[Excerpt] A new report shows an influx of immigrants to New Haven since 2000 has made it the fastest growing city in Connecticut.
The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven commissioned DataHaven to research how immigration has impacted the Elm City and the 20 towns surrounding it. Among the report findings, between 2000 and 2012--the population of Greater New Haven grew by 27,000 people. 75 percent of the new residents are foreign born and half of them are naturalized citizens. During the same period, there has been minimal growth in the region's native born population.
William Ginsberg is the President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven. He said the report is meant to encourage conversations about how all immigrants are contributing to the region's tax base, its business communities, neighborhoods and schools.
"Most of the people we surveyed significantly overstated the percentage of population that they thought were undocumented immigrants," Ginsberg said. "It's roughly three percent [statewide]. So the national debate is really obscuring the reality. It's also obscuring the reality that most of the foreign-born population in our region are high-skilled workers."
Ginsberg said almost two-thirds of foreign-born workers living in Greater New Haven are high-skilled workers -- more than at the national level.
Using U.S. Census data, the report found the city of New Haven has seen an additional 6,200 residents since 2000. Today, 17 percent of its entire population or almost 22,000 residents are foreign born. It's estimated more than 14,430 residents in the city are undocumented.