New rural residents could invigorate communities


New rural residents could invigorate communities

Rural communities have seen an increase in residents throughout the pandemic and a recent study offers insights into their incentives.

Mark Smither with South Dakota-based ag marketing firm Paulsen tells Brownfield their nationwide online study this past summer questioned new rural residents who moved in the last year and those who are considering moving.

“There were about three primary reasons why they moved and that’s more land and more space for their home, having fewer people around, and I thought this was interesting—getting more home for less money,” he says.

Urbanists made up just over 40 percent of participants and maintain their urban attitudes while space seekers, a third of participants, wanted more indoor and outdoor space.  Ruralists were the remaining quarter and moved specifically to have a rural lifestyle.

“The number one concern amongst everyone was the availability of internet access,” he highlights.

Smither says about half of respondents were seeking to move to one to five acres with about a third working remotely and 40 percent working in a mixed work environment because of COVID-19.

“We believe there are tremendous opportunities to attract a new workforce and grow a rural America that we probably haven’t seen in quite some time,” he says.

On average, small to mid-sized markets, like the size of Fort Wayne, Indiana, were the most desirable locations to move.