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Granite Falls Advocate Tribune - Granite Falls, MN
  • Many rural areas seeing increase in populations of individuals in 30s and 40s

  • As soon as his big-city banking employer allowed him to work remotely, Andrew Lewis fled his traffic-jammed, necktie world to seek serenity. Now, when he turns away from the three computer screens on his desk, he can wander out the door of his old farmhouse and gaze at the rippling green carpet of crops that stretches...
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  • As soon as his big-city banking employer allowed him to work remotely, Andrew Lewis fled his traffic-jammed, necktie world to seek serenity. Now, when he turns away from the three computer screens on his desk, he can wander out the door of his old farmhouse and gaze at the rippling green carpet of crops that stretches beyond his 10-mile view. Corn, soybeans and sky.
    Lewis is part of a small but steady contingent of educated transplants, often in their 30s and 40s, who are choosing to settle in the countryside. Seeking simpler lives, they are tipping the scales back a bit from the often-cited "brain drain" of rural high school graduates who leave for work or college in bigger cities.
    "Even in the light of decline, there is growth," said Ben Winchester, who documented the continuing trend through his University of Minnesota Extension research. Despite perpetual images of the dying small town, he said, "there's more depth to population than just the total number. ... They have definitely contributed to keeping our small towns alive."
    Read more here.
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