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?
- View Ben Winchester's keynote address at the 2014 Symposium on Small Towns
- View Randy Cantrell's keynote address at the 2014 Symposium on Small Towns
- Continuing the Trend: The Brain Gain of the Newcomers (1.47 MB PDF)
- Rural Migration: The Brain Gain of the Newcomers (170 K PDF)
- The Glass Half Full: A New View of Rural Minnesota (1.46 MB PDF)
Researching the trend
- Economic Impact of New Residents – Overview (365 KB PDF)
- Economic Impact of New Residents – Full report (440 KB PDF)
- Regional Recruitment: Strategies to Attract and Retain Newcomers (3.44 MB PDF)
- New Residents Survey Summary of Results (672 KB PDF)
Brain gain in the news
- Rural Communities: Changing, not dying
- Minnesotans are moving back to small towns
- Small towns must change to find new life, vitality
- What Trump's election reveals about Minnesota's rural economy
- It's time for a new narrative about Greater Minnesota
- Jim Stratton: From 'Brain Drain' to 'Brain Gain' in rural Minnesota
- Rural Minnesota's harbinger of good news
- Brain gain, not brain drain, the trend for rural Minnesota
- University, millennials collaborate for talent research in North Central, West Central Minn.
- Willmar undergoes 'Brain gain'
- Do small towns suffer from a bad narrative?
- 3 opportunities for small towns
- Rural area attracting younger residents
- Itasca County brain gain
Resources for communities
Get newcomers involved in rural Minnesota
Make a living in rural Minnesota
Raise a family
Lead in communities
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
Profile stories from the Pipestone County Star brain gain series.
- Eric & Laura Wurster
- Rich & Theresa
- Jason & Erin Gordon
- Brian & Shelley Douty
- Tim & Carmen Paulson
- Thad & Debbie Reinert
- Kyle & Rachel Kuphal
- Scott & Jessie VanderPoel
- Jon & Emily Olson
- Jennifer Martens
- Devyn Mattheis
- Ashely Hoheisel
- Gavin & Jessica Winter
- Michelle Nelson
- Kyle & Sarah Caskey
- Chris & Teresa Agresto
- Ben Denton
- Eric Brockberg
- Sara Evans Priester
- Dr. Gregory Kuehl