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It’s time to brag on Norman County!  According to a survey by Smart Asset, Norman County is #1 in Minnesota for its value and #6 in the nation for it's value

  Some counties deliver a greater return on residents’ property taxes than others. A study by financial technology company Smart Asset compares counties across the U.S., measuring local crime rates and school quality relative to effective property tax rates.

Norman County ranked number one in Minnesota for value compared to taxes paid. Lincoln County ranked number two in the state. The property tax in Norman County is 1.18% compared to Lincoln at 1.23%; the school rating is six, putting the county in the top 40% in the state, Lincoln rated 10 (top); there are 30 crimes/100K people, Lincoln had 482 crimes/100K;  the overall value index was 99.81, Lincoln was 94.08.

#6 in the nation  

Nationally, with a score of 99.81, Norman County ranked sixth in the United States. Number one in the survey was Windsor, VT, with 1.96 percent property tax, the school rating was a six, there were two crimes per 100K people with an overall score of 100.00; Tippah, MS with and overall score of 99.96 was second; Orleans, VT with 99.92 was third; Tishomingo, MS with 99.89 was fourth; and Page, VA with 99.85 was fifth. Each of the top six schools were rated as at six with the exception of Orleans at a five and Tishomingo at a nine.

In addition to this study, there are other studies to bolster the optimism. According to the University of Minnesota, rural Minnesota is enjoying a relatively new phenomena, the “Brain Gain”, a trend of population increases in ages 30-49 into rural areas across Minnesota. This trend, highlighted in the 2012 report by Benjamin Winchester, Continuing the Trend: The Brain Gain of the Newcomers A generational analysis of rural Minnesota Migration,1990-2010, is bringing a resurgence to rural Minnesota as many of these newcomers are highly educated with families, which ultimately impacts the community in a positive way. 

Betty McCommon (2018_02_27 23_41_36 UTC).JPGThe report states “The leaders found that the top reasons cited for migration to rural Minnesota include: 1) a desire for a simpler life, 2) safety and security, 3) affordable housing, 4) outdoor recreation, and 5) for those with children, locating a quality school. Surprisingly, jobs were not found in the top 10 reasons. In short, the decision to move was based on concerns about quality of life.” 

This report lends credibility to the position taken by Northwest Minnesota Foundation in 2003—that talent has become the main driver of regional economic development and that quality of place is the essential ingredient in attracting and retaining a talented workforce. This “Brain Gain” provides northwest Minnesota with an opportunity to boost a trend already moving in a positive direction. To read the report in its entirety, go to

Flom Lions pancake 1(web).jpgWhat does this say for our county? We can tap in to what is positive, brag about it, advertise it and capitalize on it. Many groups are already hard at work to make it reality and you can be a part. They include civic groups, local economic development authorities, schools, city governments and the recently formed Norman County Economic Development Authority.


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Fri., Nov. 16 - Join us!

The NCEDA is hosting a Discover Norman County launch event to share ideas and celebrate our county. Meet your local EDA groups!

Link here for Launch event info

If you want to be a part of the Discover Norman County focus groups, contact Karie Kirschbaum at 218-350-1673 or attend the launch to find out more.

What can we do in the meantime? The next time we hear a poor, sad soul at the local coffee house say, “we are a dying community”, we can cheer them up with the good news and invite them to be part of the solution.