Thursday, February 03, 2005

Take Me Home Country Roads

“Moving to the country is once again the American Dream. The trend is strong, and it will bring inevitable change to the farm community.” This month, Progressive Farmer Magazine carries an article identifying the top ten and then top 100 rural places to live in the United States.  Make sure you click on the link labeled: Why people are moving to the country.

“People just want a small-town, rural feel,” says Calvin Beale, a demographer with the USDA who has been studying the census data showing movement to rural counties. In trying to understand that data, he often calls local people with firsthand knowledge of the movement, including Extension agents, chambers of commerce and real estate agents.

“They tell me people are moving in who simply want to get away from cities,” says Beale. “They say they’re concerned about their children, that they want to get their children out of urban schools and into rural schools where it’s safer and they don’t have the gangs.” The reasons are social, he believes, not economic.

And if you look at the lists, you’ll find that the magazine placed only one Montana county--Gallatin--among the top 100 places to live. (You may also notice that my hometown of McPherson, Kansas, ranked third). But as the McPherson Sentinel was asking yesterday: do we agree with the criteria that the magazine used? 

Posted by Marcella Sherfy on 02/03 at 08:38 AM
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 2005 Montana Heritage Project