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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

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Upcoming Events

Connecting the research to communities:

  • January 19, Duluth
  • January 20, Fergus Falls
  • January 24, Staples & Long Prairie
  • January 25, Pine City
  • February 7, Thief River Falls
  • February 8, Crookston

Contact Ben Winchester for more information on upcoming events.

Extension > Community > Brain gain in rural Minnesota

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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.

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Resident recruiting in northwestern Minnesota

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

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