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April 23, 2015
Category: Economic Development; Site Selector Resourcs; Demographics; Brain Gain, Redwood County; Renville County
Troy Krause, Editor, Redwood Falls Gazette
Posted Apr. 28, 2015 at 12:01 AM
Every year a new group of students graduates from high school, and then those students from smaller, rural communities opt to leave their hometowns for what they believe are greener pastures.
After earning their degrees, the majority of those students are captivated by the bright lights of the big city and find well-paying jobs in more metro areas.
That loss for a community has been called the “brain drain,” and for years leaders in those small, rural communities have bemoaned that loss as another nail in the coffin.
After all, if a community can’t rely on the next generation to come back and take over the Main Street businesses and serve in community organizations, who will?
The answer, according to Ben Winchester, a senior research fellow at the U of M, is another age group that the data is showing are moving in to rural areas.
Winchester spoke at the Redwood Area Community Center in Redwood Falls Thursday night as part of an event hosted by the Tatanka Bluffs corridor. His message was clear. Rural areas are seeing an influx of people in the 30-49 age range, and that influx of people has been going on for years.