The number of Connecticut residents living under the federal poverty level increased dramatically in 2008. The U.S. Census American Community Survey looked at poverty statistics in towns with a population of 65,00 or higher. Overall, in 2008, 9.3 percent of Connecticut residents had incomes under the federal poverty level, up from 7.9 percent in 2007, the largest year to year leap of any state in the nation.
That number skyrockets in Connecticut’s largest cities. In Hartford, over a third of the population and 46.1 percent of children lived in poverty in 2008. New Haven reported 27.3 percent of the population, and 34.1 percent of children living in poverty. Jamey Bell, Executive Director of Connecticut Voices for Children says, "despite an unprecedented budget deficit, the state needs to not only maintain, but increase it’s commitment to funding programs for poor children." Bell suspects the 2008 poverty numbers may even be higher. The U.S. Census numbers are from the first half of 2008, and according to Jamey Bell, Connecticut’s recession didn’t really kick in until March of that year.