Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Nearly three-fourths of U.S. investors believe equality of opportunity is essential to obtaining the American dream, topping a list that includes nine other measures of success, a Gallup poll released Wednesday.
Gallup asked 1,059 U.S. investors how essential they considered a variety of ideas of the American dream, and most placed more value non-material goals.
Seventy-four percent said having equality of opportunity was essential, 23 percent said important but not essential and 3 percent said not important. A majority also said having a good education (63 percent), achieving your full potential (58 percent), making a positive difference in the world (57 percent) and owning your own home (55 percent) were essential.
"When James Truslow Adams first coined the phrase 'The American dream' in his 1931 book The Epic of America, he downplayed the material aspects, instead describing it as 'a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position,'" Gallup said in a release.
"Almost 90 years later, American investors seem to agree with those priorities for what constitutes the American dream, tending to find non-material goals more essential than material ones to their personal vision of achieving the dream."
Rounding out the list of 10 were having a job you love (47 percent), achieving financial success (46 percent), raising children (42 percent), getting married (30 percent) and having a better standard of living than your parents (26 percent).
Investors placed the least importance on getting married -- 26 percent said it was not important -- raising children (21 percent) and having a better standard of living than your parents (18 percent).
Younger investors aged 18-49 were 12 percent more likely to consider achieving financial success essential compared to those 65 years and older. They also place more value on achieving their full potential (11 percent), making a positive difference in the world (10 percent) and owning their own home (10 percent). They are 5 percent less likely to consider having a job you love essential and 3 percent less likely to value a good education.
Among all U.S. investors, 55 percent believe they have achieved the American dream, 36 percent expect to achieve it in the future and 10 percent don't expect to achieve it.
For the poll, Gallup spoke to 1,059 U.S. investors -- defined as having $10,000 or more invested in stocks, bonds or mutual funds -- between Aug. 13-20. The poll has a margin of error of 5 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.