At the start of the Great Recession, Connecticut experienced the largest increase in child poverty of any state in the nation, rising from 7.9% in 2007 to 9.3% in 2008. Data from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey show that the official end of the Great Recession has had no real impact for the most vulnerable children in our state, who experienced a net increase in poverty from 2008 to 2012 (with no statistically significant change from 2011 to 2012). More than one out of every seven Connecticut children lived in poverty in 2012, an increase of more than 17% since 2008.
Among Connecticut children under age 18, 14.8% (117,000 children) lived in families with incomes under the Federal Poverty Level in 2012, up from 12.6% in 2008. This compares with an overall increase in poverty in the state from 9.3% in 2008 to 10.7% (372,000 residents) in 2012. (In 2012, the federal poverty threshold was $23,283 for a two-parent household with two children.)
Estimates of poverty rates varied significantly across Connecticut’s cities: Bridgeport (25.3%), Danbury (9.3%), Hartford (38.0%), New Britain (24.1%), New Haven (26.1%), Norwalk (10.3%), Stamford (7.7%), and Waterbury (24.9%). The percentage of children under 18 in poverty in Connecticut cities was also reported for Bridgeport (37.6%), Danbury (11.0 %), Hartford (53.1%), New Britain (31.0%), New Haven (37.9%), Norwalk (13.0%), Stamford (9.7%), and Waterbury (40.0%). Poverty estimates for 2012 are only available at this time for cities with populations over 65,000.
For the fifth year, the U.S. Census Bureau released state-, city-, county- and Congressional district-level estimates for health insurance coverage in Connecticut from the American Community Survey. An estimated 3.8% of children under 18 (30,000) were uninsured at the time of the 2012 survey, a significant increase from the 2.9% rate in 2011, though significantly lower than the 2008 rate of 4.6%. In Connecticut, an estimated 9.1% (322,000) of all people in Connecticut were without health insurance at the time of the survey. This was not significantly different from the 2008 or 2011 rates.