Data released in March from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that the population in counties outside of metro areas decreased a bit in 2016, making it the sixth straight year of population decline, FiveThirtyEight reports. In light of shrinking populations, a slew of other towns and cities in rural areas of the country also offer financial perks to incentivize people to move there.
In New Richland, Minnesota, for example, you can receive a free lot to build a single-family "dream home," according to a brochure from the town. In order to receive the free land, you must build your new home within one year after the property is deeded to you, and you will be responsible for "special assessment" costs to cover things like water and sewage, which could run between $14,000 to $25,000.
As another type of incentive to attract new residents, Harmony, Minnesota (which boasts a population of 1,000 residents) offers a cash rebate program for home construction. For those building a new home, the Harmony Economic Development Authority will provide a cash rebate ranging from $5,000 to $12,000. There are no restrictions or limits on the applicant's age, income level or residency, either.
"The program has helped create almost $1.1 million in new taxable building value and has gotten us even better mileage as a marketing tool," Chris Giesen, vice president of community and economic development associates (which represents the Harmony Economic Development Authority), tells CNBC Make It.
Other cities that have also offered financial incentives as a tool to recruit new residents include Niagara Falls, New York, Curtis, Nebraska and New Haven, Connecticut.