A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that only 37 percent of Americans believe that children today will be better off financially than their parents were. This figure reflects continued pessimism about the economic welfare of future generations, given the fact that the cost of housing, education, and health care continues to rise. The cost of education, in particular, continues to rise well above the overall rate of inflation, making it more expensive for children to attain the same level of education as their parents, putting them deeper into debt when they get out of college, and keeping them from attaining the same life milestones as quickly as their parents. They also make less money than previous generations
The Pew survey interviewed people in 32 different countries. Of the advanced countries surveyed, only in Russia did a majority of people believe that their children would be better off. Most European countries interviewed had less favorable figures than the United States, with 36% of Germans thinking their children would be better off, 24% of British thinking so, and only 9% of French respondents seeing a brighter future for their children. By far the most optimistic country surveyed was India, where 76% of respondents thought their children would be better off. While many of the survey figures undoubtedly reflect attitudes internal to specific countries, the widespread pessimism among Westerners has an undeniable basis in fact, as it becomes ever more expensive to achieve the high standards of living to which Westerners are accustomed.