Thursday, January 31, 2008

Rural Demographics: is rural Minnesota shrinking?

The Sept.-Oct. 2007 issue of Minnesota Preservationist included an interview with Benjamin Winchester, Data Analysis and Research Coordinator for the Center for Small Towns, U of M-Morris.

Here are some of his comments:
  • "Our research shows that there is a large influx of 35- to 44-year-olds, and they are bringing their children with them. People are realizing as their kids are getting into second and third grade that they do not want to be in an urban area. And we see this reflected in the school populations."
  • "The number one predictor of population growth ... is the presence of or proximity to water ... The number one predictor of population decline between 1990 and 2000 is reliance on agriculture; the second is reliance on manufacturing."
  • "If your town is going to keep growing, it’s going to be through people who don’t look like you. And that tends to be the rule, especially in agricultural areas."
  • "Within any town, there are limited human and financial resources. The physical infrastructure systems – roads, water, and sewer systems – are aging, and replacing them can be costly. The lack of a proactive approach to maintaining this infrastructure is a tremendous hardship today."
  • "The social infrastructure is also aging, yet it is here that people can make a difference ... By providing a welcoming social environment for these newcomers, small towns have a tremendous opportunity to reinvigorate civic life."
Read article.

No comments:

Minnesota State Legislature - What's New

Alexandria Echo Press

Breckenridge/Wahpeton Daily News

Detroit Lakes Tribune

Fergus Falls Daily Journal stories

IN-FORUM: Fargo-Moorhead

Morris Sun Tribune : Morris

Perham Enterprise Bulletin : Perham

Pope County Tribune

News & Features from Minnesota Public Radio

Minnesota Legislature from Minnesota Public Radio