Skip to Main navigation Skip to Left navigation Skip to Main content Skip to Footer

University of Minnesota Extension
main image

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

Contact Ben Winchester for more information on upcoming events.

Extension > Community > Brain gain in rural Minnesota

Print Icon Email Icon Share Icon

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.

What is the trend?

Researching the trend

Brain gain in the news

More Brain Gain in the News

Resources for communities

Get newcomers involved in rural Minnesota

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, fedgazette, July 2011

Resident recruiting in northwestern Minnesota, UMN Extension, April 2010

  • © Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
  • The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy