Numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau show that Connecticut’s population has declined for the third year in a row. According to its Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the United States and Puerto Rico, Connecticut has had a net loss of 19,581 residents since the state peaked in 2013.
This includes a population decrease of 8,278 last year.
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Rhode Island all saw increases in population, while New York also declined.
Connecticut’s population decline has been blamed on a number of factors including high taxes and cost-of-living driving residents to other states, cold winters and one of the lowest birthrates in the nation coupled with an aging population.
But the declining population is having an effect on the state’s finances as tax revenue continues to fall short of estimates leaving the state in growing deficits. A 2015 study based on IRS data by the Yankee Institute found the state lost $3.8 billion in taxable income between 2011 and 2013.
Many of those leaving the state are higher income individuals, while those moving into the state are lower income resulting in lower income levels and less taxable income.
A report issued by the Connecticut Economic Competitiveness Commission confirmed the changing economic demographics. Between 2012 and 2013 people moving into the state averaged a household income of $91,000 as opposed to those who moved out of the state who averaged $112,000.
It also showed that lower-wage jobs in the healthcare and service industries had grown while higher-income jobs in manufacturing had declined.
The two largest cohorts of people leaving the state consisted of adults under the age of 25 and adults over 65 years old.
The state has also lost several several high profile, high earning individuals such as hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones who moved from Greenwich to Florida.
Connecticut’s population has been aided by international immigration. The Hartford Courant reported that "for every three Connecticut residents lost to other states, two were gained from other countries" from July 2014 to July 2015.
The data from the McKinsey report showed a gain of 6,000 residents from foreign countries in 2014 in addition to the 19,000 that had migrated into the state from other states. But those gains were not enough to make up for the loss of 27,000 residents that year.