Cara Demers: Want to see poverty? Move to Connecticut.

BridgeportFairfield County is one of the wealthiest metropolitan areas in the country, according to the Labor Department Bureau of Economic Analysis. It’s also one of the most unequal when it comes to income distribution, which of course contributes directly to the state’s already-existing poverty issue.

In fact, nearly one-third of all children were living below the poverty line in the city of Bridgeport, according to an article published in late 2013.

Perhaps this is shocking to me because, growing up, rarely did I experience any sort of poverty in my small New Hampshire farm town. I wasn’t exposed to the sort of income equality as exists here in Connecticut. In fact, the current poverty rate of New Hampshire was just a mere 9 percent last year, making it the most equal state in the country, according to TalkPoverty.org.

2015 New England Poverty RateIt’s hard to compare the two states. Nowhere near me was there any state-sponsored housing, nor was there any sort of urban area to house anyone. Malls and grocery stores were all forty or so minutes from the center of town, meaning that there was rarely anywhere for people to loiter. Simply put, I can’t remember seeing many signs of poverty around me growing up.

In fact, it wasn’t until I came to Connecticut that I really began to understand what the issue even meant, let alone the sort of concentrated poverty so prominent here.

 

 

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