans ‘feel the system is stacked against them’

Europe News North America Trends

US/ EUROPE – New analysis from Dalia Research reveals that 50% of Americans believe that the system is ‘stacked against people like them', compared with 44% of Europeans. 

However, Americans are more likely than Europeans to believe that they can change their lives with hard work: 84% of Americans agreed with this sentiment ( 6% disagreed), compared with 65% of Europeans who agreed (and 16% disagreed). 

The picture is more nuanced on a country-by-country basis within the EU: 57% of Italians agreed with the idea that the system was stacked against them, as did 49% of Polish respondents. The UK came out slightly lower than the EU average, at 43% in agreement.

The UK was only just behind the US with regard to agreement with the idea that if they work hard they can improve their life: 76% agreed with this statement. Slightly fewer Italians ( 70%) were in agreement, followed by Poland ( 66%). 

'Social mobility, or having the ability to move up the ladder of success to a higher social class, is a core part of the American mythos,’ the report read. ‘Stories of rags to riches and self-made millionaires are commonplace among America’s lore, glorified even, in comparison to Europe’s more modest visions of social equality for people of all classes.' 

Findings were based on a census-representative survey of over 11,000 people across the EU and over 1,000 in the US in December 2016.