This chart was first published in one of CT Mirror's stories. To read the full story, click on the first link listed at the bottom of the page.
Housing is typically the biggest expense for most people. There’s a lot of debate about how much of one's income should go towards it, but a widely accepted threshold is about 30%, which has its origins in federal legislation regarding affordable housing for renters. If one is above the threshold, they’re considered cost-burdened. This rule is not without its caveats. Lifestyle, spending habits, number of dependents and income all play a role in whether one is really "cost-burdened."
Data from the Census Bureau show that in 2011, 40% of renters and homeowners in Connecticut, more than 545,000 households, were cost-burdened.
Ten years later, in 2021, the state’s share dropped to 34%, fewer than 480,000 households. Overall, there was a 12% decrease in the number of cost-burdened households.
The share of cost-burdened households increased in 17 towns, but most of them only by 1 to 3 percentage points. The highest increase was in Mansfield, an increase of 8 percentage points, from 37.3% to 45.8%. Ashford experienced the largest decrease in share, going from 39.3% to 19.8%, followed by Goshen and Durham at 18 and 17 percentage points respectively.
Despite decreases in their share of cost-burdened households from 2011 to 2021, Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport still experienced the highest shares in both years, with about half of the households in each town being cost-burdened.