© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Immigrants Make New Haven Connecticut's Fastest-Growing City

President and CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, William Ginsberg.
William Ginsberg said almost two-thirds of foreign-born workers living in Greater New Haven are high-skilled workers -- more than at the national level.

A new report shows an influx of immigrants to New Haven since 2000 has made it the fastest growing city in Connecticut.

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven commissioned DataHaven to research how immigration has impacted the Elm City and the 20 towns surrounding it. Among the report findings, between 2000 and 2012--the population of Greater New Haven grew by 27,000 people. 75 percent of the new residents are foreign born and half of them are naturalized citizens. During the same period, there has been minimal growth in the region's native born population.   

William Ginsberg is the President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven. He said the report is meant to encourage conversations about how all immigrants are contributing to the region's tax base, its business communities, neighborhoods and schools.

"Most of the people we surveyed significantly overstated the percentage of population that they thought were undocumented immigrants," Ginsberg said. "It's roughly three percent [statewide]. So the national debate is really obscuring the reality. It's also obscuring the reality that most of the foreign-born population in our region are high-skilled workers."

Ginsberg said almost two-thirds of foreign-born workers living in Greater New Haven are high-skilled workers -- more than at the national level.

Using U.S. Census data, the report found the city of New Haven has seen an additional 6,200 residents since 2000. Today, 17 percent of its entire population or almost 22,000 residents are foreign born. It's estimated more than 14,430 residents in the city are undocumented.

Credit pewhispanic.org
DataHaven analysis of 2008-2012.

Ginsberg said the increase can be attributed to Latino immigration. Just under half of the region's growth in foreign born residents are from Central and South America, but he stressed there's also been sizable growth in Asian immigrants and African immigrants. He said there are almost twice as many African-born residents in Greater New Haven than there were in 2000.

The report includes results from an online survey of 579 Greater New Haven residents, eight percent of them were born in another country. The questions included their opinions on how immigrants impact local schools and their impression of federal immigration policy.

Thirty-five percent believe immigrants help schools while 28 percent say their impact is hurtful. Another 36 percent were unsure. Seventy-three percent of survey respondents say they are dissatisfied with immigration policy in the U.S.

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven is planning a multi-year effort to discuss the report with community partners and policy makers. It also will dedicate grants to non-profits that serve immigrant communities and assist with integration.

Lucy leads Connecticut Public's strategies to deeply connect and build collaborations with community-focused organizations across the state.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.