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Weekly Edition - Published  13 October 2016

 

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New survey reveals people's connections to the North West

THE average person from the North West moves 5 times in their life, but 59% end up living within 25 miles of where they were born, a new study has found. According to the national poll of 2000 people by ancestry firm Living DNA, 24% of Brits have lived 500 miles or more away from their birthplace at some point in their lives. Yet researchers found that a high number of people stay close to home, with 51% of all those surveyed now living in the same county of the UK that one or more of their parents were born in. In the North West, this figure was higher than the national average at 73%, suggesting people from the region are considerably more attached to areas where their parents came from. The survey also explored people's roots. Over ˝ of respondents from the North West said they felt most 'rooted' either where they were born or where they grew up (51%), compared to 31% who felt most rooted where they live now. David Nicholson, managing director of Living DNA, said:- "Whilst the average Brit makes a number of moves in their lifetime, our survey found that as a nation we are still really attached to our family roots and birthplaces. However, our knowledge of our roots appears to be quite limited. For example, 18% of people from the North West told us they have no idea where their grandparents were born."

Despite the importance of roots for many, just 11% of people from the North West said they do not feel rooted anywhere. And 20% of those from the county that were born in the UK saw themselves more as:- 'citizens of the world' than 'citizens of the UK', a perception that would make them 'citizens of nowhere' according to Theresa May's speech at the 2016 Conservative Party Conference. The survey also revealed some interesting generational differences nationwide. Young Brits aged 18 to 24 were the least likely to know where their grandparents were born, and 3 times more likely to consider themselves 'citizens of the world' (24%) as those aged 65 and over (8%).

Meanwhile, most older Brits aged 65 and over would be very or quite surprised to find they had ancestry from outside the UK (54%), compared to just 40% of 18 to 24 year olds. "It's interesting to see that a lot of Brits, and especially older generations, would be surprised to find they had ancestry from outside the UK," says Mr Nicholson. "The truth is that if you look back through history, everyone of us has ancestry from other parts of the world. This can be proven by looking at our DNA, which shows that ultimately we are all connected to 1 another."

Living DNA commissioned the survey to mark the launch of its new DNA ancestry test; the most detailed service of its kind in the world. From a simple saliva swab, Living DNA is able to break down people's ancestry to over 80 worldwide regions. It is also the only test of its kind which can tell people how much DNA they share with 21 regions of the UK, including Cumbria and North West England. The service also allows people to look back over multiple generations to see how their ancestry has evolved through human history, and discover when they shared ancestors with different people throughout the world.  To find out more about Living DNA, visit:- LivingDNA.Com.

 

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