Asian Americans More Hopeful of Achieving the American Dream: MetLife Study


New York: Minority populations are more optimistic than the general population that achievement of the American dream is still possible. According to The 2009 MetLife Study of the American Dreamthe company’s third annual study – 83 percent of Asian Americans believe that they will achieve the American dream in their lifetimes, as do 82 percent of African Americans and 89 percent of Hispanic Americans, compared to only two-thirds (66 percent) of Caucasians. Minority groups are more optimistic that the US economy is headed in the right direction. They also believe in greater numbers than the overall population that the economy will be better in 2009 than it was in 2008.

“We know that striving for the American dream is a universal ideal in the US. This year's findings reveal that minority populations place even more importance on a successful career as a key component to achieving the dream,” said Beth Hirschhorn, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of MetLife.

The study found that Asian Americans view career success as a key component of the American dream. More than half of Asian Americans (53 percent) include career success in their top three definitions of the dream, compared to 44 percent of Hispanic Americans, 43 percent of African Americans and 29 percent of the public overall . Asian Americans are also more likely than the general public to define “financial security” in terms of job security, with 37 percent of Asian Americans including a steady paycheck as an integral component of financial stability.

As a result of the current economic climate, 68 percent of Asian Americans and Hispanic Americans and 63 percent of African Americans are more worried about losing their job over the next 12 months compared to 56 percent of the general public. The study found that 43 percent of Asian Americans believed they could meet their expenses for at least four months in the case of a job loss, compared with 29 percent overall. Eight out of 10 Asian Americans feel that having a personal safety net is more important than last year and are planning to take steps toward creating their own personal safety nets as traditional safety nets, such as corporate and social, continue to erode.

“By working with a financial advisor to create their own personal safety net, one that protects them and their family from the unexpected and ultimately helps grow their wealth, Americans of all socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds may be able to achieve the American dream sooner than they had hoped,” said Joseph Jordan, senior vice president, national sales and marketing for MetLife’s Individual Business.

Finally, the study found that Asian Americans would like more information about financial topics. They are also more likely to say they are interested in financial guarantees such as those associated with life insurance and annuities, when evaluating their purchase decisions and companies they do business with.



From January 7 – 16, 2009, Strategy First Partners, in conjunction with Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, conducted 2,243 online surveys in the United States among the general population as part of The 2009 MetLife Study of the American Dream.

To download The 2009 MetLife Study of the American Dream, visit


About MetLife

MetLife is a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), a leading provider of insurance, employee benefits and financial services with operations throughout the United States and the Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife, Inc. reaches more than 70 million customers around the world. MetLife is the largest life insurer in the United States (based on life insurance in-force). The MetLife companies offer life insurance, annuities, auto and home insurance, retail banking and other financial services to individuals, as well as group insurance and retirement and savings products and services to corporations and other institutions. For more information, visit



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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