News @ Noon: Minnesotans Are Moving Back To Small Towns
UNDATED - Young adults, and their kids, are moving back rural Minnesota communities. That's according to research conducted by the University of Minnesota.
Researcher Ben Winchester says a lot of the people moving out to greater Minnesota communities have no ties to those towns.
Just a third of these new residents, people who have moved in the past five years, have had any regular previous contact with that community. These are true newcomers. They don't know who to call for an electrician, or where to go for daycare.
Winchester says the influx of 30 to 50 year olds is happening in virtually every outstate county. He says quality of life is the main reason they choose to move to a smaller town.
The slower pace of life, spending time in the outdoors, kind of 'life on my time'. People want control over the hours of the day in their life.
Winchester say other reasons include safety and security, and low cost of housing.
He says most of the falling enrollments in rural schools happened in the 1980s and early 1990s, and now school enrollment has leveled off.
Winchester says those new neighbors are bringing jobs with them too.
I think historically there's been an idea that jobs bring people. While that may have been true in the 40s, 50s, and 60s, today people can bring jobs. We do find a lot of people, and it surprised us, they would move in and buy a business or bring their business with them.
And, he says the ability to more easily work from home has also helped people who want to live in a smaller town.
Winchester will be talking more about this topic here in St. Cloud on Thursday night at 6:00 p.m. at the Tuscan Center on Division Street. It's a free program that's part of the U of M's "Minnesota Sparks" series.