Those who accuse CBIA of being too negative will undoubtedly see this as validation of their opinion, but the Connecticut population numbers and commentary I reference below are not ours; they come from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Hartford Courant.
And although it's not always easy, we need to confront the problems that threaten the prosperity and vibrancy of our state.
So here goes.
An Oct. 10 editorial in the Courant highlighted five demographic trends in Connecticut from the Census Bureau's annual estimates of migration among states:
- From 2015 to 2016, Connecticut had a net loss to other states of 37,328 residents ages one year and older.
- Last year, the state saw a net loss of 7,818 people ages 25 to 39, "the young adults that are said to be to the future," the Courant noted. "They’re finding other places to live."
- In 2016, Connecticut had a net out-migration of 3,976 top earners—defined by the Census Bureau as those earning more than $75,000 a year.
- The state saw a net loss last year of 8,861 individuals with bachelor's, graduate, or professional degrees. "The 'brain drain' is worsening," the editorial observed.
- The median household income in the Hartford metro area for 25- to 44-year-olds fell by $2,893—a 3.7% drop.
Emphasizing a Trend
Although some states have fared worse, the Census Bureau numbers "emphasize a trend that has been going on for some time," said the Courant.
"With the state unable to pass a budget, and the capital city teetering on bankruptcy, it's only going to get worse.
"The continued loss of smart, young, and wealthier residents spells disaster for the state."
Those are sobering words, but they don't have to define our future.
The problems are only the fault of failed legislative policies and practices. Fortunately, that much can change.
And, the Courant notes, our state still has "its location, its schools, its culture, its nature, and its people."
"The problems are only the fault of failed legislative policies and practices. Fortunately, that much can change. It must."
In the months ahead, CBIA, with the help of our members, will be working hard to move that change forward through political action, intensive lobbying, and an unwavering belief in the spirit and resilience of the people and businesses of Connecticut.
Joe Brennan is CBIA's president and CEO.