Maximize NWMO offers survey results of 18 counties as to why residents stay and/or return to northwest Missouri

Maximize NWMO Website

Final results from the 2020 Alumni and Resident Survey are in, telling a story of hope and promising potential. Survey participants provided reasons why residents stay in, return to, or move to northwest Missouri, prompting key takeaways for what leaders in northwest Missouri can do to keep and bring talent to the region. Within the responses, we find that the region’s biggest opportunities lie in fostering a sense of belonging for residents.

The survey was open to current and former residents of the 18-county region from July 14-Septemeber 30, 2020, accumulating 2,504 responses. Five generations are represented in the data, providing a wide range of perspectives. Responses came from all 18 counties, providing country-specific data in Andrew, Buchanan, Clinton, Gentry, Harrison, Linn, Livingston, and Worth counties. Detailed regionwide and county-specific final results, along with a summary story video presentation are available to download at 

Participant perspectives emphasize that we need the four core areas of communities – health, economy, education, and quality of life – to work together to retain and attract population. Factors that drive migration decisions, aside from family and relationship ties, are things we can act upon if we dream big and grow together. Survey results corroborate that the region has the potential to improve on the factors that residents value the most, providing hope for the future of our region, at the crossroads in the heart of the country.

Maximize NWMO serves the region in a neutral role providing administrative, communications, data access, and coaching support on systems-thinking and community wealth building for individuals, communities, and the region. Maximize NWMO is the regional vitality initiative of The Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri. It is made possible through partnerships with Communities of Excellence 2026, the United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Development (USDA-RD), University of Missouri Extension, Missouri Department of Economic Development, Northwest Missouri State University, and Evergy.