NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The United States Census Bureau numbers released this week show that in our state of more than 3.5 million people, basically every city in the state lost population over the last year, with the exceptions of one city in New Haven County and three in Fairfield County.
The statistics confirm that Connecticut is losing population, and has lost nearly 20,000 residents over the last three years. From 2015 to 2016, the state lost over 8,000 residents.
Even New Haven, with its vibrant downtown, failed to show any population growth and dropped slightly below 130,000 residents for the first time since 2010.
“I’m sure by the time they do the real census, when the real count is taken that we’ll be well over 130,000,” said New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.
New Haven officials aren’t worried about the short-term estimates. Their eyes are fixed on the long-range plans for downtown and surrounding neighborhoods for growth.
“We have on tap over next two years 2,000 market level apartments and we have the new colleges at Yale,” Harp said.
The one city that is growing in New Haven County is Milford. With a population of just over 52,000, the city added more than 400 people last year.
“Really we’re going through this economic renaissance where over the last three years we’ve had a 26 percent increase of new business starts,” said Milford Mayor Ben Blake.
Mayor Blake said those new businesses helped contribute to $100 million in new construction last year. And thanks to business growth, Blake said they were actually able to cut taxes over the last two years.
“It’s allowing us to expand our grand list,” Blake said. “And when our tax base swells, we’re able to keep taxes down.”
Official census numbers are released every ten years, but the bureau configures population estimates every year based on a number of factors. Stamford, Danbury and Norwalk, were the other large cities in our state that added population.