Western 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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Western region of Connecticut consists of 43 towns.

Who Lives Here?

With 619,000 people, Western region comprises about 17% 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 Western region, 1 in 4 residents are under the age of 20.

  • 152,000 of the region's population, or about 25%, are youth under the age of 20.
  • 38%, or 238,000 residents, are considered "prime working age", that is, adults between 25 and 54 years old.

Population by Race/Ethnicity

  • We combined people of all races who self-identified their Hispanic ethnicity under Hispanic or Latino group, and subtracted the respective counts from all races. This way, we did not double count, and all 6 groups in the chart above sum up to the total regional population.
  • Similarly, none of the races overlap with Two or More Races group.
  • 74% of people living in Western region are self-identified as White Alone, which is above the state value of 68%.

Share of Young People by Race/Ethnicity

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

  • 23% of the White population, 29% of Black population, and 38% of Hispanic population are young people.
  • Almost 56% of residents who belong to two or more races are under the age of 20.

34% 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

We present only the Connecticut data, because margins of errors for some smaller towns are high.

In Connecticut,
  • 29% of Hispanic children;
  • 26% of Black children;
  • 18% of children of two or more races;
  • 7.5% of Asian children, and
  • 5.5% of White children live at or below poverty line.

Explore poverty data by town at data.ctdata.org.


of Hispanic children in Connecticut live
at or below poverty line, compared to 5.5% of white children


Cost-burdened Households

Percent of Households in Each Town


Unemployment rates provide some idea of whether people are actively working. In the Western 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 about 329,000 people, or 53% of the total regional population that are considered in the labor force. Of those, 316,000 are employed, and 13,000 (or 4%) 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 Western region are single-parent

With 38,000 single-parent families, Western region's

rate of single-parent households is 2% below state average of 26%.

Goshen, Roxbury, Salisbury, Sharen, and New Hartford have some of the lowest rates of single-parent families in the region and Connecticut, all below 10%.

Wolcott, Beacon Falls, Torrington, Naugatuck, and Danbury have rates between 25% and 30%.


of families in Waterbury are single-parent


In , there were

students enrolled in public schools in the Western region.

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

Enrollment by Race/Ethnicity

In the Western region, it is impossible to determine race/ethnicity of 581 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.

Waterbury School District has the highest percentage of students eligible for subsidized lunches among all school districts in the Western region—72%.

About 1 in 4 students in Danbury School District is an English language learner.

Suspension Rates by Race/Ethnicity

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. A lot of school districts in Western region suppress data, making comparisons among school districts impossible.

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. Use the dropdown to explore:

Suspension Rates by Race/Ethnicity

Suspension Rates of IEP Students by School District

Use the dropdown below to explore suspension rates of students with individualized education programs in the previous years, by school district:

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.

Bullying Incidents

In , there were

reported and substantiated bullying incidents in Connecticut. Of these,

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

View Bullying data on data.ctdata.org

Children Under DCF Placement

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% of female youth and 5.4% of male youth are considered disengaged (statewide 4.5% and 5.5%, respectively).





Federally Subsidized Housing in Connecticut

Equalized Net Grand List

The Net Grand List is an aggregate of the assessed value of taxable property in the town. The Office of Policy and Management (OPM) equalizes each town's grand list since valuations occur once every four years. Thus the value of a town that recently went through an assessment could vary from a town that is several years away from its last valuation.

As a way to understand the different values across towns, CTData provides a per capita (per person) calculation.

At about $134,000, Western region has the 2nd highest equalized net grand list per capita value among 6 regions. Waterbury has the lowest per capita value in the region (about $51,000), Colebrook has the lowest absolute value of $0.2 billion while being the 5th least populous town in the region. Washington has region's highest per capita value of $497,000, and Danbury has the highest absolute value at $10 billion while being the 2nd most populous town in Western region.

In Connecticut, towns along the coast (with some exceptions such as Bridgeport, New Haven, New London), and towns along the western border tend to have higher per capita equalized net grand list values.

Health-Related Indicators

Teen Birth Rate

  • In Western region, Waterbury has the highest teen birth rate of 34.9 births per 1,000 people. This is the highest rate in Connecticut, which Waterbury shares with Hartford. The state average is 13.2 teen births per 1,000 people.
  • Torrington and Danbury are the only two other towns in the region whose rates are higher than that of the state.

Teen Birth Rate vs Median Household Income

In general, towns with higher median household income tend to have lower teen birth rates, and vice versa. Only three towns—Norwalk, Stamford, and Scotland—have higher teen birth rates than the state, while also having median household income above that of Connecticut.

Infant Mortality

Infant mortality rates vary significantly by race. In Western region, they are lower than the state average. With 4.5 deaths per 1,000 births, the rate is lowest for White residents. For Hispanic and Latino, the rate is 6.2, for Black — 7.5. Explore data on data.ctdata.org.

A black infant is 1.5 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 Western region (explore data).

Suicide Crude Rate Per 100,000:

2015 Suicides in Connecticut by Race/Ethnicity and Gender

Race/Ethnicity Female Male Total Rate
(Total, per 100,000 people)
  • White Non-Hispanic people are nearly 3 times more likely to commit suicide than Black or Hispanic people.
  • In general, males are nearly 3 times more likely to die of suicide than females.

Substance Abuse

In , there were

drug-related deaths in Western 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 Western region, there were 8,706 mental health admissions (47%, 143 cases per 10,000) and 8,731 substance abuse admissions (47%, 142 cases per 10,000). 1,044 admissions were for both (7%, 17 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 40% of all admissions were for heroin, followed by alcohol with 33%. Marijuana accounted for 13% of admissions.




Statewide Map of Resources

Connecticut Department of Children and Families offices and facilities, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) authorized retailers, substance abuse care facilities, and WIC authorized food stores and pharmacies.


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.