By Ann-Marie Adams, Staff Writer
HARTFORD — Hartford’s white population growth outpaced the Black and Latino population growth in the last decade, according to the 2010 Census figures.
The city’s white residents rate of increase was by 10 percent, or by 3,500, making the total white population 37, 205, according to data from the Census Bureau.
The Hispanic population rate of increase was by 9 percent. But the city saw the most increase in the number of Latinos, by 4,925 residents. The total Latino population was 54,184.
The black population increased by 4 percent, or by 2,067. The number of black residents in the city in 2010 was 48, 331.
Notwithstanding the Census 2010 undercount of communities of color, and its over count of the white population, it’s evident that more whites are moving into Hartford than black and Latino. And blacks are moving out.
The increase in the white population should not be a surprise, said Hartford City Council President rJo Winch.
“That’s s not an accident. It’s being done purposely. As they build condos and stuff downtown, who is moving in there?”
Winch added: “They’re steering people to take those section 8 vouchers and to move to Manchester, East Hartford and other surrounding towns outside of Hartford.”
Winch refused to say who “they” refers to. But like other observers, Winch is aware of this national trend in some cities. In Connecticut, however, the trend is not in all of its cities.
In the last decade, Connecticut’s total population count increased by 3.6 million people. (click on map)
The data also show that most populous cities are Bridgeport, 144,229; New Haven, 129,779; Hartford, 124,775; Stamford, 122,643; and Waterbury, 110,366.
Bridgeport grew by 3.4 percent since the 2000 Census. New Haven grew by 5 percent, Hartford grew by 2.6 percent, Stamford grew by 4.7 percent, and Waterbury grew by 2.9 percent.
White population in Bridgeport, New Haven and Stamford declined by 2 percent. In Waterbury, the white population declined by 7 percent. In all the cities, except Stamford, the black population declined by 7 percent.
Experts point to several factors that contributed to the emerging ethnic demographics of some inner-city neighborhoods. The most common is gentrification. Gentrification in popular dictum is when whites buy up homes, apartments and lofts at low rates in urban neighborhoods.
Hartford’s housing history over the last decade has experienced similar changes. Moreover, its demographic shift is part of a national trend.
A 2008 study by researchers at three universities (University of Colorado, Boulder, University of Pittsburgh and Duke) compared census data from more than 15,000 neighborhoods across the United States in 1990 and 2000. They found that some low- and many middle-income blacks moved from inner-city neighborhoods in significant numbers. The study also showed that more college-educated whites were moving to these neighborhoods.
According to Michael Wilson, a longtime resident in Hartford, there are other factors leading to these shifts. Wilson works in construction in the Greater Hartford area. he said he noticed that whites have been moving downtown and to the outer areas of the city, especially on the Wethersfield’s line.
“Downtown is brand new, mostly whites moving down there,” he said. “Whites are moving into the city, and black people are moving out. Lots of blacks live in Manchester, East Hartford and Farmington.”
Also, there is a reverse migratory trend of African Americans, who during World War I and II migrated from the South, are now returning to the South.