Going Home for the Holidays Is Only an 18-Mile Drive

Most US adults live surprisingly close to their parents
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2015 8:46 AM CST
Going Home for the Holidays Is Only an 18-Mile Drive

This is the time of year when people all around the country pack up their bags and head to the airport to visit family. Or at least that's the visual we all have. In reality, only 20% of adults in the US live more than a few hours' drive from their parents, the New York Times reports. The Times has an in-depth look at where Americans live in relation to their parents and why. The information comes from a University of Michigan study in which researchers survey approximately 20,000 Americans over the age of 50 every two years. "The data reveal a country of close-knit families, with members of multiple generations leaning on one another for financial and practical support," the Times reports. The takeaway: The typical American adult lives only 18 miles from his or her mom (with 18 miles being the median distance); 40% are within 5 miles.

The Times reports more and more Americans are staying closer and closer to home in recent decades. In fact, another recent poll found 37% of Americans have never lived outside his or her hometown, with the exception of going college and serving in the military. Overall, people with more education and income are the most likely to live further from home. "It speaks to a class divide in the population," one expert tells the Times. "Particularly as you go further down the socioeconomic scale, people are living pretty close to their parents, and this means they’re able to provide help." That's only going to become more common as baby-boomers age and need caring for. And as the number of two-income families grows, living near relatives also allows for cheap childcare. Read the full story here. (Read more family stories.)

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