Minnesota’s rural counties for the second year in a row saw modest population increases from in-migration, while urban counties in the Twin Cities had out-migration — according to the latest study by Mankato-based Center for Rural Policy and Development. Researcher Kelly Asche says millennials and those younger have reversed a long-standing pattern and are favoring rural areas: 

Asche says the pandemic prompted work-from home, giving people the ability to live wherever they wanted — and he says housing costs are significantly less in Greater Minnesota and rural areas. And Asche says although he doesn’t have specific data, there are indications that post-George Floyd crime rates in the Twin Cities are also pushing people to rural areas. He says the trend might not be enough to “bring back” some rural communities, but there could be more stability as rural and urban populations “even out.”