Thursday, August 13, 2009

Amenity-rich rural areas will see influx of retiring baby boomers, new study predicts

Many of the baby boomers, those Americans now aged 45 to 63, are expected to migrate to rural areas in the next decade, according to a recent study by the Economic Research Service of the Department of Agriculture.

"Baby boomers have already demonstrated more of an affinity for moving to rural and small-town destinations than older or younger cohorts," authors John Cromartie and Peter Nelson note. "They led a short-lived rural 'rebound' in the early 1990s, despite being at an age when career-oriented motivations strongly influence migration decisions. They are now poised to significantly increase the population of 55-75 year olds in rural and small-town America through 2020, with major social and economic implications for their chosen destinations."

"Most counties won’t see a big influx of Boomers, however," Bill Bishop points out in the Daily Yonder. Those that do will be "the places with the most natural amenities — beaches, lakes, rivers and mountains." (Younder map from USDA data, below) Urban amenities, such as cultural opportunities, will also matter, the authors report. Other factors include reasonable land prices. For Bishop's excerpts of the study, click here. For the full study, click here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This index has troubled me for years. How can Minnesota rank so low? Just because of temperatures? Look at the population gains in the recreational counties across their state...