The top things Americans hope to see change in their lifetime

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New research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Canva reveals the policy changes Americans would like to see. (Photo by Anna Jiménez Calaf on Unsplash)

What would you like to see the United States achieve in your lifetime?

A new study of 2,000 Americans found over half want to see affordable health care and access to quality education (51% each).

Forty-two percent of those surveyed also said they want to see dedication to 100% renewable energy in their lifetime.

Other dreams for America included no firearm-related deaths (30%), no government corruption (28%) and no homelessness (26%).

Nearly a quarter of those surveyed also said they would like to see poverty eradicated in their lifetime.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Canva, the survey examined people’s dreams for America, as well as what the “American dream” means for people today.

For over half of those surveyed — today’s American dream still includes owning their own home and car and having a family.

For 40% of respondents, just paying off their student loans would mean they’ve accomplished the American dream.

Another aspect of today’s American dream is being able to provide their children with a high-quality education one day, at 31%.

One in five respondents said their version of the American dream is being a positive role model and inspiration for their children.

And speaking of inspiration, the survey found this dream seems to be working — as 44% of respondents said they go to their family to find inspiration for achieving their goals.

Fifty-two percent of respondents also go to teachers for inspiration and 47% said they go to their friends as well.

“For far too long, white picket fences have been synonymous with the traditional American dream,” said a spokesperson for Canva.

“For many, this aspiration is unachievable — and even incomprehensible in this time and age. But things have changed, as we expand the concept of what it means to achieve our crazy big goals.”

Sometimes the American dream is a bit more abstract, however.

Nearly a quarter of respondents said the American dream means realizing your potential, seeing the world and having a positive impact on it.

It appears all of these aspirations have paid off for most of those surveyed, too — 68% of respondents believe that they’ve already “made it” in life and have met their goals and achieved their dreams.

“It’s important to break through the self-imposed confines and limitations of our own minds,” said a spokesperson from Canva. “Inspiration can be found in everything — and it only takes a small idea to make a huge positive impact to the world we live in.

“You can only grow as big as your dreams.”


  1. Affordable health care 51%
  2. Access to quality education 51%
  3. Access to public transportation 46%
  4. 100% renewable energy 42%
  5. No criminals re-offend 36%
  6. No firearm-related deaths 30%
  7. No government corruption 28%
  8. No homelessness 26%
  9. No poverty 24%
  10. No unemployment 23%
  11. No police corruption 22%
  12. No suicides 21%
  13. No single-use plastics 17%


  1. Owning your own home 56%
  2. Owning a car 53%
  3. Having a family 50%
  4. Starting your own business 43%
  5. Paying off student loans 40%
  6. Providing a high-quality education to your children one day 31%
  7. Living in the suburbs 29%
  8. Getting a good job 26%
  9. Being out of credit card debt 26%
  10. Realizing your potential 23%
  11. Having a positive impact on the world 23%
  12. Seeing the world 23%
  13. Retiring in your 60s 22%
  14. Being an inspiration to your children 22%
  15. Getting a great education for yourself 21%

>> Download the video & infographic for this research story <<

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