CERC +1 (860) 571-7136


Higher Education Attainment in Connecticut: A Map View

When the great recession in 2008 hit the economy, recently graduated students in addition to experienced professionals struggled to find jobs. One path to weather the economic storm was delaying entering the job market by continuing school, or going back to school, thereby waiting for a better labor market when the economy turned around. The result is a much more educated labor force today: the percentage with bachelor’s degrees or higher among the population of 18 years old and over increased from 25% in 2005-2009 to 28% in 2013-2017 for the US, and from 32% in 2005-2009 to 36% in 2013-2017 for Connecticut (US Census data, ACS 5-year estimates, 2009 and 2017; calculation by CERC)—more than a 10% increase from the pre-crisis level.

Such a change in the labor force brings potentially higher labor productivity, paving the road for long-term economic growth, while also contributing to a formidable student debt challenge in the US, which sows the seeds for the next recession. For better or worse, the following two maps take a more in-depth look at how higher education attainment level manifested during this period for each town in Connecticut.

The first map uses different shades to present, at the town level, the percentage with a bachelor’s degree or higher from the population 18 years old and over during the recent period of 2013-2017.

The second map shows the change in this measure from the pre-recession 2005-2009 period to the period of 2013-2017. A blue tone represents an increase from the pre-recession period, while a red tone represents a decrease.

Overall, the increasing trend in higher education rate at the national and state levels hold true across most towns in Connecticut, but not uniformly so—the same measure sees a decrease in many towns. This decrease could be driven by many factors such as local-level migration, decreasing state investments in public higher education—a question beckoning more exploration case-by-case.

Photo of CCSU courtesy of Sage Ross.

by Mia Ying  |    |  Comments 

Spending Wisely: Making Good Public Investment Decisions in a Tough Fiscal Environment

The state’s budget issues have precipitated significant financial tightening for many municipalities and agencies across the state. This environment has generated renewed urgency to realize cost savings, while maintaining or increasing the level of service provided. Similarly, businesses that need to improve their performance need a decision-making process to determine where to most effectively spend limited resources.

Continue Reading

by Rachel Gretencord  |    |  Comments 

Industries in Transition

industries in transition

While preparing an economic outlook for a recent edition of the Connecticut Economic Digest, Alissa DeJonge, CERC’s Vice President of Research, investigated global and national trends focused on several industries that are in transition - and what these changes mean for Connecticut’s economy and business sectors.

Continue Reading

by Alissa DeJonge  |    |  Comments 

Using Survey Results to Create Impactful Outcomes


In this episode of CERCONOMY, guest Ana Pritchard of Compass Research Solutions, joins Alissa DeJonge to discuss why organizations conduct surveys, along with the methodologies used, and how the results can be leveraged to create impactful outcomes.

Continue Reading

by Alissa DeJonge  |    |  Comments 

Analyzing Your Local Economy

During this episode of CERCONOMY, Alissa DeJonge, VP of Research, and Courtney Hendricson, VP of Municipal Services, sit down to recap their recent workshop, “Analyzing Your Local Economy,” hosted by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.

Courtney and Alissa share insights into the influences that impact the local economy, and run through the who, what, why, when, where and how of the need for and execution of an analysis, as well as the potential outcomes and benefits, and provide a deeper dive into some of the workshop audience questions and feedback.

Continue Reading

by Alissa DeJonge  |    |  Comments 

Creating a Dialogue on Important Global Issues with the World Affairs Council of CT

In this episode, Amanda Jolly, the Program Director at the World Affairs Council of Connecticut, joins Sarah Ficenec, Ph.D., CERC's Senior Research and Policy Analyst, to discuss the CTWAC mission to promote greater knowledge and understanding of international affairs among Connecticut residents. Amanda also shares information on the upcoming 2019 Global Economic Outlook event on January 16th in Hartford.

Continue Reading

by Sarah Ficenec, Ph.D.  |    |  Comments 

Curious George Learns About the Transforming Retail Industry


This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the musical Curious George and The Golden Meatball at Playhouse on Park in West Hartford. Based on the books by Margaret and H.A. Rey, this live performance about a mischievous monkey had my son, husband, and I laughing and clapping the whole time.

Continue Reading

by Alissa DeJonge  |    |  Comments 

We Heart Data

CT Data Collaborative

In this episode, Michelle Riordan-Nold, Executive Director of the CT Data Collaborative joins Alissa DeJonge, CERC’s Vice President of Research to share information about the organization’s mission, and news about their role as the Connecticut State Census Data Center. 

Continue Reading

by Alissa DeJonge  |    |  Comments