About Your American Dream Score


What’s Your American Dream Score? Take the quiz. Share your score and story.

Understanding Factors that Shape the Your American Dream Score: 

How’d You Get Here

You Didn’t Build That: Why Remembering Your Good Fortune Can Be Good For You and Others

Your American Dream Score is an initiative of Moving Up, an online platform designed to create a new conversation about what it takes to get ahead in America.  Both were created by Bob McKinnon, author and founder of GALEWiLL, an organization that designs social change programs. Digital design for the tool was done by Sol Design.

Your American Dream Score asks respondents to answer 13 questions about their life. Each question represents a factor that research shows correlates to social mobility and/or happiness in life. Similarly, all of the options within each question are also based on specific research related to mobility or positive life outcomes.  Once completed they receive a composite score and a list of factors working for and against them.  The higher your score, the more you had to overcome.  The lower the score, the more you had working in your favor. People are also given a link to a song that symbolizes their journey (i.e. gratitude, struggle, pride). With score in hand, people are then encouraged to take an action —  including sharing it with others, thanking those that helped them get ahead, diving deeper into each factor and connecting them with organizations that help people move up in life.

The premise behind Your American Dream Score is that if we want to engage people on the issues like poverty, inequality, and opportunity, then we must find new ways to bring them into the conversation. By allowing someone to assess their own station in life, they gain a better understanding of the myriad of factors that impacts someone’s ability to move up or down in the world. Research suggests that this type personal framing and reflection can lead to increased support for issues and their corresponding solutions.

Creation of the tool was made possible through generous support from the Ford Foundation. The development of Your American Dream Score was greatly aided by not only their counsel but also by a myriad of scholars and organizations on whose research this tool is based.  They include:

Isabel Sawhill and Richard Reeves, The Brookings Institution Richard Kahlenberg, The Century Foundation Suzanne Mettler, Cornell University Robert Frank, Cornell University James Marks, Deborah Bae, Martha Davis, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Paul Piff, University of California Irvine Rachel-Rise Ruttan, Northwestern University Shai Davidai, The New School Irwin Redlener, Children’s Health Fund Roy Wade, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Raj Chetty and Jordan Richmond, Stanford University The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Nicholas Christakis, Yale University Paul Tough, Author Carol Dweck, Stanford University Roy Baumeister, Florida State University