I was talking to a friend the other day about how I don't live in my hometown of Great Falls anymore. Which got me wondering what percentage of people stay in the town where they were born.

So I polled my coworkers. Only one of them was born here in Billings. But you've got to remember the variables that keep folks put or allow them to move.

I found an article, "The Typical American Only Lives 18 Miles From Mom" in the New York Times that had some stats.

As you can guess by that headline, the average distance that people live from their mothers is 18 miles.

1. Income is a big factor. If a person can make significantly more money in a different city, they are likely to move. And bigger cities afford more job opportunities.

I left Great Falls with the thought of attending college in Missoula. Which I did. For three weeks. Apparently, kids with bad study habits shouldn't even bother with college. And after Missoula, I moved a couple of more times in search of better financial opportunities.

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2. The Times article also said that people with college degrees tend to live farther away from home than those who don't.

3. Married people tend to move away more than singles. And as in Montana's case, people in rural states tend to live farther from where they grew up.

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4. Some people don't move away because they can't afford child care and rely on family to help with the kids.

Christian Religious Family Group Prays to God Thankful Crop Farm

A survey by Pew Research said that with the exception of the military, 37% of Americans have never lived outside of their hometowns. Which is about what I would've guessed.

LOOK: Historic 2022 Flooding in Southern Montana Not Soon to Be Forgotten

Widespread flooding wiped out roads, bridges, buildings, and powerlines throughout riverside communities from Yellowstone National Park and Paradise Valley to Red Lodge. The Yellowstone River winding through Billings crested Tuesday, June 14, 2022. At 11:30 a.m. the National Weather Service in Billings reported the river rose above flood stage and was forecasted to hit 14.7 feet, nearly hitting the 15-foot record set in 1997.

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