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University of Minnesota Extension

Making it Home

Helping Minnesota's rural communities attract new residents

People move often, and many look for a rural community like yours to call home.

Our Making It Home program creates a positive conversation about what your community offers newcomers. It then mobilizes community members to create an action plan. Is your town ready to explore its potential to attract new residents? Making it Home can help.

Find a community economics educator in your area to get started.

Community success stories


Here's what's happening in other states.

Watch video: Community promo

Bandstand in downtown Litchfield, MN | Robyn Richardson

Communities have the power to tell their own story. In Litchfield, they're creating a narrative that is positive and focused on the future.

Listen: Litchfield's story

Litchfield, MN welcome sign

Hear more from Litchfield leaders about what happened after their Community Action Forum.

Listen: Updates from Litchfield

"We wanted to take a look at how do we really market our community and get the word out there that we have a lot to offer; that we want to compete, and that we want to be out there to toot our horn."

— David Krueger, Executive Director, Meeker County Development Corporation


Community outcomes

Extension educators and local leaders work together for six to nine months. The program organizes community events, study circles, materials and action forums. Our goal is to set your community on a course that welcomes newcomers and supports community residents.

Making it home helps communities:

  • Look at their community through newcomers' eyes
  • Discover, or rediscover, overlooked assets that can attract new residents
  • Create positive conversations that lead to effective community marketing
  • Create a quality of life that is attractive to both newcomers and current residents
  • Nurture a welcoming spirit
  • Carry out an action plan for the future

Rural demographic trends in Minnesota

Shifting age demographics

Let's talk about the research. Small towns and rural areas attract residents ages 30 to 49 and their young children.

Watch video: Brain Gain

Machinery workers

Attracting immigrants

To grow its economy, Minnesota needs to attract more immigrants to its workforce.

Read the report: Immigrants and Minnesota’s workforce

MN population by county map

Changing population sizes

Interactive map. Explore Minnesota counties' annual and projected growth rates. Data from Esri.

Explore map: Minnesota population growth by county

Join our work in Minnesota

Join our network of communities making rural Minnesota home and share what your community is doing to welcome others. Submit our online form to provide us with your details.

For more information, contact Neil Linscheid.

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