Greater Hartford Wellbeing Index Highlights Challenges and Opportunities in the Region

The Hartford Foundation is committed to supporting the availability of high quality, impartial research to inform action on a host of issues that are critical to the region as well as our own priorities, strategies and operations. We are excited to share the highlights from the Greater Hartford Community Wellbeing Index 2019 to build a shared understanding and promote dialogue on the challenges and opportunities we face as a community.

Produced by DataHaven in partnership with the Foundation and other organizations throughout the region, the Community Wellbeing Index examines the interrelationship between quality of life, health, and the economic competitiveness of Greater Hartford.

The Foundation has spent the past few years actively listening to and learning from residents, donors, and nonprofit grantees while examining an array of information about the region. These efforts have led the organization to make a commitment to achieving greater racial, geographic and economic inclusion to reach our full potential as a positive and persistent force for prosperity. This summary of findings from the Wellbeing Index provides extensive examples of the inequities in our communities from the perspective of its residents.

The full Greater Hartford Community Wellbeing Index 2019 report can be found at Key findings include:

Diversity and Disparity

  • Immigrant Populations – Greater Hartford is home to a substantial immigrant community. Immigrants comprise 22 percent of Hartford and East Hartford’s populations.
  • Life expectancy – While Greater Hartford residents’ average life expectancy is similar to those of the state overall, Black and Latino residents living in marginalized neighborhoods have far lower life expectancies than more affluent white suburban residents by up to 19 years. 

Economic Mobility

  • Income inequality – White children from low-income homes can expect greater upward mobility than Black children from high-income households.

Higher Opportunity Neighborhoods

  • Average Renter Income Falls Short of Affording a Two-Bedroom Apartment –About a third of all households spend more than the recommended 30 percent of their total income on housing costs. In Greater Hartford, the average renter’s annual income falls $3,000 short of the affordable cost of a two-bedroom apartment.

Employment Opportunity

  • Unemployment in Hartford County varies significantly by race – There are demonstrable employment disparities by race/ethnicity in Hartford Country. While less than four percent of white residents are unemployed, nearly nine percent of Black residents and slightly more than nine percent of their Latino neighbors are unemployed.

Student Progress

  • Black, Special Education, and Latino Students Experience Higher Rates of Disciplinary Action – Black (14 percent) students, those with special education needs (13 percent), and Latino K-12 students (11 percent) experience far higher rates of expulsions and suspensions than their white peers (four percent).

Community Safety and Resilience

  • Residents see their race and age as a major reason for discrimination – Fifty percent of adults perceive their race as a reason for being stopped by police. Thirty-five percent of adults perceive their age as being a reason for being discriminated against in the workplace.

Read the Executive Summary here.