FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Fairfield County’s population is growing more than 10 times faster than any other part of Connecticut due to a high birth rate and a rise in foreign-born immigrants, according to new statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.
As of July 2012, an estimated 933,835 people lived in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metropolitan area, which includes all of Fairfield County. That’s an increase of more than 17,000 people, or 1.8 percent, since the last official Census in 2010.
Connecticut’s three other metropolitan areas —Hartford, New Haven-Milford and Norwich-New London— all grew by less than 1 percent. The largest change among the three was in Hartford, which added about 2,100 people (0.17 percent) in the last two years.
Fairfield County’s rise mostly came from its high birth rate and a large influx of immigrants. More than 23,000 births were recorded over the last two years, compared with 14,300 deaths. The 8,700-person difference accounted for nearly half of the area’s growth.
The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metro area also took in more than 11,900 people via international migration. The county also lost more than 3,200 people to other parts of the country, but the nearly 8,700-person difference meant that Fairfield County was the only region of Connecticut to have a net gain in immigration over the last two years.
Fairfield County ranked 58th in overall population growth among the 381 metropolitan areas tracked by the Census Bureau nationally. The biggest change came in Midland, Texas, which grew by 4.6 percent. Areas in the Southwest and Great Plains saw the most growth, according to Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau's senior adviser.
"There are probably many factors fueling this growth on the prairie, but no doubt the energy boom is playing a role,” Mesenbourg said in a statement.