February 3, 2016

The American Perceptions Initiative (API)— a project of The Heritage Foundation—conducts market research among adult Americans on a variety of issues and policy priorities to provide support for strategy and messaging. Market research is designed to explore the relevancy, credibility and support for the policies, concepts, messages and language used as well as the impact they have to create movement and action to support these policies and vision for America.

All of API’s market research is conducted in partnership with Vision Critical and Heart+Mind Strategies. Vision Critical is a well-respected research firm based on North America with research specialist that cover subjects including public opinion, health, technology, consumer goods, media and travel. They work with household brands, government bodies, not-for-profit organizations and the media to help them better understand their customers and stakeholders. Heart+Mind Strategies is an experienced and award winning consulting firm specializing in winning the hearts and minds of the people that matter most to their client’s success.

February 3, 2016 | Market Research on Entitlements

American Perspectives on Welfare and Poverty

Welfare Should Be Tied to Work

Americans are a generous people who want to help their neighbors. But they also expect their neighbors to do what they can to help themselves. The vast majority of Americans (89%) agree that able-bodied adults who receive welfare assistance from the government should be required to work or prepare for work in exchange for receiving benefits. Most government welfare programs do not include a work requirement, however.

Living Conditions a Crucial Part of Understanding Poverty

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 14.5% of Americans lived in poverty in 2014. However, the poverty measure tells very little about the actual living conditions of the poor. Government data shows that the average poor family in the U.S. has adequate housing, enough to eat, access to medical care, owns a car, and even has cable television, air conditioning, and a computer—conditions 73% of Americans think should not be considered poor.


Source: Online survey using a national representative sample of 879 U.S. voters conducted November 13, 2015 with a margin of error of ±3.3%.

American Perceptions Initiative is a project of The Heritage Foundation’s communications team.

About the Author

Mark Schreiber Director, Strategic Marketing
Strategic Marketing

Elizabeth Fender Market Research Associate
Strategic Marketing

Related Issues: Entitlements