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New Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll Finds Younger Generations Are Redefining Path to Success

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 11, 2015) Younger Americans are shifting how they achieve the shared American goals of family, homeownership and career as they face new, evolving challenges, finds a new poll released today by The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) and National Journal.

The 23rd Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll explores Americans’ priorities and expectations for their personal finances, education, employment and family life. The poll also takes an in-depth look at Americans’ perceptions about the best “road map” to a successful life and the difference between “younger” Americans who are getting started in life and “older” Americans who have moved past that stage.[1]

“Young people want the ‘American Dream’ of homeownership, career and financial security, though they’re working hard to achieve it on different paths compared to their parents and other generations,” said Troy Hawkes, Field Senior Vice President of Allstate. “The latest Heartland Monitor data also reflects that younger Americans want to invest in their local communities in terms of commitment and volunteerism. Their dedication is a good sign for the future of our communities.”

When it comes to goals, young people are setting themselves apart:

  • In identifying priorities for their careers, younger Americans rank, “doing something enjoyable” (32 percent) as the most important priority compared to older respondents, who looking back, ranked earning money (33 percent) as their top priority.
  • Half (50 percent) in the younger group think it’s better for their career and family to move to a different part of the country. Just 28 percent in the older group feel the same.
  • Younger Americans are evenly split on a choice between living in a place with fewer public services and lower taxes (48 percent) and a place with more services and higher taxes (50 percent).  By two-to-one (65 percent-31 percent), older Americans prefer the former, low-tax options.
  • Younger Americans are also much more drawn to settling down in places with active cultures of community and volunteerism. Fifty-five percent find this very appealing, compared to 44 percent of the older group looking back at their priorities when they were starting out.
  • On two important family issues, the younger group is more likely than the older group to say that people should wait until they are financially secure to get married (73 percent vs. 55 percent) and also to have children (86 percent vs. 67 percent).
  • Just over half (51 percent) of younger Americans say that if they were raising children today, the better choice for their family would be two working parents and school/childcare. The preference is flipped among the older group, with 55 percent preferring a parent at home and 41 percent preferring two working parents.

But, these new requirements for success come with a number of challenges for younger respondents, including paying off student loans and attaining financial security:

  • Overall, 68 percent of younger Americans think they have a harder time starting out than previous generations, while 80 percent of older Americans agree that getting started today is harder than when they were at the same point of life.
  • 45 percent of younger respondents indicated that they have student loan debt compared to 28 percent of older respondents who had student loan debt when they were first getting started. Among the younger group, those with student loans are considerably (75 percent) more pessimistic, believing it is harder for young people to get started today than those without student loan debt (63 percent).
  • Yet, 70 percent of younger Americans say they believe their personal financial situation will be better by this time next year, compared to only 41 percent of the older group share the same optimism. Younger adults with student loan debt are even more optimistic about their personal financial situation improving (74percent) than those without education debt (67 percent).
  • More than half of the younger respondents (54 percent) believe they will be able to retire before age 65, compared to just 41 percent of the current, older non-retirees.

“While young and old agree that people just starting out today face a much steeper path than earlier generations, the latest Heartland Monitor makes clear that younger Americans are redrawing the roadmap to success, from their priorities in a job to career strategies, family arrangements and the kind of communities that offer the most rewarding life,” said Ronald Brownstein, Atlantic Media Editorial Director. “Eventually, employers, marketers, politicians — and pretty much every other segment of American life — will need to react to the new priorities and preferences that America’s rising generations are expressing in this fascinating poll.”


To see in-depth poll data for the 23rd quarterly Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll, please visit

Survey Methodology
This 23rd installment of the Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll investigates Americans’ experiences and perspectives on getting started in life and seeks answers to the following questions: What are the rules of success in today’s economy compared to previous years?  What do people in different life stages think about major milestones such as home ownership, marriage, and children?  What expectations do Americans have for their personal finances, their career, where to live, and retirement? The poll was conducted by FTI Consulting, from May 17-27, 2015. The survey was conducted among a national sample of 900 adults age 18+, with 450 reach via cell phone and 450 reached via landline.  The survey also included an additional oversample of 200 adults age 18-24 nationwide, with 150 reached via cell phone and 50 reached via landline. This total sample of 1,100 adults was weighted by age, gender, and race/ethnicity to a nationally representative sample of 1,000. The margin of error for a sample of 1,000 is +/- 3.1 in 95 out of 100 cases.

About Allstate Corporation
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, protecting approximately 16 million households from life’s uncertainties through auto, home, life and other insurance offered through its Allstate, Esurance, Encompass and Answer Financial brand names. Allstate is widely known through the slogan “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®.” The Allstate brand’s network of small businesses offers auto, home, life and retirement products and services to customers in the United States and Canada. In 2014, The Allstate Foundation, Allstate, its employees and agency owners gave $34 million to support local communities. Allstate employees and agency owners donated 200,000 hours of service across the country.

About National Journal Group
National Journal Group (NJG) is a premium provider of essential insights, analysis, and solutions for those operating in Washington’s policy and government arenas. The brand currently reaches an audience of over 3 million through its editorial products, including, HotlineNational Journal, the magazine, and National Journal Daily.   In addition, NJG serves 700 of Washington’s top organizations through its robust Membership Services, and convenes the nation’s top leaders at its 75 widely attended live events each year.

Tim Hartman is the Chief Executive Officer, Tim Grieve is President and Editor-in-Chief and Poppy MacDonald serves as President and Publisher. National Journal Group is a division of Atlantic Media.

About The Next Economy
The Next Economy is based on a core idea: even in the face of a political stalemate at the national level, our country has not lost its capacity for self-renewal. Founded in 2009, the program uses print, digital and live platforms to highlight how America is adapting to the changing economy, with a special focus on spotlighting local innovation driving progress in communities around the country. Combining editorial, events and the Heartland Monitor Poll, The Next Economy is available at

About FTI Consulting
FTI Consulting, Inc. (NYSE: FCN) is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 4,400 employees located in 26 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.76 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2014. For more information, visit and connect with us on Twitter (@FTIConsulting), Facebook and LinkedIn.

Media Contacts:

Jeff Cartwright
National Journal
(202) 266-7405

Dan Margolis
FTI Consulting, for Allstate
(213) 452-6472

Pamela Morris
(847) 402-5600

[1] This survey classified respondents into one of two categories: “Younger” Americans are age 18-24 and those ages 25-29 who answered that they were still “getting started” in life.  “Older” Americans are age 30+ and those ages 25-29 who did not consider themselves to be still getting started.