WEST HARTFORD — The town has grown and become more diverse in the last decade, according to the latest census data, a trend similar to the state overall.
The town’s population grew by 1.3 percent in the past decade, from nearly 63,300 people in 2010 to nearly 64,100 in 2020, according to the U.S. Census numbers released Thursday.
“Our population continues to increase, which indicates that West Hartford remains a vibrant and desirable place to live,” Town Manager Matt Hart said. “We are a community of choice for people of all ages and backgrounds.”
The town is also becoming more diverse. The percentage of non-white residents in town increased from about 25.2 percent in 2010, to 31.6 percent in 2020.
The Hispanic community grew by about 16.8 percent to a little more than 7,200 total people in 2020 and makes up about 11.3 percent of the overall town population.
The Black population grew by about 12 percent for a new total of 4,100 people in 2020 and makes up about 6.3 percent of the overall town.
The Asian population increased by 23.1 percent to nearly 5,700 people and makes up about 8.9 percent of the overall town population.
There was also an increase in people who identified as “other race,” which federal officials say is due to how the question was asked this year. In West Hartford, that number grew from 274 in 2010 to 639 in 2020.
Both the Native and Pacific Islander communities decreased going from 58 to 46 people and 15 to 3 people, respectively.
“We are excited to see that our town’s overall population continues to grow and reflects an increasingly multicultural community,” Mayor Shari Cantor said. “This is the trend in the state of Connecticut and our country. Our diversity is a source of strength and pride that contributes significantly to our vibrancy and overall quality of life.”
Cantor believes there are several factors that attribute to the recent growth.
“We have long been a welcoming community for people of all backgrounds,” she said. “Fostering and supporting our diverse community builds opportunity for an even stronger diverse community. Our engaged citizenry, strong local economy, award winning schools and robust municipal services lead to a quality of life that is one of the highest in the nation.”
Data also shows the town is getting older. In 2010, about 23.3 percent of the residents were younger than 18. In 2020, that figure dropped to 20.8 percent in 2020.
It’s possible these census numbers have already changed with the influx of people Connecticut saw moving during the pandemic. But the census is a vital planning tool for local leaders, as well as are factored into securing grant money.
“The census data helps us plan to meet our community’s needs and provide appropriate services,” Hart said. “It is also extremely important for grant entitlement purposes and to help ensure that we receive adequate representation in Hartford and Washington, D.C.”