Mar 24, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Exclusive poll: Most Latinos believe in the American dream

Latino American views on U.S. opportunity
Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

A majority of Latinos in the U.S. say they can still reach the American dream, and over 90% say hard work and the ability to speak English are needed to succeed, a new Axios-Ipsos Latino Poll in partnership with Noticias Telemundo found.

Why it matters: The optimism comes even after two years of a pandemic that has disproportionately hit Latinos and amid deep polarization and systemic racism, the findings in our second Axios-Ipsos Latino Poll show.

By the numbers: About 61% of the 1,005 U.S. Latino adults surveyed said they believe they "can live the American dream."

  • When asked the most important factors to succeed in the U.S., 94% said "a strong work ethic and working hard."
  • 94% also said the ability to speak fluent English and a supportive family were needed.
  • Only 44% said you needed wealthy parents to help you in the U.S.

What they're saying: "Hispanic Americans are less likely to sort of voice concerns or complaints that there are things that are going to stop them from being able to achieve (success)," Ipsos pollster and senior vice president Chris Jackson told Axios.

  • The findings show that Latinos are generally optimistic that they can transcend barriers like racism and poverty, Jackson said.
  • "There are exceptions, but broadly speaking, this is a sort of a more optimistic point of view."

Details: A breakdown showed Mexican Americans, who make up the largest Latino group in the U.S. and are largely Democrats, were slightly less optimistic than Cuban Americans, who tend to favor Republicans.

  • 58% of Mexican Americans surveyed said they could still obtain the American dream, while 72% of Cuban Americans thought so.
  • 45% of Mexican Americans felt rich parents are needed to be successful compared to 54% of Cuban Americans who did.
  • 52% of Mexican Americans said they were optimistic about the future of the U.S. compared to 39% of Puerto Ricans and 47% of Cuban Americans.

The intrigue: Only 48% of Central Americans said the U.S. makes them feel as if they belong here, possibly a result of the heated rhetoric around Central American migrants in recent years.

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Latino Poll, in partnership with Noticias Telemundo, was conducted March 7-18 2021, by Ipsos' KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,005 Hispanic/Latino adults age 18 or older.

  • The margin of sampling error is ±3.7 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample.

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