Central Connecticut

Data Story

This story will walk you through who lives here, who works here, about some of their educational experiences, and health outcomes. We also highlight why these data are important and how you can use them.

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Central region of Connecticut consists of 16 towns.

Who Lives Here?

With 497,108 people, the region comprises about 14% of total state population.

Population by Age

Population data help us understand the ages and stages of Connecticut residents. When we understand who we are, we can guide and direct services and supports based on need. In Central region, nearly 1 in 4 residents are under the age of 20.

  • 113,980 of the region's population, or about 23%, are youth under the age of 20.
  • 40%, or nearly 199,000 residents, are considered "prime working age", that is, adults between 25 and 54 years old.

Share of Young People by Race/Ethnicity

The share of young people (under the age of 20) for each ethnicity varies.

  • 21% of White population, 27% of Black population, and 36% of Hispanic population are young people.
  • 53% of residents who belong to two or more races are under the age of 20.

Over 30% of the residents under the age of 20 are children of color. The future of the state population will be more diverse than current day.

Children in Poverty

The child poverty rate in the Central region is neary 2% lower than state average. The poverty rate for Hispanic children is 6.5 times higher than that for white children.

  • 5% of White children (3,221) live at poverty or below;
  • 20% of two or more races (1,176);
  • 16% of Black children (852); and
  • 33%, or 1 in 3 Hispanic children (7,659), live at or below poverty line.


of Hispanic children live
at or below poverty line


Cost-burdened Households

Percent of Households in Each Town


Unemployment rates provide some idea of whether people are actively working. In the Central region, the unemployment rate is slightly below the state average. This means the share of people working or looking for work is holding steady compared with all of Connecticut. The unemployment rate for the region masks some inequality across towns.

There are 275,722 people, or about 55% of the total regional population that are considered in the labor force. Of those, 262,975 are employed, and 12,747 (or 4.6%) are unemployed.

Single-Parent Families

Households with one parent are at a disadvantage in a few ways when compared with two-parent households. There are fewer earners which means less income to spend on basic needs. There is a greater need for childcare to make sure adults can work and childcare comes at a great cost. Explore single-parent families data on data.ctdata.org.


of families in Central region are single-parent

With 32,360 single-parent families, Central region's

rate of single-parent households is 1% below state average of 26%.

In Avon, only 441 households, or 9%, are single-parent.

In most towns of the region the rate of single-parent households is below 25%. In Plymouth, Bristol, Meriden and New Britain, the rates are between 26% and 47%.


of families in New Britain are single-parent


In , there were

students enrolled in public schools in the Central region.

The data below are presented as where the student attends school, not necessarily the town where the student lives.

Enrollment by Race

In the Central region, it is impossible to determine race/ethnicity of 159 students due to suppressions. Suppression means information was removed by the source to protect identifying individuals. This happens when counts for certain groups are low. When suppressing just one group, one can determine the group's size by subtracting all other groups sizes from the total. Hence, at least two counts need to be suppressed. That means available data do not sum up to the total enrollment counts.

Educational Needs

A need in the school is an indication of need in the community. Concentrations of need put stress on schools and the community and when needs are concentrated other public services may be unaffordable in that community.

New Britain School District has the highest percentage of students eligible for subsidized lunches among all school districts in the Central region.

New Britain, along with Meriden, have the highest percentages of English language learners in the region: 15% and 14%, respectively.

Suspension Rates by Race

Suspension rates are not presented for Native Americans and students of two or more races, as those numbers are suppressed in the dataset due to low values. Suspension rates are generally much higher for Black students, followed by Hispanic, followed by White. New Britain School District has higher suspension rates among all other school regions in the region.

The Suspension Rate equals the number of students reported with at least one suspension (in-school or out-of-school) or expulsion in ED166 Student Disciplinary Offense Data Collection divided by the unduplicated student enrollment count for the school or district across the October, January and June PSIS Collections for the given school year.

Ideally, suspension rates should be somewhat the same for different races. However, in many school districts the rates are different. For example,

To see other districts differences explore the Suspension Rate by Race dataset on data.ctdata.org.

Chronic Absenteeism Rates by Race

When student miss school, they can struggle to stay on top of their assignments and engaged with school life. When students miss school several days or weeks in a row, their struggle deepens. Sometimes, kids can never quite catch up when they have fully fallen off their school’s radar in terms of attendance. The disparities we see with rates of chronic absenteeism indicate that kids of color are at great risk of falling behind in school.

A student is chronically absent if he/she misses 10% or more of the total number of days enrolled in the school year for any reason. In Central region, the percentage varies from 27% for Black students in Berlin School District to just 1% for Asian students in Newington School District.

Bullying Incidents

In , there were

reported and substantiated bullying incidents in Connecticut. Of these,

occurred in of the Central region.
Most school districts suppress numbers due to their low values, so the total number of bullying incidents in Central region could be much higher.

View Bullying data on data.ctdata.org

Disengaged Youth

Disengaged youth are those between 16 and 19 who are not enrolled in school, not employed and/or not in the labor force. This is an indicator about how our youth are doing transitioning into adulthood. These youth are at a higher risk for risky behavior and may have emotional deficits compared to their peers.

3.9% of female youth and 4.4% of male youth are considered disengaged. This is lower than state average of 4.5% and 5.5%, respectively.




Infant Mortality

Infant mortality rates vary significantly by race. In Central region, they are slightly higher than the state average. With 5 deaths per 1,000 births, the rate is lowest for White residents. For Hispanic and Latino, the rate is 8.5, for Black — 14.9. Explore data on data.ctdata.org.

A black infant is 3 times as likely to die as a white infant.

Disparate outcomes by race signal institutional biases. This indicator identifies that a different service model may be required to impact the disparities.

Download CT Department of Public Health's 2015 Annual Registration Reports (the most current publicly available data). For more information on fetal mortality — see Tables 5 & 6 — and for infant mortality see Tables 7 & 8.


In , there were suicides in Central region (explore data).

Suicide Crude Rate Per 100,000:

Substance Abuse

In , there were

drug-related deaths in Central region. Of these,

happened to those under 21.

View data on data.ctdata.org

Treatment Admissions for Mental Health and Substance Abuse

The data below are from the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and include admissions to both public and private programs.

In the Central region, there were 4,159 mental health admissions (31%, 84 cases per 10,000) and 8,536 substance abuse admissions (63%, 172 cases per 10,000). 933 admissions were for both (7%, 19 cases per 10,000).

Substance Abuse Treatment by Drug Type

These data indicate how many people are accessing services but it doesn’t tell who in the community might need services but is not able to get access or is not seeking them out.

About 41% of all admissions were for heroin, followed by alcohol with 36%. Marijuana accounted for 11% of admissions.





Family Illustration This data story was developed with support from the CONNECTing Children and Families to Care, a statewide initiative to create a partnership between families, state agencies, and service providers at the local, regional, and state levels. To learn more about this project, watch a short video in English (or in Spanish).

More Data!

To find more data on your region, visit our Data Dashboards for 6 CT Regions. Throughout the story, you can use links under visualizations to view relevant datasets. Alternatively, you can visit data.ctdata.org and search for datasets with town-level data.

Further Reading and Materials

Community Resources

  • WrapCT.org developed out of a decade of System of Care improvements, including ongoing training and coaching through Care Coordination and the Child and Family Team Wraparound process. The primary goal of this Learning Collaborative to transform and energize the local Community Collaboratives/ Systems of Care to support workforce development in the Wraparound process and to improve the support and care that youth and families receive.
  • HealthyLivesCT.org provides information and tools for maintaining or regaining wellness in the areas of emotional wellness, physical wellness, holistic wellness, financial wellness, and recovery from addiction issues.
  • 211ct.org is a one-stop connection to the local services you need, from utility assistance, food, housing, child care, after school programs, elder care, crisis intervention and much more.