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OLR Research Report


December 4, 2012

 

2012-R-0507

OLR BACKGROUNDER: SELECTED DEMOGRAPHIC AND WORKFORCE TRENDS

By: Terrance Adams, Legislative Analyst II

This report describes selected demographic and workforce trends in Connecticut and nationally.

DEMOGRAPHIC TRENDS

Connecticut and the rest of the New England states have had several decades of slow population growth. In both the 1990s and 2000s, the population of every New England state grew more slowly than the national average, as shown in Table 1. Between 1980 and 2010, each New England state except New Hampshire lost ground in the state-by-state population rankings.

Table 1: Population Growth in the U.S. and New England, 1980-2010

Area

Population Rank Among States

Percent Change

1980

1990

2000

2010

1980-1990

1990-2000

2000-2010

U.S.

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

9.8%

13.1%

9.7%

Connecticut

25

27

29

29

5.8

3.6

4.9

Maine

38

38

40

41

9.2

3.8

4.2

Massachusetts

11

13

13

14

4.9

5.5

3.1

New Hampshire

42

40

41

42

20.5

11.4

6.5

Rhode Island

40

43

43

43

5.9

4.5

0.4

Vermont

48

48

49

49

10.0

8.2

2.8

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The population in New England is also older than the national population. According to the 2010 Census, the median age in every New England state is greater than the national median age of 37.2 years (see Table 2). Of the seven states with a median age of 40 or older, four of them are in New England. (Connecticut's median age is 40.) Additionally, the percentage of the population in both the 45-64 and 65 and older categories in every New England state is higher than the national average.

Table 2: Age Distribution in the U.S. and New England, 2010

Area

Percentage of Population

Median Age

Younger than 18

18-44

45-64

65 and Older

U.S.

24.0%

36.5%

26.4%

13.0%

37.2

Connecticut

22.9

34.5

28.5

14.2

40.0

Maine

20.7

32.5

30.9

15.9

42.7

Massachusetts

21.7

36.8

27.7

13.8

39.1

New Hampshire

21.8

33.9

30.7

13.5

41.1

Rhode Island

21.3

36.5

27.8

14.4

39.4

Vermont

20.7

34.0

30.8

14.6

41.5

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Connecticut Projections

In 2000, people 65 and older comprised 13.8% of Connecticut's population. By 2025, the Connecticut State Data Center projects that that proportion will increase to 20.9% (see Table 3). On the other hand, the share of the state's population that is younger than 15 is projected to decrease, from 20.8% in 2000 to 15.6% in 2025.

Table 3: Connecticut Population Projections, Age Groups as a Share of the Total Population

Year

Younger than 15

15-24

25-64

65 and older

85 and older

Total

Number

Percent of Total

Number

Percent of Total

Number

Percent of Total

Number

Percent of Total

Number

Percent of Total

2000

actual

709,075

20.8%

404,198

11.9%

1,822,109

53.5%

470,183

13.8%

64,273

1.9%

3,405,565

2010

actual

664,942

18.6

478,732

13.4

1,923,864

53.8

506,559

14.2

84,898

2.4

3,574,097

2015

642,246

17.6

505,057

13.9

1,914,998

52.5

582,245

16.0

94,561

2.6

3,644,546

2020

595,389

16.1

511,178

13.8

1,924,890

52.0

671,015

18.1

94,905

2.6

3,702,472

2025

584,903

15.6

481,631

12.9

1,896,802

50.6

782,848

20.9

96,394

2.8

3,746,184

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Connecticut State Data Center (November 1, 2012 edition)

As Table 1 above showed, Connecticut's population has grown more slowly than the U.S. population in the past three decades. The state's slow population growth is expected to continue for the forseeable future (see Table 4). Between 2010 and 2025, the state data center projects that the state's population will increase by 4.8% (3.57 million to 3.74 million). This projected increase, over a 15-year period, is smaller than the actual increase (4.9%) over the most recent 10-year period (2000-2010).

But while Connecticut's overall population is forecast to grow slowly, growth among its 65 and older population is expected to accelerate. Between 2010 and 2025, the state data center projects that Connecticut's 65 and older population will increase by 54.5% (506,559 to 782,848), including an expected increase of nearly 15% between 2010 and 2015. Meanwhile, the under-15 population is expected to see a 12% decrease over the 2010-2025 period, from 664,942 in 2010 to 584,903 in 2025.

Table 4 shows the actual or projected rate of growth or decline for different age groups in Connecticut and for the state as a whole. The percent changes are measured from the previous year in the table (e.g., a 5% change in 2015 means a 5% increase from 2010).

Table 4: Connecticut Population Projections, Percent Changes by Age Group

Year

Younger than 15

15-24

25-64

65 and older

85 and older

Total

Number

Percent Change

Number

Percent Change

Number

Percent Change

Number

Percent Change

Number

Percent Change

Number

Percent Change

2000 actual

709,075

N/A

404,198

N/A

1,822,109

N/A

470,183

N/A

64,273

N/A

3,405,565

N/A

2010

actual

664,942

-6.2%

478,732

18.4%

1,923,864

5.6%

506,559

7.7%

84,898

32.1%

3,574,097

4.9%

2015

642,246

-3.4

505,057

5.5

1,914,998

-0.5

582,245

14.9

94,561

11.4

3,644,546

2.0

2020

595,389

-7.3

511,178

1.2

1,924,890

0.5

671,015

15.2

94,905

0.4

3,702,472

1.6

2025

584,903

-1.8

481,631

-5.8

1,896,802

-1.5

782,848

16.7

96,394

1.6

3,746,184

1.2 11.21.2

Total

2010-2025

-80,039

-12.0

2,899

0.6

-27,062

-1.4

276,289

54.5

11,496

13.5

172,087

4.8

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Connecticut State Data Center (November 1, 2012 edition)

WORKFORCE TRENDS

Labor Force Participation

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the U.S. labor force is projected to grow by 6.8% between 2010 and 2020, compared with 7.9% growth between 2000 and 2010.

One reason for this slower rate of growth is that a lower percentage of the population is projected to participate in the labor force. The labor force participation rate measures the labor force as a percentage of the civilian noninstitutional population. BLS projects that this rate will decrease to 62.5% by 2020, a 2.2 percentage point decline from 2010. The decline is a continuation of the trend from 2000-2010, when the rate decreased by 2.4 percentage points.

Table 5 shows labor force participation rates by age group for 1990, 2000, and 2010 and projected rates for 2020. BLS projects that the labor force participation rate will decrease in the next 10 years for people younger than 55, with particularly sharp decreases among 16-24 year olds. This decrease outweighs the projected rate increase among people 55 and older. The 62-64 year old age group is projected to have the sharpest increase in the next 10 years, from 49.8% in 2010 to 58.5% in 2020.

Table 5: U.S. Labor Force Participation Rates by Age Group, 1990-2020

Age Group

1990

2000

2010

2020 (projected)

Total, 16 years and Older

66.5%

67.1%

64.7%

62.5%

16-24

67.3

65.4

55.2

48.2

16-19

53.7

52.0

34.9

26.5

20-24

77.8

77.8

71.4

65.9

         

25-54

83.5

84.0

82.2

81.3

         

55-64

55.9

59.3

64.9

68.8

55-59

67.0

68.9

73.3

76.3

60-64

44.8

47.2

55.2

60.9

60-61

55.1

57.1

62.5

64.2

62-64

38.0

40.2

49.8

58.5

         

65 and older

11.8

12.9

17.4

22.6

65-74

16.7

19.2

25.7

31.0

65-69

21.0

24.5

31.5

37.8

70-74

11.3

13.5

18.0

22.8

75 and older

4.3

5.3

7.4

10.0

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Industry and Occupational Trends

Tables 6 and 7 show the percentage of the workforce that is in a particular occupation or industry, respectively. They show data for Connecticut and the U.S. in both 2000 and 2010. In both Connecticut and the U.S., educational, health, and social services saw its share of the workforce increase the most, while manufacturing saw its share decline the most.

Table 6: Percentage of Workforce by Occupation, 2000 and 2010, Connecticut and U.S.

Occupation

Connecticut

U.S.

2000

2010

2000

2010

Management, business, science, and arts occupations

39.1%

40.0%

33.6%

35.3%

Service occupations

14.3

16.8

14.9

17.1

Sales and office occupations

26.5

25.0

26.7

25.4

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

8.2

8.0

10.1

9.8

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

12.0

10.2

14.6

12.4

Source: 2000 Census, 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Table 7: Percentage of Workforce by Industry, 2000 and 2010, Connecticut and U.S.

Industry

Connecticut

U.S.

2000

2010

2000

2010

Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and mining

0.4%

0.4%

1.9%

1.9%

Construction

6.0

6.4

6.8

7.1

Manufacturing

14.8

11.8

14.1

11.0

Wholesale trade

3.2

2.7

3.6

3.1

Retail trade

11.2

11.1

11.7

11.5

Transportation and warehousing, and utilities

3.9

3.8

5.2

5.1

Information

3.3

2.6

3.1

2.4

Finance, insurance, real estate, and rental and leasing

9.8

9.5

6.9

7.0

Professional, scientific, management, administrative, and waste management services

10.1

10.7

9.3

10.4

Educational, health, and social services

22.0

24.9

19.9

22.1

Arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services

6.7

8.0

7.9

8.9

Other services (except public administration)

4.5

4.5

4.9

4.9

Public administration

4.0

3.8

4.8

4.8

Source: 2000 Census, 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Table 8 shows Connecticut's nonfarm payroll data for 2009-2011. In terms of number of jobs, education and health services saw the most growth, while government saw the most losses.

Table 8: Employees on Nonfarm Payrolls in Connecticut, 2009-2011

Industry

2009

2010

2011

Mining and logging

600

600

600

Construction

54,600

50,000

51,200

Manufacturing

171,200

165,600

166,400

Trade, transportation, and utilities

293,300

289,800

293,700

Information

34,300

31,700

31,500

Financial activities

137,600

135,200

134,900

Professional and business services

189,400

189,900

195,000

Education and health services

302,400

306,900

314,600

Leisure and hospitality

133,700

133,600

136,500

Other services

61,300

60,500

60,500

Government

248,200

244,200

238,800

Total

1,626,600

1,608,000

1,623,500

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

TA:ts