American Dream State Ranking Report

Which States Do Residents Rate Highest For Being Able To Achieve Their American Dream?

The ADCI or the American Dream Composite IndexTM  is a measure of the level of satisfaction with all the dimensions of the American Dream among people living in the United States. The ADCI represents the first measurement that quantifies the American Dream in its entirety. A comprehensive and robust measure, the ADCI gauges our nation’s well-being as a function of the multifaceted American Dream. The ADCI takes into account all aspects of life in its calculation. The ADCI measures true aspiration of the people living in the United States and is based on a monthly survey of 1,000 people living in the United States. The results of the survey respondents are used to calculate the ADCI, and the five sub-indices (Economic, Well-Being, Societal, Diversity, and Environment).

The American Dream States and Cities Report is based on the latest 3 calendar years of data and the results are statistically projectable.


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The New “Gold Standard” Performance Measure

The Burghard Group advocates that the ADCI is an excellent performance measure to evaluate the authenticity of Brand America’s promise and should be used by economic development professionals and elected officials as the “gold standard” metric to assess the ability of their communities to enable residents to achieve their American Dream.

In today’s economic development world the focus is on jobs and gross state product growth. But, the ADCI study clearly indicates that while these two measures are necessary, they are not sufficient to understand if residents are making progress in achieving their American Dream. And, because the opportunity to achieve the American Dream is what our nation promises its residents, it should be the measure by which we ultimately determine success or failure.

Additional Background

The following links provide additional insight into what the American Dream Composite Index is and how it can be used to help guide strategic planning.

How Authentic is Brand America’s Promise?

Time To Change The Dialogue

Utilizing The American Dream Composite Index To Identify Regional Performance Gaps

Utilizing The American Dream Composite Index To Identify State Performance Gaps

Using the ADCI For Strategic Plan Design

What Do Business Executives Think About the ADCI?

ADCI Research Methodology Explained

2013 American Dream State Ranking Report

2014 American Dream State Ranking Report

Employment Differences In Achieving The American Dream

Racial Differences In Achieving The American Dream

Generational Differences In Achieving The American Dream


The goal of the rankings is to educate readers about the American Dream and stimulate a conversation around how residents can be better enabled to achieve more of their American Dream.

For purposes of State and City Rankings, the ADCI data is considered secondary data.  The ADCI research hypothesis is to value the American Dream as a nation (all 50 states and DC together).  Respondents self-identify their states  every month, and used as a balancing item for state population strata based on the most recent census.

The State and City Ranking is authored by the Burghard Group for the purpose of educating leaders on the quality of life around the country.  It is impossible to accurately measure the error rate given that neither a uniform nor standard rate is gathered from each state every month.  Data is compiled for the year for each state and then evaluated.