New Census estimates: Most CT cities losing residents

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Most Connecticut cities lost more residents than they gained from 2015 to 2016, though some in southwestern Connecticut had small gains, the U.S. Census reported today.

Danbury, Stamford, Milford and Norwalk were the only large cities in Connecticut showing increases. All but Milford are in Fairfield County, and they added about 1,700 residents combined.

Town population estimates for 2016 showed population declines in 15 of the state’s 19 large cities. The Census defines large cities as having populations higher than 50,000.

Growing Connecticut cities
Of the 19 large cities in Connecticut, estimates show only four grew.
City Number of residents added (2015 to 2016) Total number of residents (2016) Percent gained (2015 to 2016)
Danbury 756 84,992 0.90%
Stamford 701 129,113 0.55%
Milford 477 54,054 0.89%
Norwalk 222 88,438 0.25%
US Census Bureau

It’s estimated Connecticut lost 8,300 residents from 2015 to 2016. That’s about equal to the population of Haddam. The bureau’s estimates show a decrease in Connecticut’s population each year since 2014.

Of the state’s 169 towns and cities, 143 saw their number of residents go down from 2015 to 2016. Bridgeport, Hartford and Waterbury lost the most residents. Those cities are among the five largest in the state, along with Stamford and New Haven. Bridgeport lost about 1,100 residents. New Haven remained virtually stable, losing about 80 residents.

Connecticut cities losing residents
Estimates say several cities in the state saw population declines.
City Number of residents lost (2015 to 2016) Total number of residents (2016) Percent lost (2015 to 2016)
Bridgeport 1,154 145,936 0.78%
Hartford 626 123,243 0.51%
Waterbury 508 108,272 0.47%
New Britain 370 72,558 0.51%
Meriden 358 59,622 0.60%
Stratford 296 52,148 0.56%
East Hartford 268 50,237 0.53%
West Haven 266 54,516 0.49%
Hamden 252 61,125 0.41%
Bristol 249 60,147 0.41%
Fairfield 158 61,160 0.26%
Greenwich 125 62,359 0.20%
West Hartford 106 62,903 0.17%
New Haven 80 129,934 0.06%
Manchester 56 57,873 0.10%
US Census Bureau

As for towns under 50,000, Fairfield County’s Bethel and Shelton had the second- and third-largest increases in the state. Stonington grew the most among smaller towns, with about 350 new residents in 2016.

Nationally, Connecticut is third for population losses, and ranks 29th in the country for total population. The only states with larger losses were Illinois and West Virginia, ranked fifth and 38th for total population, respectively.

The bureau found large southern cities, many in Texas, were the fastest-growing in the nation. Phoenix, Ariz., had the largest increase, with 32,000 new residents, or about 88 per day, from 2015 to 2016.

What do you think?

  • Corey

    Connecticut is where Puerto Rico was 20 years ago. Very high debt per capita (including unfunded public worker pensions & medical benefits), a declining population and ineffective state government leadership. We need to change the track we are on right now to avoid Puerto Rico’s fate. Higher taxes are not the answer – what is needed is a massive restructuring of public worker benefit programs to free up dollars for investments in infrastructure. Only then will people be attracted back to Connecticut to live and work.

  • Edward J Max

    Not to worry. As Puerto Ricans leave that bankrupt island, they will more than make up for the loss of population in our “cities”.

  • fvcarstensen

    When there are no jobs…Ct has seen virtually no job creation in thirty years…people leave. The challenge then is restoring growth. MA & NY are doing very well; why isn’t CT?

  • Larry Edwards

    Leaving the cities does not mean that they are leaving the State. Contractors can’t build housing fast enough in Suffield, CT.