(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) In July of 2020, a regional survey collected data from across the Northwest Missouri area asking residents why they are living in the area.
Over 2,000 people participated in the Maximize NWMO online survey, collecting answers from all ages of residents targeting those who live in the area, those who left and have returned and those who moved away.
"Then we also had a fair amount of people responding to the survey who left and haven't returned," said Christel Gollnick, a team member of the survey. "And we felt like those responses were really helpful as well because it gives us clues as to what people care about and where they decide to live."
Gollnick said the survey team was satisfied with the response from the public, and found information that could educate the area.
"The biggest thing that we found was not surprising, that people really make their decision about where they live based on family and friends, their job, and other opportunities. But, almost every response that we got had something to do with a sense of belonging," said Gollnick.
The most common responses as to what residents look for when finding a new home is family, healthcare, broadband internet and education, family ties coming in as the number one reason residents move back home.
Gollnick added, "The other thing that we find that was kind of an 'aha' moment for us through this survey was that we really need to continue supporting our leadership development organizations."
Maximize Northwest's goal of the survey is to bring awareness to communities in hopes city officials can gain better tools to improve their city.
"The effort of Maximize NWMO is really about collecting many voices towards one vision, and allowing all of those voices to determine what that vision is. That's really important for building that sense of belonging for the region."
To view the full results of the survey, visit maximizenwmo.org/alumni-resident-survey.