Connecticut is close to the bottom in retaining skilled, educated young workers. The state's 28% drop in that demographic group between 1990 and 2010 ranks third in the nation. Only Maine and New Hampshire lost more young adults during those two decades. While the loss of population in the 25-34 year-old cohort is in part a national phenomenon (that age group tends to move around) being close to the top of that list - in the past decade alone, Connecticut still ranked 7th in the nation in population loss in that age group - is not good news for the state's future growth and vitality. A series of proposals to slow and ultimately reverse that trend, which together are described as "A New American Dream," have been crafted by 135 adults in their 20's and 30's convened by the Partnership for Strong Communities, a state organization working to develop healthy neighborhoods and to create more affordable housing opportunities for workers, young professionals and families. (More signatories are welcome.)
Among the elements included in the four page document, which highlights interest in becoming more involved in civic and community life, and "more densely populated settings where everything we need is nearby, allowing us to drive less and spend more time working or living," is that "what young adults want is compatible with what most people want - a decent place to live that we can afford, aesthetically-pleasing surroundings, interesting things to do and a sense of community." Said the 135 signatories to the document, "we want the American Dream, too - we just see a different one."