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NEWS STORIES

Young people not moving to the Northwoods Submitted: 03/27/2014

Kaitlyn Howe
Reporter/Producer
khowe@wjfw.com

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PHILLIPS - Northwoods communities want more people to visit the area.

But they're also working on attracting more people to live here.

Many counties in Northern Wisconsin need to make changes to keep people in the area.

Price County for example has seen some big declines in population in the past few years.

Their population declined 10.6% percent from 2000 to 2010.

Few young families could be why they're seeing the decrease.

Lower paying jobs might be the reason why it's difficult to keep younger people in the county.

"Our median income is 20% less in Price County than the state of Wisconsin. And Wisconsin is less than some of our surrounding states. Young people coming out with all the bills they have from school are saying 'I really need to pay some of these off' and that's why some of them are moving away, says Gail Huycke, of the UW Extension in Price County.

Price County lost 2.5% of their population in the past three years.

They aren't the only county with this problem.

Langlade County lost 2% and Forest County lost 1.9%.

Price County doesn't have a hospital that can deliver babies.

That could be one of the reasons they aren't seeing as many young families.

"We tend to launch our young people, we want them to be the best they can be. Get a degree because they need that in today's society. Our problem is we're not bringing them back until later in life. That's the population in between their 20s and 30s that have babies, and we're not having those babies," says Huycke.

The County is trying to find out how to make the area more appealing to young people.

"We really need to find out some of those other things that are the heart and soul of why young people want to live here. Because the simple fact is, people do tend to migrate out. And our births aren't keeping up with our deaths and we're getting older," says Huycke.

They county feels better internet is one of the ways they could attract more young people.

They hope to improve their broadband soon.



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