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The Hansen Report: Where Are You From?

Can you shepherd a flock that won't stay put?

Where are you from? No, where are you from from?

If you live in a suburban or urban area, you have probably asked and answered these questions countless times. The follow-up question is meant to uncover something about your conversation partner that can't be learned by hearing which faceless suburb he or she inhabits. But at the rate Americans continue to move, this follow-up question may not elicit a better answer.

According to a USA Today report last fall, nearly 50 million Americans - more than 16 percent of the population - moved in 2006. Mobility increases during inclement economic weather, which is one reason why during the late 1990s the rate slowed to pre-World War II times. Though 2008 data has not yet been analyzed, we can expect the moving rate to increase given the high number of home foreclosures.

Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan recently connected this trend to the Republican and Democratic nominees for President. Sure, you know Sen. Barack Obama lives in Chicago, ...

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