NextGen is a Mississippi Today project devoted to digging deep into the realities of why Mississippians stay or leave. Our survey asked Mississippi’s millennials and Gen Z about current issues facing the state and its capital, Jackson, including factors that have influenced their decision to relocate out of the state or not, what future changes they would like to see addressed and more.

View our Data Dive into some of the most popular and interesting answers of the 1,113 responses collected. Skip ahead to any of the questions using the buttons below.

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Do you believe that the city of Jackson must thrive for Mississippi to thrive? Please explain your answer either way.

No. The city of Jackson is just another city in MS. They ALL need to thrive in order for the state to thrive.

Absolutely. People are not attracted to move to cities that consist mainly of suburbs. As a native, I even get spooked visiting the empty downtown, and visiting places of business spread out in the neighboring counties is tiresome. Jackson needs walkable communities. It’s too spread out and segregated by class and race for any of its population to “thrive.”

Yes. Without a thriving capital, we cannot hope to have a healthy state.

No, I don’t. The same problem(s) exist all over Mississippi.

What do you desire or need more of in Jackson? In Mississippi?

Safety

Jobs

There needs to be better schools and more opportunities for young people, more entertainment and cultural opportunities for young people as well. Boredom leads these young people down a path of drugs and hopelessness.

Open minded, forward thinking, progressive leaders

LGBT protections

Better leadership that is more representative of the state’s people.

More incentives to move back — whether it be new developments or housing payment plans or the myriad of options other states are pursuing to attract young people, we need it.

What problems do state of Mississippi leaders need to address for a better future?

Infrastructure

Education

Crime

Raising minimum wage

Racism

The nepotism of our political leaders – it’s not just passing from Father to son, but the same group of people always in leadership positions.

Accessibility to technology, accessibility to clean and safe water, accessibility and increased presence (I do not mean increased police presence) of support of vulnerable communities.

What problems do city of Jackson leaders need to address for a better future?

Infrastructure

Education

Crime

Water issues

City of Jackson is behind the eight ball until state leader realize that human rights and black rights are the same. Cities across the US have the same problem: apathy. Jackson could be a shining example of an opportunity won, not lost. Fix the pipes, bring educational leadership to the capital, and lead from the front on equal rights for all people–LGBTQ, black, brown, AAIP, everyone.

Jackson has a quality of life problem. The majority of people live there because they have to, not because they want to. 50 years ago it was the exact opposite–Jackson needs to figure out WHY that was the case, and try to recreate it.

More and better quality housing for lower income families

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Nigel Dent, a native of Natchez, is Mississippi Today’s audience journalist. He works as a member of the audience team to engage with readers, create audience-centered resources and distribute Mississippi Today’s news across various digital platforms, including social media and newsletter products.