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Why Danes are so eager to fly the nest (and Slovaks aren’t)
Virtually all young Danes have left the parental home by the time they're 34. Yet in Slovakia, almost 57% of young adults still reside in the Hotel of Mum and Dad.
Less than 2% of Danes from the ages of 25 to 34 still live with their parents. That’s the lowest score in Europe. As this map shows, the rest of Scandinavia comes close, with just 4% of twenty-thirtysomething Norwegians, Swedes and Finns yet to fly the nest.
On the other end of the spectrum, more than half of Bulgarians and Greeks in the same age category are still under the parental roof. While that suggests a north-south divide in Europe between ‘leavers’ and ‘remainers’, there’s also an east-west fault line running through the continent.
In western Europe, most young people are quick to find a place of their own. Almost 90% of under-35s in France and the Netherlands have made their home away from home, as have around 85% of young Brits, Belgians and Swiss. Germans are a bit more reluctant to leave (or difficult to kick out), but still: 82% have left Mutti and Vati by their 35th birthday.
Not so their eastern European counterparts. Around 45% of Poles, Hungarians, Slovenes and Romanians from 25 to 34 years old are still living with their parents. The Slovaks are the anti-Danes: they hold the European stay-at-home record, with almost 57% of 25- to 34-year-olds still under their parents' roof.
The figures for eastern Europe bear more than a passing resemblance to those for southern Europe: Italy and Portugal are hovering around 45%, as are Romania and Slovenia (and Poland and Hungary), Spain's 37.2% puts it in the same decimal category as the Czech Republic (33.7%), Lithuania (33.5%) and Latvia (34.5%). Ireland's 22.6% is close to Estonia’s 20.2%.
Why are the Danes and other northerners so eager to leave home? And Why are Slovaks, plus so many others in Europe's east and south, so reluctant to leave the Hotel of Mum and Dad?
For the Danish question, two letters provide some of the answer: SU. This stands for Statens Uddannelsesstøtte, or Government Educational Support. This is the stipend all Danes can claim while pursuing their studies. Depending on their chosen education and living arrangements, they get up to $962 per month in SU. Which goes a long way towards paying to live away from home.
However, an (admittedly) random sample of Danes, all early home-leavers, argued that SU was not the determining factor – it’s just the 'done thing' in Denmark. Perhaps that’s how it always was, except that 18-year-old Danes no longer board longboats to go raiding in England. Could it be that this is what the SU was invented to suppress?
For Slovakia and other countries with high percentages of stay-at-homers, the theories are less fanciful, if all conjectural. One theory, supported by some of the comments below the original posting of the map on the MapPorn subreddit, would be that both cultural and economic factors are at play.
And that perhaps the north-south differences are more cultural, while the east-west ones are more down to differences in economic well-being.
- “(My Slovenian relatives) were living with their parents more because of economic conditions, though culture did play a part”.
- “We Greeks tend to live with our parents for as long as we’re not married – that’s our culture. We are closer to our families than for example Germans. Most Germans don’t even know their second cousins”.
- “I’m from Portugal (…) We simply don’t have the economic power of the countries in northern Europe”.
- “There are countries where it would be seen as selfish to leave the family home, as young people are expected to provide for and look after older generations, whereas there are countries where young people are seen as a burden if they stay long into their 20s”.
- “A typical house in Sweden is 4-6 rooms and many parents live in apartments that are rarely larger than 4 rooms. This means the kids only have one (usually small) room for themselves and there is just one or two common rooms to hang out in”.
The map also includes a bubble with the average figure for the U.S.: 13.7%. Which means young(ish) Americans are about as eager to fly the nest as their British or French counterparts.
But of course, there are regional differences in the United States as well, as is shown by the map below. For good measure: it is only marginally comparable to the map above, as it uses a different age category (18 to 34), also includes young adults living with in-laws, and is slightly older (2012 vs. 2015).
According to the National Association of Home Builders, the share of young adults (18-34) living with their parents or in-laws increased sharply in the late 2000s, to about 1 in 3 (or more than 24 million in total). In both the 1990 and 2000 Censuses, that figure was closer to 1 in 4.
If that sounds just like the lazy, entitled generation of millennials you recognise from your own prejudices, please remember that “there are twice as many millennials living on their own, making less than $30K a year, than there are millennials living with their parents".
The reasons for the rising trend? According to the NAHB, rising college enrolment among younger adults, who then are more likely to remain at home; and for older adults, the inability to find stable, high-paying jobs.
The top three states in 2012 for young adults living with parents or in-laws were New Jersey (45%), Connecticut (42%) and New York (41%), followed by California and Florida (both just below 40%).
At the other side of the spectrum, both below 20%: DC, thanks to its relatively stable job market; and North Dakota, with its booming oil economy. That state sits in the middle of a contiguous zone of 12 states with the lowest stay-at-home figures, from Minnesota in the Midwest to Oregon on the Pacific coast, and from Montana in the north down to Oklahoma in the south.
Strange Maps #920
Got a strange map? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some mysteries take generations to unfold.
- In 1959, a group of nine Russian hikers was killed in an overnight incident in the Ural Mountains.
- Conspiracies about their deaths have flourished ever since, including alien invasion, an irate Yeti, and angry tribesmen.
- Researchers have finally confirmed that their deaths were due to a slab avalanche caused by intense winds.
a: Last picture of the Dyatlov group taken before sunset, while making a cut in the slope to install the tent. b: Broken tent covered with snow as it was found during the search 26 days after the event.
Photographs courtesy of the Dyatlov Memorial Foundation.<p>Finally, a <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s43247-020-00081-8" target="_blank">new study</a>, published in the Nature journal Communications Earth & Environment, has put the case to rest: it was a slab avalanche.</p><p>This theory isn't exactly new either. Researchers have long been skeptical about the avalanche notion, however, due to the grade of the hill. Slab avalanches don't need a steep slope to get started. Crown or flank fractures can quickly release as little as a few centimeters of earth (or snow) sliding down a hill (or mountain). </p><p>As researchers Johan Gaume (Switzerland's WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF) and Alexander Puzrin (Switzerland's Institute for Geotechnical Engineering) write, it was "a combination of irregular topography, a cut made in the slope to install the tent and the subsequent deposition of snow induced by strong katabatic winds contributed after a suitable time to the slab release, which caused severe non-fatal injuries, in agreement with the autopsy results."</p><p>Conspiracy theories abound when evidence is lacking. Twenty-six days after the incident, a team showed up to investigate. They didn't find any obvious sounds of an avalanche; the slope angle was below 30 degrees, ruling out (to them) the possibility of a landslide. Plus, the head injuries suffered were not typical of avalanche victims. Inject doubt and crazy theories will flourish.</p>
Configuration of the Dyatlov tent installed on a flat surface after making a cut in the slope below a small shoulder. Snow deposition above the tent is due to wind transport of snow (with deposition flux Q).
Photo courtesy of Communications Earth & Environment.<p>Add to this Russian leadership's longstanding battle with (or against) the truth. In 2015 the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation decided to reopen this case. Four years later the agency concluded it was indeed a snow avalanche—an assertion immediately challenged within the Russian Federation. The oppositional agency eventually agreed as well. The problem was neither really provided conclusive scientific evidence.</p><p>Gaume and Puzrin went to work. They provided four critical factors that confirmed the avalanche: </p><ul><li>The location of the tent under a shoulder in a locally steeper slope to protect them from the wind </li><li>A buried weak snow layer parallel to the locally steeper terrain, which resulted in an upward-thinning snow slab</li><li>The cut in the snow slab made by the group to install the tent </li><li>Strong katabatic winds that led to progressive snow accumulation due to the local topography (shoulder above the tent) causing a delayed failure</li></ul><p>Case closed? It appears so, though don't expect conspiracy theories to abate. Good research takes time—sometimes generations. We're constantly learning about our environment and then applying those lessons to the past. While we can't expect every skeptic to accept the findings, from the looks of this study, a 62-year-old case is now closed.</p><p> --</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Facebook</a>. His most recent book is</em> "<em><a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08KRVMP2M?pf_rd_r=MDJW43337675SZ0X00FH&pf_rd_p=edaba0ee-c2fe-4124-9f5d-b31d6b1bfbee" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy</a>."</em></p>
As patients approached death, many had dreams and visions of deceased loved ones.
One of the most devastating elements of the coronavirus pandemic has been the inability to personally care for loved ones who have fallen ill.
Research reveals a new evolutionary feature that separates humans from other primates.
- Researchers find a new feature of human evolution.
- Humans have evolved to use less water per day than other primates.
- The nose is one of the factors that allows humans to be water efficient.
A model of water turnover for humans and chimpanzees who have similar fat free mass and body water pools.
Credit: Current Biology
Being skeptical isn't just about being contrarian. It's about asking the right questions of ourselves and others to gain understanding.