A typical worker needs to earn $47,840 annually to afford median rent for a 2 bedroom apartment, while the median earnings for 25-to-34-year-old workers is roughly $30,000.
About 300 young professionals responded to an unscientific survey the Partnership for Strong Communities conducted to try to understand why Connecticut has been losing 25-34 year-old residents at the fastest rate in the country for the past 20 years. A summary of the findings:
- 89.5% (256) of respondents believe Connecticut should make changes to better attract 20-35 year olds.
- Almost half of respondents (47.5%) felt that Connecticut does not provide housing options that are affordable and meet their needs.
- Only 35.3% (107) answered Yes when asked if they plan to live in Connecticut on a long-term basis.
- Among the 64.7% of respondents who are not planning to live in CT for the long-term, nearly two-thirds (64.9%, 120) said housing could be a major factor in them staying – almost the same number who responded Maybe to the previous question.
Here are a sample of some of the answers to the open-ended questions:
- “Housing is significantly more expensive than many other states and the salaries in CT just aren’t high enough.”
- “Half of one’s monthly salary/income is spent on rent and/or utilities.”
- “The culture and public transportation are lacking. It is expensive to do many things in CT and they almost always require travel which is expensive.”
- “This is my home, I don’t want to live anywhere else, but I just don’t see how I can have a good quality of life as a single person if all of my money is going to housing.”
- “Coming from areas that are extremely appealing to this age range (Asheville, NC and Charleston, SC), I believe a prospering artisan community, affordable/safe housing choices, and well maintained community parks (all of which are in walking distance from housing) are draws to this age range. Connecticut is missing this “package”. If you want this age group to live in CT, than have housing in a safe area in walking distance to music, food, entertainment, arts, parks, etc. There are lots of interesting/cool areas in CT, but there’s not centralized area that appeals to youth.”
- “Really support Urban Living. This will have to include a lot of factors, but needs to make cities more attractive and pedestrian friendly, with accessibility to mass transit. People who are younger appreciate the vibe of urban life better, and if they can be attracted to a nice urban area with parks, and affordable high quality living, CT will be nicer overall.”
The Partnership is looking into forming a statewide coalition/advisory group on behalf of young professionals.