Tuesday, August 07, 2018

How to keep rural young people from fleeing to the city?

Young adults in record numbers are fleeing their rural hometowns and heading for the city. “This economic and demographic hollowing out is changing our nation,” Gracy Olmstead writes for The Week. “The people who stay feel left behind. One could argue the most visible repercussions of this shift can be found in our politics: President Trump's win in 2016 was largely tied to discontent and frustration throughout rural America, in places that felt stagnated, overlooked, and unheard, which only exacerbates our urban-rural divide.”

Olmstead, herself a rural transplant to Washington, D.C., from a town of 3,000, questions how to reverse this trend. One major part would be fixing the problems that drive many to leave: lack of affordable housing and decent jobs. But another part is changing the way rural areas raise and train youth: “These communities need to foster opportunities for youths across a spectrum of backgrounds — seeking to proffer mentorships, apprenticeships, and job opportunities that will make hometowns attractive and economically sound places to settle.” Read more here

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