[Excerpt] New immigrants are landing in suburbs that have undergone a seismic economic shift from enclaves of relative prosperity to hubs of growing poverty. Since 2000, poverty in the suburban communities of East Haven, West Haven and Hamden exploded, growing by 83 percent, according to DataHaven, a New Haven-based demographics analysis firm.
The poverty line is defined as $11,490 in annual income for a single person to $23,550 in wages for a family of four.
Immigrants have not been immune to the growth in suburban poverty.
In 2007, an estimated 111 immigrants in East Haven lived below the poverty line, according to the American Community Survey. Fast forward to 2012, more than 500 immigrants in East Haven lived below the poverty line, according to ACS estimates.
In Branford, the estimated number of immigrants living in poverty ballooned from 96 to 208 from 2007 to 2012. Hamden and West Haven experienced significant increases in the number of impoverished immigrants over the same period, according to ACS estimates.
The increase in poverty tracks closely with the decline in wages experienced by both the native- and foreign-born populations. Since 2007, inflation-adjusted median household income across Greater New Haven slid by more than $1,000, with the most significant decline in wages occurring in West Haven, where median household income dropped by $2,000, according to American Community Survey estimates.