Did You Know?

  • Millennials earn 20% less (after accounting for inflation) than Baby Boomers did at the same stage of life.1
  • Millennials with a degree have better paying jobs, are more likely to own a home, and have more retirement savings than their non-college graduate peers, the report finds.2
  • While income has gone down for young people across the board, white millennials are still earning significantly more than their African-American and Latino peers.2
  • In addition, young people’s net wealth declined by 56 percent in the span of 25 years, partly due to the rising cost of a college education.2
  • The earnings gap between college grads and everyone else has reached its widest point on record.3
  • College graduates, on average, earned 56 percent more than high school grads in 2015.3
  • Non-college grads have experienced an overall 3% decline in income. (EPI/AP)
  • Just two-thirds of high school-only grads ages 25 through 64 were employed in 2015, down from 73 percent in 2007.3
  • High school-only grads are less likely to own homes. 64 percent are current homeowners compared with 77 percent of bachelor’s degree holders.3
  • College grads are more likely to contribute to 401(k) style retirement plans even when both groups had similar incomes.3

Rural Advantage (taken from the December 29, 2016 StarTribune article Opportunity seeded in small towns by Adam Belz)

  • Rural Minnesota has better schools than the U.S. average.
  • Rural Minnesota has less income inequality that the U.S. average.
  • Of the 100 best U.S. counties in which to grow up poor, 77 are in the Midwest. Most of those are in farm-country.
  • Children from low and middle-income families in rural areas are more likely to reach the middle class than their urban counterparts.
  • Children that grow up in small, rural towns are less likely to grow up in single-parent households.

Options and Opportunities

  • White children do worse in poor, segregated places.
  • Children of color do better in integrated places.
  • Overall, children do best if they grow up where different economic classes live together.
  • In cities, the rich and poor live largely separate lives.
  • In the country everyone grows up together.

Typical adult incomes based on area (StarTribune, based on a Harvard study)

  • $49,400 typical adult income of those who grew up poor in Red Lake County.
  • $30,200 typical adult income of those who grew up poor in Hennepin County.

Costs of Childrearing (U.S. Department of Agriculture projections as reported by Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press)

  • It will cost parents of children born in 2015 an average of $13,000 annually to raise those children or about $233,610 for 17 years.
  • Housing accounts for about one third of that cost.
  • The costs went up 3% last year, outpacing inflation.
  • The costs are higher in urban areas than they are in rural areas.
  • Lower-income families are expected to spend around $174,690 per child from birth through 17; higher-income families will spend an average $372,210.
  • These costs do not include college.
  • According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2016–2017 school year was $33,480 at private colleges, $9,650 for state residents at public colleges, and $24,930 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.


The federally mandated state accountability law, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) deadline has been extended for Minnesota. MDE will be submitting a draft for approval in September of 2017.

Quotes and Quotables

Rural results

  • “This out-migration of our kids is actually a really good thing. You don’t necessarily get upward mobility in the community you’re raised in. You get upward mobility because your community raised you well.” – Ben Winchester, University of Minnesota Extension school sociologist
  • “The rural areas seem to produce really good outcomes for kids from low-income families.” – Raj Chetty, Stanford economics


  • “Love has nothing to do with what I get. It has to do with what I give.” – Bertice B. Berry American sociologist, author, lecturer, and educator
  • “No one can stop you but you.” – Walter Bond, former University of Minnesota and professional basketball player
  • “Confidence is arrogance under control.” – Walter Bond, former University of Minnesota and professional basketball player

Random Fun Facts

  • Pteronophobia is the fear of being tickled by feathers!
  • Cherophobia is the fear of fun.
  • When hippos are upset, their sweat turns red.
  • A flock of crows is known as a murder.
  • “Facebook Addiction Disorder” is a mental disorder identified by Psychologists.
  • Human saliva has a boiling point three times that of regular water.
  • After reading this post you will not recognize that the brain doesn’t recognize the second ‘the’.
  • If you somehow found a way to extract all of the gold from the bubbling core of our lovely little planet, you would be able to cover all of the land in a layer of gold up to your knees.
  1. USA Today, January 13, 2016
  2. Jim Tanner/Reuters analysis of Federal Reserve data, January 14, 2017
  3. Economic Policy Institute data as reported by Christopher S. Rugaber, Associated Press as reported in the January 13, StarTribune

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