Valley Community Foundation with DataHaven (Mary Buchanan and Mark Abraham)
March 03, 2015
The Valley Community Foundation, Morrison Downs Associates, Inc.
Commissioned by the Valley Community Foundation, DataHaven collected and analyzed data about life in seven Lower Naugatuck Valley towns. Guided by an advisory committee of local stakeholders, DataHaven chose to focus specifically on “the Valley’s” changing demographics, health and basic needs, early child care, and economic and educational opportunities. A more comprehensive analysis of the region will be published in the form of the 2016 Valley Community Index in Spring 2016.
The report found that significant increases in specific subpopulations — including immigrants and adults ages 65 and over — have contributed to a slightly faster regional population growth rate than statewide. The region also demonstrates promising economic growth within the housing market, health care sector, and average wage levels of Valley jobs.
However, educational need and financial instability exist, marked by disparities between Valley towns. Overall, nearly 60 percent of Valley 3rd graders read at goal level, while this percentage fell to around 45 percent of 3rd graders in four of the surveyed towns. Throughout the region, one in three households earned below the cost of living. However, this fraction was higher in Ansonia, Derby and Naugatuck, with half of the population earning below living costs in Ansonia.