Millennials are ready to move and 39% prefer small towns – how can you attract them?

Route Fifty reports…

The pace of small towns are often a welcome change for millennials already burned out on the demands of urban life. Perhaps that’s why as many as 39% have indicated a preference for living in small towns over big cities. Leaving crowded metro areas means ditching traffic congestion, cramped and noisy neighborhoods and unaffordable housing prices.

And with the current pandemic shuttering mainstays of city life and physical proximity to others becoming dangerous, countless Americans are also questioning why they live in dense urban centers at all. In April, nearly 40% of urbanites said they’ve considered leaving for less crowded spaces.

They also look at what attracts millennials; topping the list is broadband and legislation that makes it easy to work remotely…

  1. Provide area-based incentives. Attracting remote-working millennials is one approach communities have taken. But many small communities have limited (or sometimes no) access to broadband, making remote work difficult to impossible. Given the large amount of workers now conducting business remotely, fixing this problem will become even more critical in rural areas.
    States have started addressing this by providing incentives for small communities to make local broadband investments. These take a variety of forms, such as the statewide broadband plan Oregon is considering that allocates money for enhancing rural broadband or the rural broadband funding Georgia is exploring. With the necessary boosts to limited small-town broadband connections, new and current small-town telecommuters can enjoy workdays without worrying about spotty or unreliable internet connections.

Other items on the list…

  1. Offer individual and business incentives.
  2. Encourage rural homecoming initiatives.
  3. Revitalize Main Streets.
This entry was posted in economic development and tagged by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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