Loved ones are essential to the feeling of home – caring for them, connecting with them, and in some cases, remembering them.

We delved into the meaning of home in our latest study of global adults, spanning 18 countries to reach over 11,000 people aged 25 to 64. This is part of a series of stories that dive into this topic.

From this research, we learned that home is:

A place to nurture and relate to others. For 93% of adults, home is a place to take care of loved ones. This sentiment extends to animals, with 72% saying their pets make them feel at home. Home is where 58% of people say they spend quality time with family and friends. For 59%, the simple act of conversing with the right people makes them feel at home. As 32-year-old Paige in the US told us, “I feel like I belong with my people. If my people are around me, then that’s the feeling of home. That can be wherever you are. It’s not necessarily this house or anywhere!”

A place of belonging. Almost all adults (95%) say being with the people they love most makes them feel at home. Home is where they connect with like-minded people (80%). For some, the home of a relative (28%) or close friend (21%) can feel like a home away from home. Most people (87%) want guests to feel at home with them, too. For Marinella, a 59-year-old that we spoke to in Italy, being home feels right. She told us, “I like staying at home because it’s a place I feel I belong to. It gives me a sense of belonging to myself. It’s a place that speaks of me – it makes me feel alive.”

A place of cherished memories. More than 8 in 10 people (83%) say their home is a place filled with memories. For 29%, a childhood home is a home away from home. Beloved objects also contribute to that “at home” feeling – photos of loved ones (86%), items passed down in the family (80%), and souvenirs that hold memories (78%). For 57-year-old Nicola in Italy, an heirloom rug carries incalculable value. As he told us, “The Kilim rug is the object that makes me think of the history of how my family lived in this house, the memories, the comfort. The fact that you can lie down on this carpet and feel at home – it’s not valuable, but it has sentimental value.”