My friend Bob just moved to Providence, Rhode Island. He’s settling in, even embracing his two-hour commute to and from his job in Cambridge where he also used to live. He left Cambridge and Greater Boston’s significantly larger population of about 4 million to to join Providence’s much smaller community of about 180,000. In making the move, Bob became part of the nationwide trend of migration to small towns, but he left money on the table by not considering the communities offering cold cash enticements to new residents.

From Midwest towns like Grant County, Indiana and to St Clair County Illinois to the state of Wisconsin and our neighbor to the north, Vermont, states, towns and cities are willing to pay thousands of dollars to entice residents to put down roots. Not all of them for the same reasons. But I’ll get to that.

When I first heard about these local efforts I thought it was a brilliant way to take advantage of Americans’ natural nomadic tradition. The Census Bureau estimates the average American will move about eleven times in their lifetime. I’m unusual at only 4 moves thus far. I’m more like Europeans who only change homes 4 times in their lifetime.

But, Vermont’s cash deal is awfully tempting. Governor Phil Scott signed a bill to offer eligible workers up to $10,000 over two years to make their home in Vermont. The catch? The workers must bring their own jobs with them, by working remotely as full time employees for out of state businesses. And based on the allocation of dollars — only about 25 inviduals would initially be accommodated. Vermont, like other states and towns is trying to address an aging population by appealing to young professionals squeezed by high rents and graduates hobbled by student loans. Other places are offering some variation on a monetary theme — St. Clair County’s plan of up to $15,000 for student loan repayment is aimed at young graduates who grew up there. In Grant County, Indiana it’s $5,000 for a down payment and 20 percent off rent for skilled workers in exchange for 5 years living there. In Marne Iowa new residents might get a free plot of land. And this past spring, Pawtucket State Rep Carlos Tobon proposed legislation offering certain types of families a cash benefit of up to $10,000 to move to the state. They would have to live there for a year and only qualify if their household income is $10,000. Tobon says his plan would help boost Rhode Island’s population ahead of the 2020 census and protect the small state’s two congressional seats.

I’d like to think the desperation for workers in certain areas would make it impossible to overlook any and all who are willing to take a chance on a new city. But, there’s no ignoring that these new resident campaigns are not really open to everybody. They’re aimed at college graduates, skilled workers, and young professionals. And some suggest they are subtly or overtly aimed at young white professionals with skills or older white workers who are economically well off. Either way, I wouldn’t make the cut. But all of this is of no matter to my friend Bob who wasn’t looking for money — just a new comfortable place to call home.