Of the 26,000 people living in Rexburg, ID more than 81 percent of them are under 30.
It's because of this that Rexburg has decided to change its theme to “Millennial City USA.” The amount of people ages 18-35 in the area is expected to increase by 26 percent by 2025.
Many millennials are drawn to Eastern Idaho because of higher education opportunities such as Brigham Young University Idaho (BYUI) or Idaho State University (ISU). Often, they stay after graduation and find jobs at local companies like Idaho National Laboratory, Melaleuca, and Progrexion.
In order to maintain and keep the growing population of young people, economic development leaders are researching rural millennials.
“So much has been written about what urban millennials want, but this is the first time anyone has formally studied rural millennials to learn what drives them,” says Jan Rogers, president of the Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho (REDI), which just completed a survey and focus group series with its millennial population.
Some of the findings include that while Snapchat and Instagram are preferred by urban millennials, rural millennials primarily use Facebook. Rural millennials also prefer to live close to, but not in, urban centers and are motivated more by the kind of work they are doing than by other incentives. Rural millennials are likely to find jobs through networking and quit a job or profession because of poor work culture.
Other reasons millennials stay in the area include the low cost of living and plenty of outdoor activities for recreation, such as visiting Yellowstone National Park.
Plans for new restaurants, shopping centers, and housing are in the making for Rexburg, providing more jobs and career opportunities.
“Rexburg is home to many young scholars who are passionate about living and working in this unique region,” says Jerry Merrill, Mayor of Rexburg, Idaho. “Our small-town community appeals to a massive group of millennials because of their access to higher education, career opportunities, affordability and endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. They feel welcome and excited to interact here,” he said.
REDI is creating a social media campaign in keeping with Rexburg’s new theme of “Millennial City USA”. The campaign’s purpose is to talk about all Eastern Idaho has to offer from the perspective of rural millennials.