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Report shows racial and ethnic disparities in earnings and education across Connecticut

A new report by the Connecticut Data Collaborative(CT-DC) shows inequities in earnings, education and employment along racial and ethnic lines in the state. The report draws off of U.S. Census data from 2016 to 2020 and found that Hispanic residents’ median annual income was lower than all other racial or ethnic groups, except for American Indians or Alaska Natives.

The report further found that Black residents’ median earnings were 40 percent less than Asian residents, the group with the highest median income, and 36 percent less than White residents who had the second-highest median income in the state.

The report also presented data centered around Connecticut’s five largest cities by population:Hartford, Waterbury, Bridgeport, New Haven, Waterbury and Stamford.

Though these five cities contain just 18 percent of the state’s total population, they constitute 47 percent of the state’s Black residents and 39 percent of the state’s Hispanic residents.

In these five cities, according to the report, Black and Hispanic residents’ median income was “significantly less” than White residents. The only exception is Black residents in Bridgeport. White residents’ median earnings in Stamford were double that of its Black residents and two and a half times the median earnings of its Hispanic residents. 

The report noted that educational disparities across the state contribute to the huge gap in earnings between racial and ethnic groups. 

According to the report, White residents were more likely than any other racial group to have a high school diploma with 95 percent. Hispanics had the lowest rates both of having at least a high school diploma or equivalent or any kind of college degree with 73 percent and 18 percent, respectively. Black residents were less likely than White and Asian residents to have a high school diploma or a bachelor’s degree.

The CT-DC report cites another report from the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunity (CHRO) that states “Connecticut is one of the most racially segregated states in the nation.” The state’s system of funding public schools through property taxes has created two separate school systems, one for the haves and one for the have-nots.

According to data from the National Equity Atlas, over 60 percent of Connecticut’s Black and Hispanic children attend high-poverty public schools where more than 50 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

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Tom Hopkins

A national, award-winning journalist from Bristol, Tom has a passion for writing. Prior to joining CII, he worked in print, television, and as a freelance journalist. He has taken deep dives into sexual assault allegations by Connecticut professors, uncovered issues at state-run prisons, and covered evictions in the New Britain Herald. He chose to focus on issues based in Connecticut because this is his home, and this is where he wants his work to make the greatest impact.

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