Saturday, March 7, 2015

Roughly ⅓ of Scots never move away from home

To have lived in the same town, or even the same region, for your entire life . . . it's something I have a hard time fathoming. I understand some folks do it; I just can't imagine being one of those people.

If you're reading this blog, you likely have similar thoughts.

Yet a third of Scots have lived in the same town or region for their whole lives.

Dunblane, Scotland
Dunblane, Scotland.
I take this statistic with a grain of salt. It comes from a press release put out yesterday by the Bank of Scotland. The research was conducted by YouGov, a reputable polling operation here in the U.K. While I give YouGov the benefit of the doubt, I have no information regarding its methodology for an online survey. How do they count people who lived in another town for schooling, but technically kept their residence at their parents' home? How large is a "region"? If you completed an internship for a few months in another city, did you "live" there or just visit it? Questions like these give me pause.

As a point of comparison, I decided to look up how many Americans have never moved away from home. It's roughly the same percentage as Scotland. According to the Pew Research Center, a reputable polling operation in the U.S., approximately 37% of Americans have never lived outside their hometown.

Besides that 37%, another 20% of Americans have never lived outside the state in which they were born. Thus, 57% of Americans have never lived outside of their birth state.

So far, I've lived in four states; Kate has lived in five. And now we reside in Scotland. Our next move, whenever and wherever it is, undoubtedly will be for a job and not governed by a particular hometown or region.

One out of every three people we've met, whether in America or in Scotland, has never lived anywhere else. What is it like to have lived in the same town for a lifetime? It doesn't mean you've never traveled, but to have never wanted or needed to live somewhere else? Is it a considered choice or more a result of circumstance?

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