Americans still think hard work will take them places. That sense of can-do optimism sets people of the U.S.A. apart from the rest of the world.
In a Pew Research Center survey of people in 44 countries, 57 percent of Americans disagreed with the statement, “Success in life is pretty much determined by forces outside our control.” That percentage was much higher than most other countries and high above the global median of 38 percent.
When asked–on a scale of 0 to 10–how important working hard is to getting ahead in life, 73 percent of Americans gave it a “10” or said it was “very important.” Among the other 44 countries, the global median was 50 percent.
When compared to other wealthy countries, Americans also stand out when it comes to their religiosity. People in richer nations are usually less likely than those in poorer countries to say religion plays a very important role in their lives. But not when it comes to Americans.
More than half of Americans (54 percent) say religion is very important in their lives. That is much higher than people in Canada (24 percent), Australia (21 percent) and Germany (21 percent), which are the next three wealthiest economies Pew surveyed from 2011 through 2013.
In the U.S., 53 percent say belief in God is a prerequisite for being moral and having good values, compared to 23 percent in Australia and 15 percent in France, according to the study.