Hartford Residents Younger, Danbury’s Older, Among State’s Largest Cities

The median age in Danbury is the highest among Connecticut’s largest cities, just slightly older than Stamford, and nearly nine years older than New Haven, according to a new analysis by TIME magazine. Across the country, Boca Raton, Fla., has a median age just over 50 years old — much higher than America’s median age of 37.9. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the college towns of Flagstaff, Ariz. and College Station, Texas have median ages near 23 years old, according to 2016 Census data for cities with more than 65,000 people.

Connecticut’s largest cities, by population, are Bridgeport, New Haven, Stamford, Hartford, Waterbury, Norwalk, Danbury, and New Britain.

Danbury, at 39.7, and Stamford’s at 37.9, the oldest among Connecticut’s largest cities, based on median age of their residents.  Stamford’s median parallels the U.S. as a whole.  The median age or residents of Norwalk is just slightly lower, at 37.7.

The median age in New Britain is 36, in Bridgeport and Waterbury it is 34.  Somewhat younger median ages are in Hartford, at 31, and in New Haven, nearly identical at 30.8.

Among the cities, Norwalk and New Britain have the largest percentage of their populations between age 60 and 79, both with 17 percent.  New Britain and Stamford each of 4 percent of their population age 80 or older; in Danbury it is 5 percent, the highest percent among the cities.

Hartford has the largest percentage of residents age 20-39, at 33 percent, and under age 19, at 30 percent.  That’s 63 percent of the population, nearly two-thirds, under age 39.  In Bridgeport that  percentage is 58 percent, in Norwalk it is 53 percent and in Danbury, just over half at 51 percent.

In each of the eight largest cities, with the exception of Danbury, the largest population block is those age 20-39.  The largest is in New Haven, at 34 percent.  Danbury’s largest block of residents is in the 40-59 age group, at 29 percent.

While college towns and retirement communities represent extremes, there are also age trends in urban and suburban areas, says William Frey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program.

“Suburbs are aging more rapidly than cities, due to the fact that baby boomers were a big part of the suburbanization of the United States in the ’50s and ’60s,” he told TIME. “They grew up there, and now they’re like anchors of the suburbs.”

Cities, meanwhile, continue to draw millennials, though Frey believes that’s less about preference, and more about barriers to home ownership following the recession. “I think the jury’s still out on whether the millennial generation will move to the suburbs,” Frey says.