From the latest Barna Update: (based upon telephone interviews conducted by The Barna Group with a random sample of 1003 adults selected from across the continental United States, age 18 and older, in May 2008.)
Three-quarters of all adults identified the following as being very important elements in their ideal life.
- good physical health (85%),
- living with a high degree of integrity (also 85%),
- having one marriage partner for life (80%),
- having a clear purpose for living (77%),
- having a close relationship with God (75%), and
- having close, personal friendships (74%).
Items listed by at least half of the adults interviewed:
- a comfortable lifestyle ( 70%),
- a satisfying sex life with their marriage partner (66%),
- children (66%),
- living close to family and relatives(63%),
- being deeply committed to the Christian faith (59%), and
- making a difference in the world (56%).
Seven conditions that only a minority of Americans deemed worthy of including in their vision of their desired future life:
- having a college degree (46%),
- being personally active in a church (45%),
- traveling throughout the world for pleasure (28%),
- working in a high-paying job (28%),
- owning a large home (18%),
- owning the latest household technology/electronics (11%) and
- achieving fame or public recognition (7%).
COMPARISONS WITH PREVIOUS YEARS:
What Adults Want Their Future to Include
|having good physical health||85%||91%||92%||93%|
|living with a high degree of integrity||85%||81%||n/a||76%|
|having one marriage partner for life||80%||79%||n/a||n/a|
|having a clear purpose for living||77%||75%||71%||n/a|
|having a close relationship with God||75%||70%||74%||72%|
|having close, personal friendships||74%||75%||79%||73%|
|having a comfortable lifestyle||70%||61%||72%||59%|
|having a satisfying sex life with your marriage partner||66%||63%||n/a||n/a|
|living close to your family and relatives||63%||60%||63%||67%|
|being deeply committed to the Christian faith||59%||53%||n/a||n/a|
|making a difference in the world||56%||47%||n/a||n/a|
|having a college degree||46%||51%||n/a||n/a|
|being personally active in a church||45%||42%||n/a||n/a|
|traveling throughout the world for pleasure||28%||26%||n/a||n/a|
|working in a high-paying job||28%||29%||43%||36%|
|owning a large home||18%||21%||30%||23%|
|owning the latest household technology/electronics||11%||9%||n/a||n/a|
|achieving fame or public recognition||7%||6%||10%||10%|
|survey sample size||1003||1002||1202||1003|
(Source: The Barna Group, Ventura, CA)
COMMENT [Ben]: I’m actually a little bit surprised, and somewhat impressed. I kind of wonder how the survey was conducted – whether the way the questions were asked influenced the outcome in any way. My second question is: how much do lifestyle choices reflect these desires. In other words, are the choices people making reflecting these stated desires? Do our lifestyle choices and actions betray a different set of real desires?
Visit the Barna Update for more details and analysis.