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Survey: Majority Of Black Americans Feel ‘Somewhat Successful’

In terms of how they defined success, most of the survey's respondents listed the ability to provide for their family as an important factor.

According to the results of a new survey by the Pew Research Center, the majority of Black Americans feel somewhat successful in their life but continue to feel external financial pressure despite their stable incomes.

Nearly 5,000 Black Americans were asked about what they define success as, how they feel they fit into it, and what kinds of things prevent them from achieving it.

Pew researchers wrote in the release, “Most Black Americans (66%) consider themselves at least somewhat successful, a quarter (26%) of people surveyed characterized themselves as extremely or very successful.” They additionally found a correlation between those with higher grossing incomes and the latter category. 

In terms of how they defined success, most respondents listed the ability to provide for their family as an important factor. Another prominent answer was “being happy.” Others included having leisure time and having stable material items such as real estate. 

There was a distinction that Pew made in terms of gender, noting that, “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 definition of financial success.”

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

The Pew survey found that the biggest support factors for being able to gain financial success are having supportive family members, good connections and mentors, and having a college degree.

Despite the majority of respondents feeling satisfied with their success, most Black adults reported feeling stressful financial pressures such as worrying about paying their bills, debt, rent, grocery shopping, healthcare, and even paying for retirement.

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