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The geography of family networks

Clara H. Mulder, University of Amsterdam
Matthijs Kalmijn, Tilburg University

This paper investigates the geographical characteristics of family networks: the pattern of distances to parents, parents-in-law, children and siblings living outside the household. Using the first wave of the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study and OLS regression models, hypotheses are tested on the influence of level of education, household situation, age and socio-economic status on these distances. We find a strong association between level of education and the average distance to family members: after controlling for the other variables of interest, university educated live on average more than 37 kilometres further from their family than those with primary education and 14 kilometres further than those with the level just below university. This finding can be attributed to the greater likelihood of migration among the highly educated. We also find that those aged over 70, and particularly men, have greater average distances to family members than younger people.

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Presented in Session 129: Family networks