ord sunshine pumpers

life in rural nebraska

Rural population growth tied to quality, accessible health care

with 3 comments

While working at the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, the agency and I organized a research tool to understand the motivating factors new Nebraska residents indicated as reasons to come to the state.  The response was overwhelming – family and careers.

What we found more interesting in the information was that while these reasons brought them back, two major factors that played a role in their overall happiness with actually being in rural Nebraska.  The first factor, the feeling of safety and security, was an overwhelming driver of happiness with their community.  Nebraska can point to a high level of each in nearly all of our communities.  The second factor in rural Nebraska was access to quality healthcare. People that had moved back to the state were telling us that if they weren’t safe and didn’t have good healthcare, they were overwhelmingly unhappy.

How does this connect with Ord?  A new hospital bond issue passed in Spring 2008 made the opportunity for the community a reality, as many of you know.  For economic development and community growth, another strong, decisive asset in encouraging new residents to make Valley County their home was made available.  Not surprisingly, new residents strongly desired tangible investments into the future of their community.

New Valley County Hospital

New Valley County Hospital

Access to affordable housing and recreational opportunities rounded out the list of happiness factors that we learned and thankfully Valley County has an abundance of both, found here and hereThe fact Ord hits a home run in all four categories makes Valley County an easy sell for someone looking to make a move to rural Nebraska.  The fact we have access to each amenity also makes this Sunshine Pumper a happy camper!


Written by Caleb

January 16, 2009 at 9:14 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Very interesting Caleb. I am hoping LinkedIn can help the smaller, rural communities with branding and getting these types of success stories out. With the troubling economic times, it may be an opportunity to attract people to “The Good Life!”


    January 19, 2009 at 5:45 pm

  2. I agree. For some folks, there is a general misconception that rural communities don’t have much for opportunity, when that can be the exact opposite case. Factor in the deduction in cost of living, and many times it can be a win for the individual looking for new scenery.


    January 19, 2009 at 5:53 pm

  3. […] of the new facility here, and below is the schematic for the new building.  Last year, I blogged about the importance of quality healthcare in rural communities, especially as it relates to rural population growth.  Look at what I had to […]

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