Existing datasets provided by statistical agencies (e.g. Eurostat) show that the economic and financial crisis that unfolded in 2008 significantly impacted the lives and livelihoods of young people across Europe. Taking these official statistics as a starting point, the collaborative research project "Cultural Pathways to Economic Self-Sufficiency and Entrepreneurship in Europe" (CUPESSE) generated new survey data on the economic and social situation of young Europeans (18-35 years). The CUPESSE dataset allows for country-comparative assessments of young people's perceptions about their socio-economic situation. Furthermore, the dataset includes a variety of indicators examining the socio-economic situation of both young adults and their parents. In this data article, we introduce the CUPESSE dataset to political and social scientists in an attempt to spark a debate on the measurements, patterns and mechanisms of intergenerational transmission of economic self-sufficiency as well as its political implications.