Due to the vast differences among the people that make up the United States, it is often difficult to clearly identify one unique “American lifestyle.” However, there are a number of core elements that are generally valued by the vast majority of people living in the United States, each of which impacts the way people live their lives and conduct their relationships with one another. The historic core of these ideas are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but the way these translate to an average American lifestyle can vary. Ultimately, a degree of assimilation is expected of people who are not native-born citizens of the United States; while their connections to their native culture should not be abandoned altogether, individuals are almost expected to alter their lifestyle slightly to fall more in line with the mainstream norms and values of the dominant culture.
The average life of an American involves their nuclear family; the traditional household is made up of parents and their minor children. Unlike other societies, the American lifestyle does not incorporate extended family members into the household; when children reach adult age, they traditionally move into their own households, distinct from their adult parents. While family is an important part of the American lifestyle, so is individualism. To that end, Americans strongly believe in what is known as the American Dream – the idea that people can work hard and they will find success. However, Americans also share a deep sense of connection to one another within their community, and many will go to great distances to help others; from charity walks to GoFundMe accounts, individuals generally make it part of their lifestyle to help those who are less fortunate than themselves.