General Social Survey, 1998

Data Archive > U.S. Surveys > General Population > National > General Social Surveys > Analysis


GETAHEAD

Some people say that people get ahead by their own hard work; others say that lucky breaks or help from other people are more important. Which do you think is most important?
  1) Hard work most important
  2) Hard work, luck equally important
  3) Luck most important
  8) Don't know
  9) No answer

Category Frequency Percentage Cumulative Percentage Z-Score
Hard work most important 1247 66.3% 66.3% -.51
Hard work, luck equally important 417 22.2% 88.4% .47
Luck most important 195 10.4% 98.8% 1.45
Don't know 13 .7% 99.5% 6.34
No answer 10 .5% 100% 7.32

Variable Comparisons


Sex (I-SEX)

Male Female TOTAL
Hard work most important 64.4%
511
67.6%
736
66.3%
1247
Hard work, luck equally important 22.7%
180
21.8%
237
22.2%
417
Luck most important 11.5%
91
9.6%
104
10.4%
195
Don't know 0.5%
4
0.8%
9
0.7%
13
No answer 1.0%
8
0.2%
2
0.5%
10
TOTAL 100.0%
794
100.0%
1088

1882


Race (I-RACE)

White Black Other TOTAL
Hard work most important 66.6%
994
64.2%
170
66.9%
83
66.3%
1247
Hard work, luck equally important 22.5%
336
20.4%
54
21.8%
27
22.2%
417
Luck most important 9.6%
144
14.0%
37
11.3%
14
10.4%
195
Don't know 0.7%
10
1.1%
3
0.0%
0
0.7%
13
No answer 0.6%
9
0.4%
1
0.0%
0
0.5%
10
TOTAL 100.0%
1493
100.0%
265
100.0%
124

1882


Religious preference (I-RELIG)

Protestant Catholic Jewish None Other TOTAL
Hard work most important 68.2%
698
65.7%
303
55.9%
19
59.2%
157
71.4%
70
66.3%
1247
Hard work, luck equally important 20.1%
206
24.3%
112
29.4%
10
27.9%
74
15.3%
15
22.2%
417
Luck most important 10.6%
109
8.7%
40
11.8%
4
11.3%
30
12.2%
12
10.4%
195
Don't know 0.7%
7
0.9%
4
0.0%
0
0.4%
1
1.0%
1
0.7%
13
No answer 0.4%
4
0.4%
2
2.9%
1
1.1%
3
0.0%
0
0.5%
10
TOTAL 100.0%
1024
100.0%
461
100.0%
34
100.0%
265
100.0%
98

1882


Marital status (I-MARITAL)

Never married Married Widowed/Divorced/Separated TOTAL
Hard work most important 63.5%
280
68.7%
609
64.7%
358
66.3%
1247
Hard work, luck equally important 22.4%
99
22.4%
199
21.5%
119
22.2%
417
Luck most important 12.5%
55
7.9%
70
12.7%
70
10.4%
195
Don't know 1.1%
5
0.5%
4
0.5%
3
0.6%
12
No answer 0.5%
2
0.6%
5
0.5%
3
0.5%
10
TOTAL 100.0%
441
100.0%
887
100.0%
553

1881


Age (I-AGE)

18-29 years 30-39 years 40-49 years 50-64 years More than 65 years TOTAL
Hard work most important 63.0%
223
71.8%
328
66.3%
254
60.5%
225
69.1%
217
66.3%
1247
Hard work, luck equally important 22.9%
81
19.0%
87
20.4%
78
26.3%
98
22.6%
71
22.1%
415
Luck most important 12.4%
44
8.3%
38
11.7%
45
12.4%
46
7.0%
22
10.4%
195
Don't know 1.1%
4
0.2%
1
1.0%
4
0.3%
1
1.0%
3
0.7%
13
No answer 0.6%
2
0.7%
3
0.5%
2
0.5%
2
0.3%
1
0.5%
10
TOTAL 100.0%
354
100.0%
457
100.0%
383
100.0%
372
100.0%
314

1880


Education (I-EDUCATIO)

Less than high school High school 4 years college More than 4 years college TOTAL
Hard work most important 67.0%
75
69.2%
530
64.5%
510
62.6%
129
66.3%
1244
Hard work, luck equally important 17.9%
20
19.8%
152
23.6%
187
27.2%
56
22.1%
415
Luck most important 12.5%
14
9.8%
75
11.0%
87
8.7%
18
10.3%
194
Don't know 2.7%
3
0.7%
5
0.5%
4
0.5%
1
0.7%
13
No answer 0.0%
0
0.5%
4
0.4%
3
1.0%
2
0.5%
9
TOTAL 100.0%
112
100.0%
766
100.0%
791
100.0%
206

1875


Family income (I-FAMINCOM)

LT $10,000 $10K-24999 $25,000+ Ref/DK TOTAL
Hard work most important 60.3%
123
66.1%
275
67.6%
702
65.9%
147
66.3%
1247
Hard work, luck equally important 21.1%
43
22.1%
92
22.3%
232
22.4%
50
22.2%
417
Luck most important 17.2%
35
10.3%
43
9.1%
95
9.9%
22
10.4%
195
Don't know 0.5%
1
1.2%
5
0.5%
5
0.9%
2
0.7%
13
No answer 1.0%
2
0.2%
1
0.5%
5
0.9%
2
0.5%
10
TOTAL 100.0%
204
100.0%
416
100.0%
1039
100.0%
223

1882


Region (I-REGION)

New England North Central MD/S Atlantic South Central Mtn/Pacific TOTAL
Hard work most important 59.3%
54
71.1%
324
64.8%
412
68.2%
223
62.9%
234
66.3%
1247
Hard work, luck equally important 27.5%
25
16.7%
76
24.4%
155
19.0%
62
26.6%
99
22.2%
417
Luck most important 13.2%
12
10.3%
47
10.1%
64
10.7%
35
9.9%
37
10.4%
195
Don't know 0.0%
0
1.1%
5
0.5%
3
1.2%
4
0.3%
1
0.7%
13
No answer 0.0%
0
0.9%
4
0.3%
2
0.9%
3
0.3%
1
0.5%
10
TOTAL 100.0%
91
100.0%
456
100.0%
636
100.0%
327
100.0%
372

1882


Political party (I-POLPART)

Democrat Republican Other TOTAL
Hard work most important 66.1%
584
69.4%
439
61.2%
219
66.2%
1242
Hard work, luck equally important 21.6%
191
21.8%
138
24.3%
87
22.2%
416
Luck most important 11.5%
102
7.7%
49
12.0%
43
10.3%
194
Don't know 0.5%
4
0.5%
3
1.7%
6
0.7%
13
No answer 0.3%
3
0.6%
4
0.8%
3
0.5%
10
TOTAL 100.0%
884
100.0%
633
100.0%
358

1875

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