Hand-wringing Narrative Intoning Rural “Brain Drain” Re-Framed as “Brain Gain”

A widely accepted narrative intones the death of American small towns as young people flee to cities leaving behind peeling paint, empty fields, aluminum walkers, and meth. But now, the “brain drain” picture is being re-framed. University of Minnesota fellow, Ben Winchester, is taking a  second look at census data revealing, not a “brain drain” but a “brain gain.” Mid-career and retirees are bringing new ideas, wealth, and lifestyles to rural America.

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