Here is an interesting factoid from our cousins to the south. The New York Times reports in this article that the typical American lives only 18 miles from their mother. (That’s 30 kilometres for us Canadians). That is pretty close and I suspect closer than the typical Canadian. Our findings will likely be different as distances are greater here and as the article shows, in the eastern seaboard states where the population density is higher, people live closer and where there are fewer people they live further away.
The study found that not only the median distance Americans live from their moms is 18 miles, only twenty percent live more than a couple hours drive away.
The study is not only interesting but also important because as our overall population ages, people like me are sandwiched between taking care of ageing parents and launching twenty-something children.
The demographic information is interesting too. Those with college and professional degrees are much more likely to live farther from their parents than those with a high school education. This is likely due to better job opportunities in bigger and more distant cities. Furthermore, the study found that the more education someone has, the further away from mom they live.
Another factor of how close you live to mom is general rootlessness. Those who move or have grown up moving are more likely to move again. Those who live in the west tend to be more mobile than those who live in the east. That makes sense. If your family has lived in an area for three or four generations, how likely are you to move away?
I wonder with Canada’s high level of immigration how often new immigrants move. I think it is safe to say that many new Canadians not only live near mom but with mom. There are lots of three and even generation families of new Canadians!
We are getting old
Finally, here is an interesting map showing the median age in different countries. I love stuff like this. Demographics play a much bigger part in our lives than most people realize. I’ve just returned from a trip through Southeast Asia. I was in Cambodia, where the median age is about 24 and Taiwan where it is closer to 40. I know there are a lot of other differences between these countries, but the age thing is noticeable. Countries are like people, they start young and mature with age.