New Haven is a city located in the state of Connecticut. It is part of the New York metro area, and it’s also the second largest city in Connecticut by population. Recent estimates put the population at 129,934. What’s most notable about New Haven is that it was the first planned city in the United States. Throughout its long history, New Haven has grown to become a city with a strong economy and its many attractions including theaters, museums, and other venues.
New Haven History
The Quinnipiac tribe first inhabited the region that is now the city of New Haven. The Dutch arrived in the area in the early 1600s and set up a trading post but did not settle the area. It was in the 1630s when a group of Puritans arrived, and the next year, 500 more came to the city. The original tribes inhabiting the area sold their land to the Puritans in exchange for protection from the Pequot tribe.
During the next decade, plans for a town were put in place, making New Haven the first planned city in the United States. At the time, it was Newhaven and was the location of the New Haven Colony headquarters. It was during the 1660s when New Haven merged with the Connecticut Colony. In the early 1700s, the city was made co-capital of Connecticut and held this role until the 1870s.
The Collegiate School relocated to New Haven during the early 1700s. This school was later renamed to Yale, one of the most prestigious universities in the country today. Later that century, in 1784, New Haven was incorporated as a city.
It was during the late 1700s when the city became an industrial powerhouse, primarily due to the inventions of Eli Whitney, who had graduated from Yale. In addition to the cotton gin, Whitney also established a gun manufacturing factory in the city, which today is the Eli Whitney Museum.
In the 19th century, the city continued to thrive, especially during the Civil War as the military purchased industrial goods from the cities. The city continued to grow following the war and doubled by the 20th century, fueled by an influx of European immigrants. Population further grew when more African Americans and Puerto Ricans moved to the city, bringing the population to its peak following World War II.
The city expanded with the development of residential housing in the 1950s throughout the suburbs. It was also during this decade that the mayor launched urban renewal projects, some of the first in the country. However, the city continued to see population loss as well as an increase in crime.
In the 2000s, New Haven’s downtown has added retail shops, restaurants, and other businesses. Updated condos and apartments have also been added. Because of these efforts, the city’s population is once again rising.
New Haven Population Statistics
The city’s population is 129,934 according to recent estimates. New Haven’s total area is over 20 square miles, with a population density of 6,500 people per square mile.
Over one-quarter of the total population is under the age of 18. Over 31% are 25 to 44, making up the largest age group. Just over 10% are at least 65 years old. There are significantly more females than males in New Haven, with 87.6 men for every 100 women. Close to one-quarter of the population lives below the federal poverty line.
The city’s economy is reliant on the services industry, which accounts for about 56% of the total economy. The city’s largest employer is Yale University. Other top employers in New Haven include New Haven Hospital, Southern Connecticut State University, and Assa Abloy.
New Haven Population Growth
Beginning in the 18th century, New Haven experienced many years of significant growth. By 1870, there were over 50,000 residents. By 1900, this number had more than doubled. The city’s population continued to grow and reached its peak at the time of the 1950 census with over 160,000 residents. However, high crime rates and job losses resulted in losses throughout the next few decades, bringing the population to a low of 123,626 in the year 2000. However, the population had risen once again when the 2010 census was taken, and recent estimates show that the community has grown by 0.1% since the last census. Though this increase is small, it indicates that efforts to revitalize the city could be working to help drive up population numbers once again.