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Newcomers mean 'brain gain' for rural Minnesota

People often lament a brain drain in rural Minnesota—the loss of 18-25-year-olds who leave their small home towns after high school. But there is also an in-migration to these towns of 30-49-year-old adults and their young children. In many cases, those moving into rural communities offset, or surpass, the numbers of those moving away. This, says Extension research fellow Ben Winchester, is a brain gain. This is hopeful news for rural Minnesota. But the trend must be sustained. Read more

Learn more about this research:

Ben Winchester, Research Fellow
Extension Center for Community Vitality

Contact information for journalists

Upcoming Events

Connecting the research to communities:

  • March 12: Rewriting the Rural Narrative
  • May 7: The Brain Gain of the Newcomers
  • July 9: Rural Leadership Demands

All 1-2pm Central Time

Read more information about the Rural Issues and Trends webinar series or contact Ben Winchester for more information on upcoming events.

Extension > Community > Brain gain in rural Minnesota

High school graduates might leave rural areas for college and jobs in the big city, but more are coming back with college degrees, careers, professional contacts, and young families. Still others with these credentials are moving to rural communities for the first time. Extension's demographic research, publications, and perspectives on this brain gain can help community leaders consider what this means for their rural area. A report on the 2010 census data shows that this trend is continuing.

Resources for communities

Get newcomers involved in rural Minnesota Put your town on the map Make a living in rural Minnesota Raise a family Lead in communities

Research Perspectives

Research fellow Ben Winchester is interviewed about rural brain gain.

Research fellow Ben Winchester is interviewed about rural brain gain.

Produced by Lakeland Public Television

The rural welcome wagon

An article from the fedgazette
by David Fettig

Community Perspectives

Young newcomers are moving into Clarkfield

Young newcomers are moving into Clarkfield

Courtesy of the Granite Falls-Clarkfield Advocate Tribune. Scott Tedrick, Editor

Newcomer Perspectives

Newcomer perspectives from Pipestone, Minnesota
Pipestone County Star

Why move to rural Minnesota?

MPR's Public Insight Network shares their perspectives

More from MPR Ground Level

Gregg Aamot shares his perspective on rural towns in a article.

Newcomer Perspective

Years away offer a fresh perspective on what rural towns have to offer -- and what they don't

An article from
by Gregg Aamot

Newcomers Find Paradise in Rural America

Perspectives from blogger Shannon Latham in The Field Position

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