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Hartford, New Haven and Norwich-New London make list of 50 cities losing population
Connecticut contains a mere 1 percent of the total national population across fifty states, but its metropolitan areas occupied three spots in 24/7 Wall Street’s list of cities residents are fleeing.
The Hartford-Metro area took the top spot in Connecticut, placing 20th in the country as 13,682 people moved out of Connecticut’s capital city region between 2010 and 2017, according to the report which tracked migration, population change, median home values and birth and death rates.
The New Haven-Milford and Norwich-New London metro areas were also listed in the report, placing 23 and 45 respectively.
The figures are based U.S. Census data and cities were ranked according to the actual number of people who moved out, rather the percentage decrease of population.
For instance, some cities lost more residents to migration but increased in population due to birth rates. This was not the case for Hartford, New Haven and Norwich-New London.
The decline is not new, but part of a decades-long trend for cities like Hartford. A 2017 study showed Hartford’s population decreased 20.8 percent, while New Haven’s population decreased 5.2 percent between 1970 and 2014.
Both Hartford and New Haven showed a small .2 percent overall decline in population, as the number of births offset the loss of residents due to migration.
Hartford faces challenges in the future, barely staving off bankruptcy following a controversial state bailout in which the state of Connecticut relieves Hartford of its debt service payments for the next 20 years.
President and CEO of the MetroHartford Alliance David Griggs remains optimistic about Hartford’s prospects.
“The Hartford region is not unique in the challenges faced by metro areas across the country,” Griggs said in an email. “While we can’t change what has happened in the past, we must play to the strengths that have existed for years to retain the people who currently live here and attract people from outside the region.”
Griggs says Hartford remains the insurance capital of the world and that it continues to “serve as a strong urban core that supports the region.”
Likewise, New Haven faces significant budgetary challenges, recently raising its property tax rate by 11 percent in order to balance the city’s budget.
Norwich-New London saw the largest decrease in percentage of population, declining 1.9 percent.
Despite the poor showing on the population survey, the Norwich-New London area may have a brighter future as the region showed big job gains in an otherwise stagnant jobs market thanks to increasing submarine manufacturing at Electric Boat.
Although the Norwich-New London region lost residents during the seven years examined by 24/7 Wall Street, the region previously gained 22,000 people between the years 2000 and 2010, according to Sperling’s Best Places.
The outmigration of residents from Connecticut’s cities largely mirrors a statewide trend of population decline after peaking in 2013. Since then, Connecticut has consistently lost residents, along with states like Illinois.
In 2017, Connecticut saw the third largest decline in population in the country and numbers indicate those moving out tend to earn more than those immigrating to the state.
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