Nebraska ranked as the third best state for millennials in a Moneyrates.com data-driven study which measured the best and worst states for millennials in 2017.
The list was ranked eight factors including the job market for young adults, young adult proportion of the population, college tuition affordability and residential rental availability and affordability.
“The Great Recession was a tough coming-of-age experience for millennials,” says Richard Barrington, Senior Financial Analyst for MoneyRates.com. “Things like job market and rental affordability might be a bigger deal to people now than they were ten or twenty years ago when people were more complacent about their finances.”
The state’s population of 20 to 24-year-olds that ranks in the top 10 nationally. Nebraska also scored top-10 rankings for young adult employment, residential rental affordability and the proportion of bars relative to the size of the young adult population.
Nebraska might be a surprising top-place finisher to some, but for the millennials who call Nebraska home, the results confirm what they already knew––Nebraska is a young and vibrant state that appeal to young people and creates a base that supports young businesses.
Last year, Forbes also ranked Omaha as the 12th best city for young professionals. These rankings and studies show why a new crop of millennial entrepreneurs are choosing to call Nebraska home and establishing their businesses in the heart of the Silicon Prairie.
SPN asked three young business owners in Nebraska how the state’s appeal to millennials and its supportive entrepreneurial environment shaped their business roots.
Colin Nabity, LeverageRX
I grew up in Omaha and like a lot of young people here, I was itching to get out of the state after high school. Sometimes it takes living and working in multiple cities to recognize how incredible the people and business culture are here in Nebraska.
The early success of LeverageRx is directly attributed to the people here who have gone out of their way to invest their time, resources and networks when there is no direct benefit to them to do so. That’s a huge part of Nebraska culture and that’s why it’s so incredibly special – people are truly genuine and want to see others succeed here in the most selfless way possible. It’s a shared belief that when one company or startup wins, the entire ecosystem wins. That type and level of camaraderie is incredibly rare, but it runs deep in both well-established corporations and startups here in Nebraska, which is a powerful combination for innovation and growth.
Megan Hunt, Hello Holiday
When my partner Sarah and I meet other people when we travel, they are sometimes surprised that we’ve chosen to call Omaha home and locate our company, Hello Holiday, here. And sometimes I see their point. I’m a liberal person in a conservative state, and we could also be living somewhere with a bigger talent pool to hire from or with a higher concentration of startups or media companies. But I feel there’s definitely a growing population of progressive people here in Omaha, which is really exciting. I’ve always kind of believed that if you want to change a culture, you have to change it from the inside. You’ve got to create change where it’s needed. Omaha is definitely a blue dot in a red state, and we have a very engaged base of young progressive professionals who are very invested in the diversity and growth of our city, and are influencing change in real and measurable ways. I think it’s a very exciting time to live in Nebraska, and the world is taking note.
Michael Hennings, Omaha Video Solutions
One of the main reasons we started a production company in Nebraska is simply because we saw a need. There was a shortage of affordable and high-quality direct-to-corporate video talent, and we wanted to enter the market to make a difference. But we also started it here because we were already here. Sometimes, you just to have to grow where you’re planted. Starting a business is hard, and when you start within a community where you already have connections, you increase your chances of success.
Omaha is a substantial city, with opportunities for families and young professionals, alike. There is a lot of growth and new development happening right now, so it’s an exciting time. My hope is that Omaha will continue to attract the technology industry, based on its central location, low cost of living, and the affordability of space. In short, the potential is here for innovation and quality of life. There is also a ready supply of up-and-coming talent from nearby schools, such as the University of Nebraska. All these components come together make Omaha a great place to live, work, and play.
Christine McGuigan is the Associate Editor of Silicon Prairie News.