SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The idea of the “California Dream” appears to be fading, as more than half of Californians who responded in a newly released survey said the idea of attaining the American Dream is easier outside the Golden State.
In a PRRI survey of more than 3,300 adults, 55 percent said the idea of a person getting ahead through hard work is harder to achieve in California than elsewhere in the country. Meanwhile, only 16 percent said it was easier to achieve financial security in California compared to other states.
Researchers also found a majority of Californians pessimistic about the existence of the “American Dream.” Forty-three percent said the idea once held true but not anymore, while another 10 percent said it never held true.
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Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed, 64 percent, said they would advise young people in their communities to leave to find more opportunity elsewhere.
The survey also found a staggering number of Californians who are working and struggling with poverty.
About 31 percent of Californians were found to be working and in poverty, the group found, which translates to 47 percent of the state’s workers.
“It is striking that nearly one-third of Californians are finding that the promise of the American Dream—that if you work hard, you’ll get ahead—is not coming true for them,” PRRI CEO Robert P. Jones said in a written statement.
The researchers found six in 10 workers who were struggling were Latino. Over half of workers surveyed in the San Joaquin Valley, Sacramento Valley and Central Coast struggle with poverty, researchers found.
Despite the high cost of living in the Bay Area, PRRI found only 27 percent of workers surveyed in the nine-county region were struggling with poverty.
PRRI reports the margin of error for the survey is plus / minus 2.8 percent.