Amazing Poll Results: 86 Percent Believe Individuals Make Their Own Success

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey reveals that 86 percent of Americans believe that individuals make their own success in the United States.

Further, the survey finds that 88 percent of American adults think it’s “at least somewhat likely that someone who works hard and makes good decisions will enjoy a middle-class lifestyle,” including 38 percent who say it’s “Very Likely.”

Just 10 percent of respondents believe it is not very or not at all likely to achieve a middle class lifestyle through hard work. The results provide a fascinating look into how most Americans view success — and there appears to be a consensus that if you work hard you can achieve great things in America.

To see the survey question wording, click here.

In a separate poll, Rasmussen Reports found that more than half the country, 52 percent, believe most people get rich by working hard. However, 28 percent believe most get rich by inheriting money and 9 percent believe it is luck that brings riches.


Editor’s note: This national survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on February 23-24, 2013 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.