I ran across a valuable report about attracting people to rural areas by a Canadian researcher. Here is the link: Attracting-and-Retaining-people. It is a good resource for us in Ashtabula County.
Attracting population to small rural communities can be a challenge as most people prefer to settle in larger cities where the draw of family, friends, ethnic networks and jobs is strong. However, rural communities can attract and retain population by promoting the benefits of living and working in smaller communities (e.g., employment opportunities, lower living expenses, safe neighborhoods and access to community health and recreation services).
The report was developed as a resource guide to assist rural communities wishing to attract and retain population to address their long-term economic needs. The report includes information and links to web based resources, initiatives and programs. The document contains information on some best practices that have been developed by other countries. The document also reviews the literature on benefits, challenges and strategic options to attract and retain population in rural communities.
The information is divided into the following five sections to allow communities to locate information relevant to their situation more quickly:
1. Attraction and retention of immigrants and migrants to rural areas
2. Attraction and retention of youth to rural areas
3. Attraction and retention of retirees to rural areas
4. Attraction and retention of professionals to rural areas
5. Attraction and retention of artists to rural areas