Attracting new residents
- Almost all rural Minnesota counties experience population gains in residents aged 30 - 49.
- These newcomers bring significant education, skills, connections, spending power and children.
- A study has found that people migrate to rural communities because they want: 1) a simpler life, 2) safety and security, 3) affordable housing, 4) outdoor recreation and 5) quality schools.
- Communities can work together to attract newcomers and to create a quality of life that all residents enjoy.
Who's moving to rural Minnesota?
High school graduates often leave small towns. They go to college. They get jobs in the city. But census data shows that many come back to rural areas—often in their 30’s and 40’s. They come with college degrees, work experience, professional contacts, and children.
And some lifetime city dwellers move to rural areas, too. They are eager to make a new life in a rural community.
How can Extension help?
Extension is teaching rural communities about this trend. The Community Vitality team is researching to learn more about rural newcomers. Extension’s Making it Home program helps communities seize the opportunity to welcome newcomers, and create the quality of life that all residents can enjoy.
What does the brain gain mean for communities?
- Economic Impact of New Residents report
- Regional Recruitment: Strategies to Attract and Retain Newcomers (PDF)
- New Residents Survey Summary of Results (PDF)
- Resident recruiting in northwestern Minnesota
More about this trend
- Watch keynote addresses from the 2014 Symposium on Small Towns
- Newcomers mean brain gain for rural Minnesota
- Continuing the trend: The Brain Gain of the Newcomers (PDF)
- Rural Migration: The Brain Gain of the Newcomers (PDF)
- The Glass Half Full: A New View of Rural Minnesota (PDF)
- Revisiting the Brain Gain in Rural Minnesota
Brain gain in the news
- Rural Communities: Changing, not dying
- Minnesotans are moving back to small towns
- Small towns must change to find new life, vitality
- What Trump's election reveals about Minnesota's rural economy
- It's time for a new narrative about Greater Minnesota
Get help from Extension
Bring a brain gain presentation to your community.
Create a community plan to recruit new residents: Making it Home
For the media
Learn more about this research
Ben Winchester, research fellow
Extension Center for Community Vitality
Contact information for journalists