Connecticut's total population has declined over the past 3 years. In fact, in 2016 Connecticut's total population fell below 2010 levels. New England and our neighboring states have also experienced an increase in people leaving. However, Connecticut has fallen the most post-recession, according to an analysis by the Connecticut Data Collaborative. International migration has helped, the data shows, but not enough to offset domestic out-migration. Average international in-migration has grown 29% post-recession compared to pre-recession, but in terms of overall net migration, the state has seen an increased loss starting from 2012.
The state gains prime working age adults and children and also attracts well-educated international migrants, according to the analysis, and Connecticut loses the smallest percent of graduate degree holders. By income, the largest flows are at the lowest income levels (though largely due to age of earners), though the state is experiencing a slight loss of its highest income earners (incomes of $5 million or more).
Among the factors contribution to the population decline:
- Post-recession, Connecticut has about 14% fewer births each year compared to pre-recession averages. Increased deaths are also slightly contributing to Connecticut's overall population decline.
- Average domestic out-migration has increased by 55% post-recession compared to pre-recession, a difference of about 9,200 people.
Young adults move at a higher rate than the rest of the population (larger flows both in and out of Connecticut), and the state is losing young adults on net (18-29 year olds), but gaining working age adults (30-49 year olds), the Data Collaborative analysis shows.
Historically, Connecticut experienced population losses to other regions of the U.S. This is also true of New England in general. However, the recent declines in Connecticut's total population are primarily driven by increasing rates of net domestic out-migration and to a smaller degree a declining birth rate. But there are positive trends.
The state gains prime working age adults and children. Connecticut also attracts well-educated international migrants, and loses the smallest percent of graduate degree holders. By income, the largest flows are at the lowest income levels (though largely due to age of earners), though the state is experiencing a slight loss of its highest income earners (incomes of $5 million or more).
Connecticut's domestic migration trends are now more like New York and New Jersey. However domestic out-migration has more than doubled in Connecticut while New York and New Jersey are better than pre-recession, the researchers found.