This Is What the “American Dream” Looks Like, According to IKEA

(Image credit: NWHomeworks)

Today the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released the first chapter of a new series that explores what they consider to be the new American Dream. The report, which is sponsored by IKEA U.S., shows how the idea of the American Dream has changed over time and how it will continue to evolve. While the old goal of owning a house with a white picket fence might have been the dream 50 years ago, today it’s more about living on one’s own terms.

The report is based on a survey of 2,050 individuals from diverse backgrounds, including region, age, ethnicity, and income. The first chapter cites that 65 percent of Americans believe that the idea of the “American Dream” is more personal and has less to do with society’s goals. It also notes that that 57 percent of Americans believe that the dream is more about quality of life than material possessions. And more than half (57 percent) of Americans believe that spending quality time with the people they love is an integral part of the American Dream.

According to the EIU, these changes are due in large part to the recession in 2008. “The cost of living today makes it harder to see how one can achieve the American Dream,” the report shows. It’s not a surprise, then, that there needed to be a new, revamped definition of this dream.

IKEA U.S. president Lars Petersson responds to this new definition of the American Dream: “Everyone deserves a home that they love, that is sustainable, looks good, and works well — and where they can live happily with family and friends. We understand cost of living hikes and that college tuition is sky high, but no matter what the dream, we want to help our customers achieve it.”

There will be three more chapters included in this report. According to IKEA, the chapters will roll out once a week for the next three weeks. The second chapter will be about “Fears and Hopes” and will be released on September 26.

Read more: Discover the New American Dream by the Economist Intelligence Unit