Reading a newspaper years ago we would be reading doom and gloom articles about the countryside declining. Rural America was going to experience doom and gloom and everything was going to hell in a handbasket. The idea that educated people were leaving the small towns and countryside and all the beautiful little towns would be ghost towns. The stories made for grim reading.
Now, one sociologist, University of Minnesota’s Ben Winchester has discovered that, while young high school graduates do leave small towns for big cities, others in their 30s, 40s, and 50s are making a return. Small towns are bringing in younger families as many are able to work from home and they seek the beauty, safety and enjoy a slower, more community-based life.
Working on census data, Winchester made a surprising discovery. He looked into the numbers in his own home state of Minnesota, and he discovered that, from the 1970s onwards, almost every Minnesota county has been gaining newcomers age 30 to 49. Many of them are professionals, thanks to some excellent broadband coverage across the region, people can work from home even if their head office lies far off elsewhere. And, as people move, the towns bleed into each other, building a network of different occupations and levels of expertise. The new arrivals bring money and children to the area.
This is not only being seen in the state of Minnesota, this migration of the younger generation to small towns is being observed in states throughout the nation.
“what does it mean when 75% of your housing is going to turn over in the next 20 years?”
Professor Winchester argued that, until rural towns start emphasizing their positives, this trend won’t grow, and people won’t stay. “When you’ve got this dominant negative narrative, it is very difficult on both fronts both locally and nationally, to perceive that you can actually succeed in a small town.”
Yes, everything that sociologist Winchester foresees in our future we do believe is hitting it head-on.
We are seeing a change in the real estate industry in the last six months. Is it only COVID? Yes, this could be some of the reasons, but we believe that the housing industry will take a drastic turn in the years to come.
More and more people are searching for a more peaceful environment and return to the basics. Small towns, like Greensboro, Eatonton, Milledgeville, are all seeing the younger generation migrating to the small towns seeking the laid — back lifestyle for their families.
But let’s refer to my title of the article: Small towns must save themselves. It is up to our community to push the positive aspects to attract the people to our area. We must encourage employment opportunities, modern facilities to show people that living country living is beautiful and a place to enjoy your family. Seeing so many of our beautiful little towns boarded up is heartbreaking and just maybe we are going to see a big change coming. People will walk down the streets and enjoy visiting with their neighbors and seeing the local businesses come back. We think everything will come full circle.
We have everything to offer here at our beautiful Lake Country. It is up to us to welcome people to our community. Let’s come together and promote our local businesses and see our little towns prosper once again
(Some information from Apolitical, Article Anoush Darabi)
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Never give up, miracles happen every day.