Bridgeport is a seaport city located in Fairfield County, Connecticut about 60 miles from Manhattan on the Long Island Sound. The city is bordered by Stratford, Fairfield, and Trumball, Connecticut. Bridgeport is Connecticut's city and the 5th largest city in New England. Greater Bridgeport, which includes five surrounding towns, has a population of more than 305,000 while the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metropolitan area has an estimated population of more than 950,000.
Almost 30% of people in Bridgeport, CT are foreign-born. Common ancestry groups in the city include Italian (8.6%), Irish (5.1%), Portuguese (2.9%), Polish (2.8%), and German (2.4%).
By 2040, the population of Connecticut is expected to grow just 1.7% to 3.7 million, far behind other New England states thanks to Connecticut's very low fertility rate and other factors. Despite this bleak outlook, cities like Bridgeport and Hartford are bouncing back from population decline. By 2040, Bridgeport's population could grow by up to 6% (https://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-biz-population-outlook-20171207-story.html). Much of this growth is attributed to millennials who have accounted for 67% of recent movers (https://www.ctpost.com/local/article/More-millenials-moving-to-New-Haven-Milford-13797749.php) to the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area.
The region of Bridgeport was settled by the English in 1644 along US Route 1, or what was known as the King's Highway during the colonial era. The original settlement was called Pequonnock or "Cleared Land" and named after the Paugussett who originally inhabited the area. The Golden Hill Indians of the area were granted a reservation by the Colony of Connecticut which lasted until 1802.
During the early years, Bridgeport residents relied on farming and fishing in the Long Island Sound. By the late 18th century, many local farmers in Bridgeport were heavily involved in trading and the area had a strong coastal trade with Baltimore, New York, Boston, and the West Indies. The village became the Borough of Bridgeport in 1800 as the first in the state of Connecticut and it was named for the Lottery Bridge that crossed the Pequonnock River. It was later chartered as the 5th city in Connecticut.
Bridgeport grew rapidly after the mid-19th century once the railroad linked it with New York. By 1875, P.T. Barnum became mayor and the city served as the headquarters for Barnum & Bailey's Circus during the winter. The population grew from 25,000 to more than 100,000 between this time and 1910 in large part thanks to immigrants such as the Irish, Slovaks, English, Germans, and Italians. After this rapid industrialization, Bridgeport followed in the steps of many former industrial cities in the 1970s and 1980s with a deteriorating city center although the city has worked toward revitalizing its downtown in recent years.