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Although the average African American makes about $35,000 — nearly $16,000 below the national average — a new poll shows that most blacks are not only satisfied with their lives, but are also optimistic.

The new survey, conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, discovered that a whopping 86 percent of African Americans agreed that they were pleased with their lives, reports NPR.

Sixty percent of African Americans said they were not living “The American Dream,” but they all had high hopes for eventually having a nice house with a white picket fence. Twenty-one percent of blacks reported that they are already living the dream.

Despite statistics indicating that unemployment and income for African-Americans are distressing, half of the respondents labeled their financial condition as “good” or “excellent.”

Robert Blendon, a researcher of the survey, noted that the reason why blacks’ outlook on their economic position is higher than expected is that besides money, many other factors contribute to satisfaction.

“People view their lives in very complex ways; it’s not just one-dimensional,” Blendon said.

Optimism and satisfaction exemplify the African-American community, but there is still a sense of uneasiness about the future. Blacks are mainly concerned about losing their jobs and costly health bills. They listed high blood pressure and stroke as the most prevalent health concern in their families.

On the bright side, since 2002, satisfaction in health care doubled to 47 percent. A decade ago, nearly 20 percent of African-Americans were uninsured. Figures from a 2011 study show that only about 13 percent have no health coverage.

Here’s a surprising tidbit: only 25 percent of women — ages 18 to 29 — desire a long-term relationship compared to 43 percent of men. Black men are less likely than women to pursue advanced degrees, so women see no financial gain in searching for a love connection. Men, however, see the economic upside in dating a modern African-American woman.

This poll surveyed about 1,081 respondents and most resided in the South or urban areas which accurately represent the black population as a whole.

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