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Few Hispanics and Latinos believe American Dream is "alive and well," survey finds

Latinos in U.S. less sure of American Dream

Less than 1 in 5 second-generation Hispanics and Latinos living in the United States believe the American Dream is "alive and well," according to a recent survey commissioned by We Are All Human, a foundation focused on diversity and inclusion. The findings were released Monday at the Hispanic Leadership Summit at the United Nations.

In the survey, nearly half of second-generation respondents said they believed that the American Dream was alive, "but not what it once was."

Claudia Romo Edelman, founder of We Are All Human, believed the decline in confidence was a problem of representation. After November's midterm elections, the percentage of Hispanics in Congress will be just shy of 8 percent, while the share of Latinos in the total U.S. population is estimated to be approximately 18 percent — or nearly 58 million people.

Two-thirds of those surveyed said their vote as a U.S. citizen "didn't count." 

"They haven't seen themselves represented, not in media, not politics, not anywhere," said Edelman in an interview with CBSN.

First-generation Hispanics are more optimistic, according to the survey. Thirty-seven percent of first-generation Hispanics and Latinos survey respondents believe the American Dream is alive and well.  Just under half of first-generation respondents believe the current state of the Hispanic community was "very good" to "excellent."

Edelman believed the survey findings called for a unification of the Hispanic community within the United States. Those who identify as Hispanic come from more than two dozen Central and South American countries, and can sometimes prioritize their home country's affiliation rather than embracing the Hispanic community as a whole, Edelman said.

"Those 26 different origins should become one, one strong Hispanic community that has a voice together and can come and express it and demand the government and corporations to show us their love," Edelman said.

Zeno Group, a global communications firm, was commissioned by We Are All Human to conduct the Hispanic Sentiment Study, which surveyed more than 2,500 Hispanics and Latinos over the age of 14.