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Adults in Wealthy Nations Don’t Expect Their Kids Will Earn More

Rich nations are generally happier about today's economy than emerging markets, but less optimistic about the future

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Wealthy countries are generally happier than their peers in the developing world about today’s economy, though they are far less upbeat about prospects for the next generation, a new study shows.

According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, a median of 51 percent of people in 17 advanced economies say their current economic conditions are positive, compared to just 45 percent in developing nations.

Pew Research CenterNote: Survey of 34,788 people conducted Feb. 16 to April 28. Margin of error varies by country.

The Netherlands, Germany and Sweden are the most optimistic in the world, while Greece is the lowest with just 2 percent of respondents expressing an upbeat attitude. The U.S. ranked eighth among wealthy countries, with 58 percent of people saying the economy is in good shape.

In the developing world, India has the rosiest view of the economy, while scandal-plagued Brazil is in last place – lower than even Venezuela, which is suffering one of the world’s deepest recessions.

But it’s not all bad news for emerging economies, where a median 56 percent say their children will be better off financially than they are. That compares to just 34 percent in advanced economies, including 37 percent in the U.S., 36 percent in Germany and 24 percent in the U.K.

Pew Research CenterNote: Figures show median percentage from 2017 surveys.

Pew conducted 34,788 surveys in 32 countries from Feb. 16 to April 28. The margin of error varies by country.

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