More than half of the school-age children asked (52 percent) said they believe they will have a better standard of living, better homes and a better education than their parents while 5 percent said a better life was somewhat or very unlikely.
By gender, 46 percent of girls and 41 percent of boys said they likely would have a better future with girls marginally more optimistic about achieving a better standard of living than their parents. Fifty-four percent of non-white students were optimistic of improved prospects for their lives compared to 31 percent of white students.
The optimism of the next generation was a bit more tempered among U.S adults, nearly half of whom (49 percent) said today's youth would likely have a better life than they have in a USA Today-Gallup poll conducted in December, Gallup said. Fifty percent of adults were pessimistic about the prospects for the youth having a better standard of living.
The Gallup poll was based on telephone interviews with 1,217 students in grades 5 through 12 conducted from Sept. 11-Oct. 4.
Parents had to give permission for the pollsters to re-contact the school-age children who participated in the survey, which had a total sampling error of 3 percent.