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VOL - 5 / 2014 - APR

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Demographic Factors and Community Perceptions Impact Young Adult Retention Trends in Rural Areas


The out-migration of youth from rural areas is an issue predominantly driven by economic factors and leaves small communities with a shallow pool of skilled workers. But are there factors that outweigh urban economic opportunity that keep young workers in rural agricultural areas? This study examines trends related to the retention of young adults in rural Northwest Ohio. Extension researchers sampled over 340 young adults (25-34 years of age) from 8 counties in Northwest Ohio. Results highlight rural community perceptions of young adults as well as
those factors that impact the decision to remain in rural northwest Ohio. Sampled adults report those with stronger northwest Ohio roots, i.e., who were raised in northwest Ohio along with their parents or spouses, were more likely to settle in the area themselves. The research shows there are correlations between certain demographic factors and the way respondents perceive their community or rural area.


Demographic Factors; Community Perceptions; Young Adult Retention; Rural Areas


Jason A. Hedrick; Jeff Dick & Mark Light

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