Immigration Facts
Summary Demographic State Data (and Source)
Population (2012 CB est.) 3,590,347
Population (2000 CB est.) 3,405,565
Foreign-Born Population (2012 CB est.) 495,421
Foreign-Born Population (2000 CB est.) 369,967
Share Foreign-Born (2012) 13.8 %
Share Foreign-Born (2000) 10.5%
Naturalized U.S. Citizens (2012 CB est.): 233,804
Share Naturalized (2012) 47.2 %
Legal Immigrant Admission (DHS 2001 – 2012) 128,836
Refugee Admission (HHS 2000 – 2012) 10,623
Illegal Alien Population (2010 FAIR est.) 120,000
Costs of Illegal Aliens (2009 FAIR) $956,860,076
Projected 2050 Population (2006 FAIR) 4,881,000

State Population

According to the Census Bureau, the population of Connecticut in 2012 was 3,590,347 residents.

Between 2000 (population 3,405,565) and 2012, the state's average annual population change was 15,084 residents. That was an annual average change of 0.4 percent. The comparable national annual rate of change was 0.9 percent.

Between 1990 (population 3,287,116) and 2000, the state's annual average population change was 11,845 residents. The annual average rate of change was 0.4 percent compared to the national rate of change of 1.2 percent.

Foreign-Born Population

According to the Census Bureau the foreign-born population of Connecticut was about 495,421 persons in 2012. This estimate meant a foreign-born population share of 13.8 percent. The chart above shows the long-term change in the state's foreign-born population based on Census Bureau data.

Foreign-Born Change

Between 2000 and 2012 the Census Bureau estimate indicates an average annual rate of change in the foreign-born population of about 10,240 people, compared to the state's annual average population change of about 15,084  people. That is a 67.9  percent share of the state's population change (not including the children born in the United States to illegal aliens). The foreign-born population grew by 33.9 percent between 2000 and 2012.

Immigration also contributes to population growth through the U.S.-born children of immigrants. Nationally the share of births to the foreign-born is about double their share of the population. A 27.6 percent share of the state's current births is large enough to account for about 10,595 births a year. Combining the average increase in the foreign-born population and estimated immigrant births suggests that immigration may account for about 20,835 persons added to the state's population annually, i.e., nearly 138.1 percent of the state's overall population increase.

As of 2012 about 45.6 percent of Connecticut's foreign-born population had arrived in the state since 2000. This compares with the national average 40.9 percent. In 2000, 54.4 percent of the state's foreign-born population that had arrived since the previous Census.

Foreign-Born Characteristics

An indicator of the change in Connecticut's immigrant population may be seen in data on the share of the population over five years of age that speaks a language other than English at home. Between 2000 and 2012, the share of non-English speakers changed from 18.3 percent to 22.2 percent. In 2000, 40.2 percent of those persons in also said they spoke English less than very well. In the 2012 estimate, the share was 38.2 percent that spoke English less than very well. In 2012 Spanish speakers were 50.6 percent of those who spoke other than English at home, and 54.9 percent of those who spoke English less than very well.

The chart above shows the regional composition of the state's foreign-born population and how it has changed from between 2000 and 2012.


Census Bureau data in 2012 indicate that 233,804 residents of Connecticut, or 47.2 percent of the foreign-born population in Connecticut, were naturalized U.S. citizens, compared to 180,267 residents, or 48.7 percent, in 2000.

Nationally, 40.3 percent of the foreign-born population was naturalized in 2000, and 45.8 percent in 2012.

Net International Migration (NIM)

Data from the Current Population Survey (CPS), the Census Bureau estimated that between 2000 and 2012, the change in Connecticut's population resulting from net international migration has been about 27,170 people. It was 140.0 percent of total change (not including the children born to the immigrants after their arrival in the United States). 1   The remainder was due to net domestic migration and natural change (births minus deaths).


  1. A negative percentage results when there was an overall population decrease. A percentage greater than 100 percent results when domestic migration is negative, i.e, a net loss from interstate migration.

Immigrant Admissions

Recent "green card" recipients who intend to reside in Connecticut were 43 percent above admissions just after adoption of the current immigration system in 1965. During the 1965 to 1969 period, annual admissions averaged about 8,810 persons. During the most recent five years, annual admissions averaged about 12,572 persons. Immigrant admissions data are from the Yearbook of Immigration Statistics.

The chart above shows recent immigrant admissions and the cumulative amount of immigrant admissions since FY'65. The cumulative total of immigrant admissions to Connecticut between fiscal years 1965 and 2012 has been 467,238 persons.

The data for fiscal years 1989-91 were artificially raised by the inclusion of former illegal aliens who were amnestied in 1986. According to INS data (1991) the number of amnesty applicants from Connecticut was 6,229 (3,274 pre-1982 residents and 2,955 agricultural workers). These data were published by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and reported in "Report on the Legalized Alien Population," March 1992.

Admissions by Nationality: FY'96 - FY'05

The table below furnishes INS data by nationality on the immigrants who were admitted for residence in Connecticut between 1996 and 2005.

The INS data are for nationals of the countries with the largest number of immigrants admitted or adjusted to legal residence each year since 1996. The absence of data means that the total number of admissions to the United States by nationals of that country was not enough to merit detailed reporting in that year.

The Department of Homeland Security website has detailed data on immigrant admissions since FY'03 by year and by source country and intended state of residence. (See then select the desired year, click Legal Permanent Residents, data and then select "supplemental table 1."

Chart of Immigrant Admission by Fiscal Year


Connecticut has received 10,623 refugees over the most recent ten fiscal years including 434 refugees in fiscal year 2012. The chart above shows the annual admissions over the last ten years and the cumulative total of those admissions using data complied by the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The U.S. government program that distributes new refugees among the states is the only immigration program that provides state governments the opportunity to participate in deciding how many newcomers will come to that state each year.

Illegal Aliens

Connecticut Fiscal Costs
Due to Illegal Aliens
           ($M) (Pct.)
K-12 educ. $456.10 47.7%
LEP educ. $91.70 9.6%
Medicaid+ $72.80 7.6%
SCHIP $30.80 3.2%
Justice $61.00 6.4%
Welfare+ $87.60 9.2%
General $156.80 16.4%
Total $956.90  
Tax receipts $32.30  
Net Cost $924.60  
Source: "The State Cost Studies"

FAIR Estimate - FAIR estimates the illegal alien population of Connecticut as of 2010 was about 120,000 persons. This is part of an overall estimate of the U.S. illegal alien population of about 11,900,000 persons.

DHS Estimate - The current estimate by DHS of the illegal alien population in Connecticut was n/a in 2012. The DHS estimate is available for only the 10 states with the largest illegal alien populations. The DHS estimate of the national illegal alien population in 2012 was 11,430,000.

Other Estimates - The Pew Hispanic Center estimates the illegal alien population of the state at 120,000 as of 2010.

Fiscal Cost of Illegal Aliens

FAIR's most recent estimate of the cost outlays due to illegal immigration and tax receipts from illegal aliens in Connecticut are as shown on the right:

Limited English Proficiency Students

Data are not available nationally on immigrant students (either legally or illegally resident in the United States) who are enrolled in primary and secondary schools (K-12). However, a large majority of these students enrolled in Limited English Proficiency/English Language Learning (LEP/ELL) instruction programs may be assumed to be children of either legal or illegal immigrants with a predominance of children of illegal aliens.

In Connecticut, LEP public school enrollment in 2010 ( 31,615) was 156.6 percent of LEP enrollment a decade earlier. By contrast, overall K-12 enrollment in the state was 101.8 percent of enrollment a decade earlier.

Population Projection

FAIR projected Connecticut's population in 2050 likely would be between 4,722,000 million and 4,881,000 million with current levels of immigration. Alternatively, the population could be lower (4,076,000) if immigration were reduced to a level where it balanced the number of U.S. residents leaving to reside outside of the United states, i.e., zero-net immigration. See "Projecting the U.S. Population to 2050: Four Immigration Scenarios," FAIR 2006.

Foreign Students

Data compiled by the Institute of International Education (IIE) record the number of foreign students attending post-secondary school in Connecticut as 9,947 in 2013.

The chart above illustrates the change in the number of foreign students attending school in Connecticut since 1997.

For information on foreign student issues see: Foreign Students in the United States.

Immigration Impact

Sanctuary Policies


House Bill 6659 (June 25, 2013)

  • “No law enforcement officer who receives a civil immigration detainer with respect to an individual who is in the custody of the law enforcement officer shall detain such individual pursuant to such civil immigration detainer unless the law enforcement official determines that the individual: (1) Has been convicted of a felony; (2) Is subject to pending criminal charges in this state where bond has not been posted; (3) Has an outstanding arrest warrant in this state; (4) Is identified as a known gang member in the database of the National Crime Information Center or any similar database or is designated as a Security Risk Group member or a Security Risk Group Safety Threat member by the Department of Correction; (5) Is identified as a possible match in the federal Terrorist Screening Database or similar database; (6) Is subject to a final order of deportation or removal issued by a federal immigration authority; or (7) Presents an unacceptable risk to public safety, as determined by the law enforcement officer.”

City or County

New Haven

General Order 06-2 (December 14, 2006)

  • “Police officers shall not inquire about a person’s immigration status unless investigating criminal activity.”
  • “It shall be the policy of the department not to inquire about the immigration status of crime victims, witnesses, or others who call or approach the police seeking assistance.”
  • “No person shall be detained solely on the belief that he or she is not present legally in the United States, or that he or she has committed a civil immigration violation. There is no general obligation for a police officer to contact U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding any person, unless that person is arrested on a criminal charge.”
  • “Officers shall not make arrests based on administrative warrants for arrest or removal entered by ICE into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database, including administrative immigration warrants for persons with outstanding removal, deportation or exclusion orders. Enforcement of the civil provisions of U.S. immigration law is the responsibility of federal immigration officials.”

Identification Card Fact Sheet (2007)

  • Explains both legal and illegal immigrants may obtain municipal identification cards


Water: By 2050 the state's population is projected to rise from 3.5 million in 2006 to 4.9 million.1 Connecticut has a daily, per-capita water demand of 124.5 gallons.2 This implies that by 2050 public water usage may increase by 174.3 million gallons each day.

Schools: Between 1990 and 2008, Connecticut's public enrollment increased by over 100,000, or 21 percent.3 Suburban schools are becoming increasingly strained. Disputes over residency have become more common as urban families look for better education and suburban schools struggle to handle the influx of students.4 In some areas, like Litchfield, classes are held in converted locker rooms, gyms double as cafeterias, and students start eating lunch as early as 10:30 a.m. because of lack of space.5

Disappearing Open Space: The amount of developed land in Connecticut increased by 228,600 acres from 1982 to 2007, growing at a pace of 9,280 acres per year over the last ten years of that period.6 A study of urban sprawl between 1970 and 1990 that calculated the impact of population increase and per capita land use found that 11.9 square miles of additional land were consumed by urban sprawl in the Bridgeport-Milford area, and 1.6% percent of that sprawl was attributable to population increase. In the New Haven-Meriden area sprawl consumed an additional 80.4 square miles and population increase accounted for 46.4 percent of the increase.7

Traffic: Vehicle travel on Connecticut highways was 19 percent higher in 2008 than in 1990. As population growth put more traffic on the roads the average commute for Connecticut residents increased 16 percent during the 1990s, from 21 minutes in 1990 to 24 minutes in 2000.8 About 13 percent of Connecticut commuters had a commute of 45 minutes or longer in 2008.9

Bridgeport-Sanford commuters suffered an annual delay of about 33 hours due to traffic congestion in 2007, resulting in 27 extra gallons of fuel used per commuter.10 Hartford commuters wasted 21 hours and 15 gallons of gas, and in New Haven, 19 hours and 14 gallons of gas. Between these three urban areas, congestion cost commuters $670 million in lost time and wasted fuel. In the Springfield, MA area, which includes part of Connecticut, commuters waited 11 hours in 2007. Connecticut commuters were also impacted by congestion from the New York and Philadelphia urban areas.11 Overall, 58 percent of Connecticut's major urban highways are congested.12

Road maintenance has been unable to keep up with growth in Connecticut, where nearly half (47 percent) of roads are in poor or mediocre condition.

Crowded Housing: An estimated 22,784 of Connecticut’s housing units were classified as crowded in 2008, defined as units with more than one occupant per room. This amounted to 1.7 percent of the state’s housing units. In addition, 5,173 units were severely crowded, with at least 1.5 occupants per room.13 Nationally, crowded housing rates are driven upward by immigration, where 27 percent of children in immigrant families live in crowded housing compared to 9 percent of children with native-born parents. In Connecticut, the shares are 13 percent of children in immigrant families are in crowded housing compared to 5 percent of those in native-headed households.14

Sprawl: The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk-Danbury suburban area of Connecticut has the seventh worst sprawl in the country, according to a report by Smart Growth America. Each year, Connecticut loses 7,900 acres due to development.15

Air Pollution: The seven Connecticut counties scored by the American Lung Association in 2010 received an "F" for ozone pollution. All eight counties received an "F" in 2005.16 As population increases, pollution usually rises along with it.

Solid Waste: Connecticut generates 1.4 tons of solid waste per capita each year.17

Poverty: Connecticut's immigrants are more likely to be poor than their native-born counterparts. In 2007, 8.8 percent of foreign-born households were below the poverty line, compared to 7.8 percent of native households. An additional 7.9 percent of the foreign-born and 5.0 percent of native households were not in poverty but had incomes less than 1.5 times the poverty level.18 15.5 percent of children in immigrant families were poor in 2006, compared to 9.9 percent of native children.19


  1. Jack Martin and Stanley Fogel. "Projecting the U.S. Population to 2050." FAIR. March 2006.
  2. U.S. Geological Survey 2000.
  3. NEA, "Rankings and Estimates," 2009, and U.S. Census Bureau, 1990.
  4. John Christoffersen and Kathryn Masterson, "You May Already be a Loser," Associated Press, January 29, 2002.
  5. Andy Thibault "Litchfield at the Crossroads: Quality of LIfe and Property Value Issues, " Voice News, February 29, 2002.
  6. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, "Summary Report: 2007 National Resources Inventory."
  7. Beck, Roy and Leon Kolankiewicz, "Weighing Sprawl Factors in Large U.S. Cities," NumbersUSA, March 2001
  8. "Table DP-1-4, Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000," Census 2000, U.S. Census Bureau. "Table DP-1-4, Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 1990," 1990 Census, U.S. Census Bureau. "Data Set: 2005 American Community Survey: Connecticut 2005," American Factfinder, U.S. Census Bureau.
  9. American Community Survey, 2008 Estimates, Custom Data Table.
  10. Texas Transportation Institute, "Urban Mobility Report 2009."
  11. Texas Transportation Institute, "Urban Mobility Report 2009."
  12. The Road Information Project (TRIP), "Key Facts about Connecticut's Surface Transportation System and Federal Funding," May 2010.
  13. American Community Survey, Three-Year Estimates 2006-2008. Data retrieved using ACS Custom Table tool.
  14. Kids Count Data Center, which used 2008 American Community Survey Data.
  15. Genaro Armas, "Riverside-San Bernadino, Calif., is Nation's Most Sprawling Area, Advocacy Group Says," Associated Press, October 18, 2002
  16. The American Lung Association, "State of the Air," 2005 and 2010
  17. Report Card for America's Infrastructure 2005," American Society of Civil Engineers
  18. Migration Information Source State Data (Migration Policy Institute)
  19. Urban Institute, Children of Immigrants Data Tool.