Boomers Migrating to Rural America

[imgbelt img=amenities.gif]Baby Boomers are coming. Over the next decade, many will leave the cities for smaller towns, a migration that will change the nature and economy of many rural counties.


found here. 

“rural rebound” came from Boomers moving into small towns, the authors write. 

Now those who are between 45 and 63 years of age are “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,” according to Cromartie and Nelson.

Boomers are moving, and as they do, they are leaving both metro areas and suburbia in favor of smaller towns. Metro areas gained 973,000 Boomers during the 1990s, according to Cromartie and Nelson. Counties on the fringe of metro areas — the suburbs or exurbs — had the highest rate of Boomer in-migration during that decade.

[imgcontainer left] [img:moversbytime.png] [source]Economic Research Service

The number of Boomers migrating to rural, or non-metro, counties is increasing, gaining steam in the next decade.
In the 2010s, however, those trends will reverse. Metro areas will see a net loss of 643,000 Boomers during the next decade. Fringe counties will see their in-migration rates remain stable. But rural counties, will welcome increasing numbers of Boomers. “After gaining only 277,000 boomer migrants during the 1990s, these nonadjacent counties will gain nearly 362,000 and 383,000 new Boomer residents during the 2000s and 2010s, respectively,” Cromartie and Nelson write.

Most counties won’t see a big influx of Boomers, however. My voiceless, doodle-writing friend scribbled that he and his wife are thinking of moving to northern New Mexico, in the mountains.

This is typical boomer behavior, seeking out the places with the most natural amenities — beaches, lakes, rivers and mountains. Cromartie and Nelson found that the net migration to the 500 rural counties with the most scenic amenities will increase from 520,000 in the 1990s to 720,000 in the 2010s.