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The Extension Center for Community Vitality conducts research with communities to inform decisions and evaluate the effectiveness of programs. We share these articles and reports for the benefit of community leaders, the fields of community and economic development, and anyone interested in improving the health and vitality of communities.

Extension > Community > Research and Evaluation

Featured studies

Getting to know Greater Minnesota

It's not your grandparents' Greater Minnesota anymore. Read more
Read the Economic Composition reports

Profile of Second Homeowners in Central and West Central Minnesota

Results of a household survey of second homeowners in eight counties in central and west central Minnesota. Read the Report (PDF) and Watch the video (6:06).

Research reports

  • All reports
    Research reports are searchable by author, date, title, and topic
  • Economic Impact Analysis
    These reports examine the effects of economic changes in communities, regions and states.
  • Retail Trade Analysis
    These reports examine the strengths and weaknesses of retail sectors in communities and counties across Minnesota.
  • Business Retention & Expansion (BR&E)
    BR&E summary reports feature findings from community interviews with existing businesses about the local business climate. The summaries highlight the strategic actions the communities identified in their BR&E work.
  • Tourism research reports
    These reports examine current issues and opportunities for communities and the tourism industry in Minnesota and beyond.

Thank you to our research sponsors & collaborators

The Blandin Foundation, Carlson Chair for Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Center for Small Towns, Center for Rural Policy and Development, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), The EDA Center, Explore Minnesota, North Country SHIP, Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Extension Center for Family Development, University of Minnesota Tourism Center, University of Minnesota Dept. of Applied Economics, USDA Farmers Market Promotion Grant
and numerous community and county partners throughout Minnesota.

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