Your mom is a topic of frequent conversation, but instead of how dumb, how fat, or how promiscuous she may be, this past week the New York Times decided to focus is on how close she lives to her grown-up children. For generations, Americans were known as a people that loved to pick up and move, but Gen Xers and (especially) Millennials have reversed this trend. In part, this is economic—fewer good manufacturing jobs in America give fewer compelling reasons to move, while jobs requiring lots of education tend to draw wealthy students who grew up in the same metropolitan areas as those education-intensive jobs and universities. Those metropolitan areas also have high rents, so even Millennials with relatively high-paying Internet jobs have a reputation for living at home longer than previous generations—not as long as Italians, who tend to move out sometime in their 30s, but longer than any previous generation. But it also depends a lot on geography, as this map shows.
For the most part, this map reflects population densities in various regions. The most interesting difference is the extreme proximity to mothers in the Mid-Atlantic region (NY, PA, & NJ) and the Ozarks/Deep South region, compared to New England or the coastal Southern states. In general, the authors of the Times article found, adults with lower incomes lived closer to parents because they could help raise grandkids. While this might explain the proximity in Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee, why does it show up in New York, NJ, and Pennsylvania, three of the highest-income states in America?