Census: Fairfield growing fastest in area, becoming more diverse and older

Town residents beat the heat at Penfield Beach in Fairfield, Conn. on Monday, July 20, 2020.

Town residents beat the heat at Penfield Beach in Fairfield, Conn. on Monday, July 20, 2020.

Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media

FAIRFIELD —The town had one of the biggest population growths in the state, becoming more diverse and older as well, according to the newly released 2020 U.S. Census data.

Fairfield’s population grew by about 2,100 people, going from 59,400 or so to about 61,500 between 2010 and 2020. This accounts for a 3.5 percent increase — the fastest growing population in greater Bridgeport. The increase also included a substantial percentage growth in the Hispanic community.

First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick said the increase in diversity within the community benefits Fairfield.

“When people of different backgrounds, cultures and religions come together, our community benefits,” Kupchick said. “Fairfield is a vibrant community and it’s no surprise more and more people are deciding to call it home.”

Increases have been seen in several non-white communities, a trend throughout Connecticut.

In 2010, Fairfield’s Hispanic population was reported at just shy of 3,000 residents. In 2020, that population grew 60.25 percent to 4,800 residents. However when looking at the overall change within the Fairfield community, the percentage grew 2.8 percentage points, from 5 percent of the town’s total population in 2010 to 7.8 percent in 2020.

The Asian and Black communities saw slight increases as well.

The Asian community gained 1.1 percentage points within the town’s overall makeup and now account for 4.7 percent of Fairfield’s residents — a difference of 2,180 residents in 2010 and 2,900 residents in 2020.

The Black community grew from a little above 1,000 residents to 1,110 from 2010 to 2020. This is a 9.34 percent increase within the demographic group. The 2020 amount of Black residents represent 1.8 percent of the town’s population.

While several minority demographics grew within the town, the white population decreased by 6.7 percent. In 2010, the white population far outweighed any minority groups at 52,200 residents. While the population still exist as the majority in Fairfield with a population percentage of 81.3 percent, the number has fallen to nearly 50,000 residents in 2020.

Kupchick said she wasn’t shocked the town is growing and people want to live there. She also predicted it has grown even more since the census was taken last year, especially with the influx of new residents during the pandemic.

“As a lifelong resident, I’m not surprised word is out that Fairfield is an amazing community to live in,” Kupchick said. “I’m sure that number is even higher over the last year since the census forms were completed, as we continue to see new families choosing Fairfield. We are a picturesque and historic coastal community offering urban-style amenities in a family friendly suburban setting — we have it all.”

Another trend in the 2020 census is the overall age discrepancy between older and younger residents.

Over the years, Connecticut in general has been getting older with fewer people under the age of 18, which is also seen in Fairfield.

In 2010, there were about 44,300 residents 18 and older and about 15,100 residents under the age of 18. In 2020, the gap got even bigger as 47,700 residents were 18 and older and 13,800 residents were younger than 18, according to the census results.

The age statistics provide important information for schools based on budgeting, staffing and class sizes. Despite the decreases in school-aged residents over the years, district officials have said the recent census data is consistent with school enrollment numbers, which are updated annually and already part of the budget discussions.