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Where, oh, where is ‘Y’

Kate Cataldo

Where have all the millennials gone?

Numbers show the millennial generation decreasing in small, rural areas.

However, the millennials are leaving the major cities as well.

So, where are they settling down?

Many young adults said they leave their home towns because they do not feel their community values them. In 2017, the median age of all people was 44 years-old. In 2016, people in Warren had an average age of 43, meaning that the people living here are getting older. With the young adults leaving, these numbers are expected to increase.

There are many factors that come into play with why millennials are leaving. There are also a lot of reasons why they are not coming back.

Anyone born in the years 1981 to 1996 is considered a millennial.

For years, young adults received bad reviews from older generations. Studies have been done recently and millennials have proven themselves to be beneficial, especially in the workplace.

First, they are naturally motivated. 65 percent of millennials said that personal development is the most important factor in their careers. They want to learn and grow, and they are extremely motivated to succeed. But, they aren’t motivated by a paycheck. They succeed on their own terms because they value success.

Another benefit is that they are cost-effective.

The young adult is more likely to trade in the bigger paycheck for more flexibility, personal recognition, and overall happiness. They value community, family, and creativity in their work.

So, millennials clearly aren’t in it for the money.

When looking to settle down, there are a few things millennials are looking for.

Safety is understandable the most important aspect people are looking for when looking for a place to live and play. They are also looking for access to good jobs, open spaces, public places, connection and mobility. They want to stay connected to their peers and they want to do it at a fair cost.

The future of a town lies in the hands of its youth. All you hear kids say is … “I can’t wait to get out of here.”

There are a number of things a town or city can do to boost their younger populations.

Millennials say that high-speed internet is “a basic staple of modern life.” When living in a rural area, faster internet access means more opportunities like long-distance learning and online business opportunities.

They also value socialization, so by creating “third space” like cafes and microbreweries you are investing in the priorities of the younger adults.

More than 70 percent of young people want to own a business and 17 percent already do. Public markets, co-working spaces, financial incentives and “buy local” campaigns are all indications of an entrepreneurial culture.

Millennials are looking for areas with plenty of entrepreneurial opportunities, and by providing these to them, you will attract that population to your area.

Young adults — ultimately — just want to be valued. They want to serve a purpose and make sure their ideas and opinions matter.

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