Community Development News

Economic Benefits of Immigration

The majority of rural, foreign-born U.S. residents come from Latin America. And Latino immigrants are not only bringing population growth to rural America, they also bring economic growth. Economists have found that, nationwide, rural counties with larger proportions of Latino populations tend to be better off economically than those with smaller Latino populations.

Immigrants and Latinos Bring Economic Growth to Rural Communities

Unfortunately, in the rancor of the presidential primary season, discussion of the benefits immigrants bring to rural and small town America has gotten lost.
Towns and cities in the nation’s midsection have struggled to find ways to maintain their population and tax base. However, small towns with growing immigrant populations have sustained, or even increased, their population.

Lyons Storefront Theater Honored with National Award

“Too often we think that you have to go to the big city to get your arts and culture fix. This project is about demonstrating that we can and do have interesting arts and cultural infrastructure in small towns. If we can do this in Lyons, Nebraska, it can be done anywhere.” -Center for Rural Affairs Executive Director Brian Depew

Photos Show Beauty and Detail of Everyday Life

Here at the Center for Rural Affairs, we have a deep appreciation of art. It has the ability to touch our lives, build a shared appreciation of culture, and strengthen community ties.

Our staff is a talented crew – both on the job and off. Gardening, cooking, knitting, woodworking, writing and photography are only a few examples of our creative hobbies.

Latino Rural Population Growing

Our home state of Nebraska has seen significant immigrant growth since the first wave in 1980s, and now has one of the fastest growing Latino populations in the nation. A recent report by the University of Nebraska projects the Latino population will reach 24% of the state’s population by 2050.

Furthermore, 43% of this growth has occurred in rural Nebraska. The majority population in some towns has shifted to Latino. For instance, Lexington, Nebraska, is now 60% Latino and Schuyler, Nebraska, is 65% Latino.


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