Published November 1, 2002 | November 2002 issue
|Larger map||Note: Nonmetro recreational counties in Ninth Federal Reserve District states, from forthcoming article in Rural America, by Kenneth Johnson, Loyola University-Chicago, and Calvin Beale, Economic Research Service, USDA, "Nonmetro Recreation Counties: Their Identification and Rapid Growth."|
Research just completed by Calvin Beale at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service identified 55 rural counties in the district as "recreational" counties, defined by Beale as nonmetro counties that rank high on the presence of second homes and/or the proportion of income and jobs derived from recreation-related businesses, like lodging, restaurants, real estate and entertainment. As the map demonstrates, most of the district's recreational counties are concentrated in the high-amenity corridors.
In more temperate parts of the country, many high-amenity locales tend to become "retirement" counties-those that saw at least 15 percent in-migration of people over 60 with a main residence over the course of a decade. As of the 1990 census (this research has not been updated from the 2000 census), only six counties in the district were considered retirement counties, four of which were also categorized by Beale as recreational counties.
The district's cold winter climate is what separates its high-amenity beltswhere seasonal residences predominatefrom year-round retirement destinations like Florida and Arizona. In Cass and Crow Wing counties, two major vacation destinations in Minnesota, seasonal housing makes up 45 percent and 33 percent, respectively, of all housing units.
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