New Census data from the American Community Survey reveal that the economic recession is hitting Connecticut families hard, as the percentage of people in poverty in Connecticut in 2008 increased over 2007 levels. In 2008, 9.3% of Connecticut residents (314,806) had incomes under the Federal Poverty Level, up from 7.9% in 2007. Among Connecticut children under age 18, 12.5% (99,580 children) lived in families with incomes under the Federal Poverty Level in 2008, up from 11.1% in 2007. These increases in poverty for all people and for children in poverty were the largest estimated increases of any state in the country that experienced a statistically significant increase in poverty rates. (For a two-parent household with two children, the poverty level was $21,200 in 2008.) Despite Connecticut’s official goal of cutting the child poverty rate in half by the year 2014, the state is losing ground in the fight to reduce poverty.
Poverty rates for residents of the cities of New Haven, Norwalk, and Stamford increased significantly between 2007 and 2008. The estimate of poverty among children also increased among children in Norwalk. Poverty increased significantly for residents of Fairfield, New Haven, and Windham counties, and among children in Windham county.