A DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE OF CONNECTICUT POPULATION TRENDS

Connecticut's population grew by 8.4 percent from 1970 to 1990, from 3.032 million to 3.287 million residents. The state's recession, from early 1989 until late 1992, contributed to a modest population decline of .06 percent from 1990 to 1995.

Although the state's economy has improved significantly in the past five years, the state has not experienced a corresponding increase in population, which has risen only one tenth of 1 percent since the 1995 low point.

Chart of the total population of Connecticut (1990 to 1997), 
Source, the United States Bureau of the Census

Further, despite an improved state economy, more people continue to leave rather than locate in Connecticut. The Census Bureau measures this type of positive or negative change as "net domestic migration." It represents the difference between annual population movement into and out of a particular state, where both the origin and the destination are within the United States. Connecticut's most recent net domestic migration measure is still negative, -19,371 from 1996 to 1997. However, this figure is the lowest since 1990-91. Overall, Connecticut's total outmigration from July 1990 to July 1997 was approximately 186,000.

Chart of Connecticut's Net Domestic Migration: 
Changes for Annual Periods Ending July 1991 - July 1997, Source: U. S. Bureau of the Census

While Connecticut's total population has stabilized since 1995, most large cities and towns continue to lose residents. Specifically, four of the five Connecticut cities with over 100,000 residents have experienced population declines since the 1990 census. Moreover, the depth of these urban losses extends to the state's mid-size towns, those with between 50,000 and 100,000 residents. Eight of the 11 mid-size towns listed below showed population declines from 1990 to 1996.

Rate of Population Growth or Decline in
Connecticut's Largest Cities and Towns (1990-1996)

Town1990 Population 1996 Population Percent Change

Stamford 108,056 110,056 +1.85%
Hamden 52,434 53,332 +1.71%
Fairfield 53,418 53,522 +0.19%
Manchester 51,618 51,666 +0.09%
Greenwich 58,441 58,374 -0.11%
Danbury 65,585 65,506 -0.12%
Norwalk 78,331 77,977 -0.45%
Bristol 60,640 59,619 -1.68%
Waterbury 108,961 106,412 -2.34%
Bridgeport 141,686 137,990 -2.61%
West Haven 54,021 52,153 -3.46%
Meriden 59,479 57,189 -3.85%
New Haven 130,474 124,665 -4.45%
Hartford 139,739 133,086 -4.76%
New Britain 75,491 71,512 -5.27%
West Hartford 60,110 56,795 -5.51%

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census.

In contrast, the greatest population gains since 1990 were in less populated municipalities. Among the 10 Connecticut towns with the largest rates of growth, only two had more than 10,000 residents.

Connecticut's Fastest Growing Towns (1990 -1996)

Town 1990 Population 1996 Population Percent Change

Sterling 2,357 2,741 +16.29 %
Colchester 10,980 12,620 +14.94 %
Scotland 1,215 1,394 +14.73 %
Killingworth 4,814 5,418 +12.55 %
Durham 5,732 6,346 +10.71 %
Chester 3,417 3,776 +10.51 %
East Haddam 6,6767,304 +9.41 %
Hebron 7,079 7,744 +9.39 %
Burlington7,026 7,686 +9.39 %
Tolland 11,001 11,994 +9.03 %

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census.

Connecticut's Diversity
The state's ethnic and racial makeup is becoming increasingly diverse. From 1990 to 1996, the state's African-American, Asian, American Indian and Hispanic populations increased steadily despite the decrease in total population.

Proportion of Total Connecticut Population
By Race and Hispanic Origin (1990 - 1996)

Race/Ethnic Group 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996

White 89.63% 89.33% 89.15% 88.92% 88.77%88.59% 88.43%
Black 8.58% 8.74% 8.81% 8.92% 8.98% 9.03% 9.10%
American Indian 0.21% 0.22% 0.22% 0.23% 0.23% 0.23% 0.24%
Asian/Pacific Islander 1.58% 1.71% 1.82% 1.93% 2.02% 2.14% 2.23%
Hispanic Origin*6.48% 6.74% 6.92% 7.13% 7.31% 7.50% 7.73%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau. *Persons of Hispanic origin can be of any race.

An Aging Population
The state's elderly population has grown steadily throughout the 1990's. Connecticut's population continues to increase in age faster than the national trend. In 1996, the national median age for the United States was 34.6; Connecticut's was 36.2.

In contrast, Connecticut's under-five and 20-35 year old populations have declined each year since 1990. Since mortality rates for these population groups are low, young families represent a significant portion of the state's outmigration noted above. The table that follows shows population changes in selected age categories since 1990.

Connecticut's Population By Selected Age Groups, 1990 - 1996 (Reported in Thousands)

Year Total Population Under Age 5 % of Total 20-35 Years Old % of Total Age 65 or Older % of Total

1990 3,287 233 7.1% 836 25.4% 444 13.5%
1991 3,288 236 7.2% 817 24.9% 451 13.7%
1992 3,277 236 7.2% 789 24.1% 456 13.9%
1993 3,273 235 7.2% 763 23.3% 461 14.1%
1994 3,270232 7.1% 738 22.6% 464 14.2%
1995 3,267 226 6.9% 713 21.8% 467 14.3%
1996 3,267 223 6.8% 690 21.1% 470 14.4%

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census.

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