I was born and raised in the suburbs outside Los Angeles, and now I live in Los Angeles proper. The advantage is obvious: I don’t have to use my vacation time to see my family during the holidays because they’re 40 miles away. The disadvantage: Those are 40 of the world’s shittiest miles. Driving them during Christmas means being on the road during a time that is, according to data from the federal Department of Transportation, the second deadliest time of year.
Families traveling from far-flung places, returning home for the holidays. That image of an American Christmas fits the perception of Americans as rootless, constantly on the move to seek opportunity even if it means leaving family behind.
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.
My two cents: 1¢. The 95th percentile (and everyone below) is made up of people who earn their money from work, not inherited wealth, right? And, the type of work that the 95th typically does is concentrated on the coasts in corridors of finance, technology, and media or throughout the country in research or market hubs around industries like medicine and energy. Then, it is safe to infer that ‘distance from mom’ for those in the 95th percentile is based on markets that pull the highest earners away from their families; 2¢. So, what about the 99th percentile aka The 1%?
Edit 28 December 2015: I was right