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
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.
Research fellow Ben Winchester is interviewed about rural brain gain.
Produced by Lakeland Public Television
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