The Brain Gain

According to the U.S. Census, the number of 10 to 19 year olds in Iowa County declined by -13.1 percent between 2000 and 2010. While the number of 20 to 29 year olds increased slightly (5.2 percent), the number of 30 to 39 year olds living in Iowa County fell dramatically (-23.6 percent) during the same period.

What is one thing we can say with total certainty about Iowa County residents who were age 20 to 29 in 2000? Well, either they are now age 30 to 39 years old or they have departed this world.

QUESTION: In 2000, there were 2,227 Iowa County residents aged 20 to 29 years old. According to the 2010 Census, how many 30 to 39 year olds lived in Iowa County in 2010?

A. 1,769
B. 1,989
C. 2,397
D. 2.821


D. 2.821
In 2000, there were 2,227 Iowa County residents aged 20 to 29 years old. The Census reports that there were 2,821 Iowa County residents aged 30 to 39 years in 2010. That means that there was a net inflow of 694 people in the 30 to 39 year age cohort into Iowa County during the decade.

That phenomenon is not unique to Iowa County. In The Rural Welcome Wagon, Ben Winchester discusses the rural renaissance occurring in many rural midwestern counties and communities. He notes the fact that 30 to 45 year olds are moving into rural areas throughout the Midwest. According to Winchester, some are simply retuning home while others are seeking a different lifestyle.

Let me know if you’d like to learn how to obtain similar data for your county or community.