Most African Americans Feel They Are Successful, Study Shows

At least 66 percent of the participants in the survey consider themselves at least “somewhat successful.”

Despite several challenges that exist, a majority of African Americans feel successful, according to a recent study.

CNN reports that a survey conducted with 4,700 Black American participants discovered their definitions of success — how they define it, how they view themselves in that context, and the concerns they have in achieving it.

“Most Black Americans (66 percent) consider themselves at least somewhat successful,” the Pew Center study concluded.

Additionally, 26 percent of those who were surveyed described themselves as “extremely” or “very successful” and those participants who had the highest incomes were “most likely to fall in this category.”

In the study, a majority of participants characterized success as providing financially for their families (82 percent), having personal happiness (80 percent), having leisure time (65 percent), the enjoyment of their work 56 percent, owning their own home (52 percent) and helping others 50 percent.

The study also found that other markers of success were being “debt free” (67 percent) and having disposable income to do what they want (65 percent), leaving an inheritance to loved ones (44 percent), and having multiple streams of income (43 percent).

Poll: Most Blacks Optimistic About Their Financial Future

About 35 percent of responders chose early retirement while 22 percent selected business ownership as benchmarks for success.

Pew researchers also discovered the differences in what constitutes success based on gender.

“Black women are more likely than Black men to say being debt-free, being able to pass down financial assets, and being able to retire early are essential to their personal definition of financial success,” the study read.

And there are differences based on income. “Black adults with lower levels of family income are more likely than those with middle or upper incomes to say being debt-free and owning a business are essential.”

From another aspect, most participants surveyed in the study did not correlate personal relationships with success.

“Far fewer see personal relationships having a significant role in success,” Pew researchers said.

Regardless of economic status, most Black Americans feel financial pressure with 28 percent of respondents saying “they could not cover expenses for three months.”

In an analysis of Black Americans’ income in July, the study found that only 6 percent of Black Americans made $100,000 or more in 2021. 

Of those who said they would need at least $100,000 to live the life they want, 62 percent believed they will reach that income level in the future.

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