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Millennial and Gen Z Adults Still See American Dream Within Reach Despite Challenges

NEW YORK – November 8, 2023 – While the definition of the “American Dream” is subjective, a new Chase survey of more than 2,500 Millennial and Gen Z adults shows that they believe freedom and homeownership are its most important pillars. The vast majority of respondents (78%) say that their goals are within reach, even as they recognize several factors making it more difficult today, such as housing affordability, inflation and the rising cost of living. The study’s findings also underscore the need for accessible financial education, particularly as young adults prepare for major life purchases.

Key themes:

The state of the economy is worrying potential buyers about major life purchases…

  • The state of the economy is worrying many (78%) about purchasing a home and interest rates are delaying the purchase for 72% of respondents; only 45% are confident in their ability to buy a home when they want one. 
  • Inventory continues to be an issue; 77% of respondents say that housing options in their price range are limited where they want to live and 48% of car buyers are delaying their purchase due to post-pandemic inventory levels.  
  • Nearly 40% say student debt is restricting their ability to buy a home or car.

…so, Millennial and Gen Z adults are thinking differently about their future. 

  • A sense of freedom is key to their goals—respondents expressed their desire to live debt free (48%) and have the ability to travel (41%). 
  • Young adults still see owning a home (90%) and car (78%) as smart investments, but more than half are open to sharing them with others, making co-ownership a different way to reach their goals. 
  • Having children was not selected as part of the American Dream for most (70%), although family is one of their most important values.

Views of attaining the American Dream vary across the country. 

  • Belief in the ability to attain the American Dream, as they define it, varies across the country. For example, 85% of Miami respondents believe in their ability while only 71% of Seattle respondents believe in theirs. 
  • In Miami, 60% of respondents had strong confidence in their ability to purchase a home, compared to just 36% in Columbus and Boston. 
  • 74% of respondents had strong confidence in their ability to purchase a car in Riverside, CA while only 58% said the same in nearby Los Angeles. 

Additionally, many respondents are looking for support as they work towards the major life purchases that may be a part of their American Dream. For example, more than half said they are unaware of down payment assistance programs for a home, particularly low down payment options. Chase offers a variety of tools for customers that can help with education and affordability, including: 

  • Low down payment options and a $5,000 homebuyer grant in more than 15,000 communities nationwide. Chase also offers online tools, like Chase MyHome and the Homebuyer Assistance Finder that can help customers achieve homeownership. 
  • A customized car buying experience and simplified financing process so you can shop for cars online and get pre-qualified without a hard credit inquiry. Chase also offers educational content and tools like a rate calculator and an EV Education website to learn more about the benefits of hybrid and electric vehicles. 
  • A variety of other expert tools and resources to help customers save, budget and plan for their financial goals. 

About Chase 

Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading financial services firm based in the United States with assets of $3.9 trillion and operations worldwide. Chase serves nearly 80 million consumers and nearly 6 million small businesses, with a broad range of financial services, including personal banking, credit cards, mortgages, auto financing, investment advice, small business loans and payment processing. Customers can choose how and where they want to bank: More than 4,700 branches in 48 states and the District of Columbia, more than 15,000 ATMs, mobile, online and by phone. For more information, go to chase.com.

Methodology: Data from on an online Chase survey conducted by Directions Research from July 26 – August 14, 2023. More than 2,500 adults aged 18 to 40 who make at least $25,000 were surveyed in Baltimore, MD; Dallas, TX; Miami, FL; Phoenix, AZ; Columbus, OH; Seattle, WA; Los Angeles and Riverside, CA; and Boston, MA.  

Media Contact: 
Stephanie Scorzelli