Wealth holds a great attraction for the young, according to a recent Pew Social Trends survey, with 20% of all adults under age 30 saying being wealthy is a top priority for them — easily the largest proportion of any age group — and another 42% saying it’s at least somewhat important to them. But the dream apparently diminishes with age. Only about 14% of adults between the ages of 30 and 49 place a high premium on being wealthy. And by the time adults reach their 50s, just one-in-ten place a similarly high priority on riches. Minorities also are significantly more likely than whites to value wealth. More than a quarter (26%) of all blacks says that it’s very important to them to be rich, nearly three times the proportion of whites (9%). Hispanics are more than twice as likely as whites to rate wealth as a top priority (21% vs. 9%). Overall, first-generation Americans are twice as likely as subsequent generations to say it’s important to them to be rich (25% vs. 12%). Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.