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Many parents and grandparents who spoke with Fox News have a dismal view of the American dream, saying they worry it’s "dying" or already dead for the next generation.

"They can't afford the American dream," Pat from Gilroy, California, said. "What we wanted when we were young, it's not something our kids can afford."

People walk on sidewalk in Coronado, California

Many people visiting Coronado, California, in late March 2024 told Fox News they worried the American dream was dead or dying. A few had a rosier view of the nation's future, saying future generations could still achieve success with hard work and determination. (Hannah Ray Lambert/Fox News Digital)

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Pat's concerns were echoed by many visiting Coronado on a sunny spring afternoon. Sharon from Paso Robles said the American dream is "dying" because "it's too expensive."

"We got ours, but our kids and our grandkids can't afford homes," she said, standing in a city where Zillow estimates the average home value is nearly $2.5 million. "And they can't afford to do the things they'd like to do."

Their doubt is shared across the nation — only 36% of voters polled last fall in a Wall Street Journal/NORC survey said the American dream still holds true, down from 53% in 2012.

Numbers set over American flag background

Just 36% of surveyed voters said they feel like the American dream still held true in 2023, according to a Wall Street Journal/NORC poll. (Fox News Digital)

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"Americans are not as optimistic as they used to be," El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells told Fox News. "They're worried that they're ever going to be able to have the kind of security and long-term satisfaction that my generation had. And they should be worried because things are not fair right now, and they're stacked against people that work hard and try to achieve that American dream."

Jackie and Brad Matthews from Colorado said it has become nearly impossible for Americans to change their position in life, pointing to skyrocketing housing costs and inflation paired with stagnant wages.

"We kind of are a caste system at this point," Jackie said. "Where you start is generally where you end up."

‘IT'S DYING': PARENTS, GRANDPARENTS WORRY ABOUT FUTURE OF AMERICAN DREAM:

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But a few people were more optimistic. Lori from Glendora said the American dream is "definitely alive and well, you just have to work for it."

"There's such great opportunity here in America," Jack Enright, a small business owner in San Diego, told Fox News.

El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells stands outside city hall

El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells told Fox News that Americans are becoming increasingly pessimistic about the next generation's financial prospects. (Hannah Ray Lambert/Fox News Digital)

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Wells hopes the American dream will become more attainable soon.

"The American dream is like a ‘Rocky’ movie," he said. "He's on the ropes and he's been beat up pretty bad. But, you know, in most ‘Rocky’ movies, he gets up and comes back and wins in the end. I'm hoping that's the case."

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