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The Ever-Mobile Centre County

It is a small world, and an even smaller nation that we live in. Everyday, people are moving from old homes to new homes, on from one thing to the next. It happens everywhere, but especially with the mobile population of a town like State College. It is tough to get a handle on just where people are moving to next, or where they may be coming from however.

Until now…

Left Of Centre recently posted a Forbes graphic detailing just that: lines representing the moving patterns of every county in the U.S.A. Click on a county of your choice and, boom, the graphic casts a web of red and white sprawling across the United States. Or, in the case of say, Grant County, North Dakota, lines reaching only to adjacent counties. The data is hyper-relevant – from 2008 – and only displays net migration of ten or more total individuals per county, the point being to show major movement trends, and not crazy Aunt Millie who decided to hitchhike up to Juneau.

Of course, I was instantly drawn to the Centre County data, which casts quite a web for a relatively low-population county. I mean, its no New York County –  do not click, slow computer owners –  but residents and former residents of Centre County have connections to all sorts of places. One of the most interesting trends that I noticed was Centre County’s connection to other counties of academic repute. A significant number of Centre County residents have moved to or from the counties containing Ohio State, Michigan U, Harvard, MIT, UNC, U of Colorado. The life of the ever-mobile academic clearly on display.

Check out the graphic for yourself; half of the fun is just clicking counties you have been or lived in, and seeing where else in the country they link to. Hopefully, Forbes will release a global version of this graphic so we can all see just how small the world has become.

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