Monday, November 28, 2016
The Typical American Lives Only 18 Miles From Mom
Yet that picture masks a key fact about the geography of family in the United States: The typical adult lives only 18 miles from his or her mother, according to an Upshot analysis of data from a comprehensive survey of older Americans. Over the last few decades, Americans have become less mobile, and most adults – especially those with less education or lower incomes — do not venture far from their hometowns.
The data reveal a country of close-knit families, with members of multiple generations leaning on one another for financial and practical support. The trend will continue, social scientists say, as baby boomers need more care in old age, and the growing number of two-income families seek help with child care.
The United States offers less government help for caregiving than many other rich countries. Instead, extended families are providing it, whether they never moved apart, or moved back closer when the need arose.
Over all, the median distance Americans live from their mother is 18 miles, and only 20 percent live more than a couple hours’ drive from their parents. (Researchers often study the distance from mothers because they are more likely to be caregivers and to live longer than men.)
To some extent, people’s proximity to their parents is a reflection of opportunity: The biggest determinants of how far people venture from home are education and income. Those with college and professional degrees are much more likely to live farther from their parents than those with a high school education, in part because they have more job opportunities in big cities, and especially if spouses are juggling the career aspirations of two professionals.
Read More: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/12/24/upshot/24up-family.html
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