Grow It Goal 10
Families and young people want – and are able – to stay, return to, or move to the community.

Common Sense
  • As populations dwindle, rural communities and services become less viable.
  • As communities stabilize and grow with people who want to be there, families living in them tend to do better.
  • Young families are a self-perpetuating resource.
  • Young people bring new ideas and energy to the community.
  • For many rural communities, children are an export crop, lost to better opportunities in other places.
  • When children leave, they take the community investment in their education with them; they also reduce the chance that their parents’ legacy assets will remain in the community.
  • The availability of intergenerational support is a key asset that helps families maintain stability, lower costs and get ahead in good times and bad.

Fast Facts
  • In every decade from 1950 to 2000, rural counties have experienced a significant loss of young adults (ages 20 to 29). REF
  • Among employed young adults (ages 18 to 24) in rural areas, only 24% are working full-time, year-round. REF
  • 85% of U.S. counties that lost population between 2000 & 2007 are located outside metropolitan areas, and 59% of these counties rely on farming, manufacturing or mining. REF

Check out related Action Ideas and Alerts below! Or view other Grow It goals here.

A Rural Pipeline Everyone Can Support

A Rural Pipeline Everyone Can Support

Three hours north of Maine’s largest city, Franklin County leaders envisioned a thriving community in which working families could attain higher education levels that improved their family’s economic status [RuFES Grow It Goal 5]. Like their counterparts in many rural places, Franklin County families faced three major barriers to getting the post-secondary education they need […]

A Welcoming Community Grows in Rural Minnesota

In 2011, the hiring manager at Quality Pork Processors contacted Jake Vela, executive director of Austin, Minnesota’s Welcome Center, to let him know that 300 new immigrant workers would soon begin working at their Austin facility. That call was the catalyst for Jake and his staff to learn everything they could about their newest neighbors.

Making Communities Welcoming: New Faces in Rural Places

We want our families and communities to thrive, and, in order for rural places to succeed, rural communities need to be places that families want to live. One good sign that rural communities continue to be attractive places to live is that many new families are settling down in rural counties, according to recently released […]

RuFES is a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group.
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