BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Walton Family Foundation (WFF) released a new study on Thursday as part of its efforts to better understand how Gen Zers and Millennials in Northwest Arkansas view opportunity in the region.
The study, “Millennials, Generation Z, and Northwest Arkansas,” was conducted by Echelon Insights and commissioned by the WFF.
The Walton family’s charitable foundation says its focus groups showed that young people in Northwest Arkansas “want to live in vibrant communities with a variety of jobs, good schools, local amenities, resources to obtain real-world skills and where everyone can afford a home.”
They also want to live in a community that promotes respect and inclusion, the report found.
“Lifting up young people must be a priority for Northwest Arkansas to realize its full potential as one of the country’s most inclusive communities,” said Emma Pengelly, the WFF’s interim Home Region Program director. “The next generation celebrates respect and togetherness – values that will help build a region where everyone feels welcomed.”
Northwest Arkansas youth cited affordable housing, available jobs in their chosen career fields, and good public schools as the top factors in deciding where to live.
They also prioritized walkability, bikeability, and easy access to nature.
Respondents said the top things that might keep them from having the opportunity to live a “better life” include not being able to afford a home, inaccessible/expensive higher education, and not having the right connections.
You can read the full report below:
Note: In the report, all survey results are from nationwide surveys conducted June 2020 and January 2021 with 1,000 Americans age 13-23 (Generation Z) and 1,000 Americans age 24-39 (Millennials).
Focus group results are from three focus group discussions with teenagers aged 13 through 18 living in Northwest Arkansas. They were conducted during May 2021.