Authored By



December 12, 2019


The Fund for Women & Girls at Fairfield County's Community Foundation

Written and produced by Josephine Ankrah, Camille Seaberry, and Mark Abraham of DataHaven, Count Her In: A Status Report on Women & Girls in Fairfield County, Connecticut is a 24-page report that uses quantitative data from federal and state government sources as well as qualitative data derived from stakeholders to assess how women and girls in the county are faring.

According to the data, of Fairfield County’s total population of 947,328, just over 51 percent is female, of which 22 percent are girls under age 18. The median age of these 485,948 women and girls is 42 years, about four years higher than that of men in the county. About half the female populations of Danbury, Norwalk, and Stamford are non-white, and about four out of every five women and girls in Bridgeport are women or girls of color. When considering diversity statewide, the report revealed that in 2017 the female immigrant population was 14 percent. However, that percentage for the same year rose to as high as 35 percent in Stamford and 29 percent in Danbury, with 28 percent and 27 percent in Bridgeport and Norwalk, respectively. According to the report, more than 54,000 women and girls (over the age of four in Fairfield County) spoke English “less than well” or “not at all.”

The research concerning educational attainment indicates that throughout most of Fairfield County, a higher share of women have a master’s or other advanced degree compared to women across the nation. In contrast, about 25 percent of women living in Bridgeport lack a high school diploma, which is twice the national rate of 12 percent. According to the study, 29 percent of Latinas and 14 percent of Black women in the county are lacking a high school diploma versus just 5 percent of white women.

Economically, almost 27,000 girls live in low-income households in Fairfield County. According to the MIT Living Wage calculator, in Connecticut a household of one adult and one child needs an annual income of $59,760 before taxes to afford basic needs such as food, childcare, medical care, housing, and transportation. In Fairfield County, the same household would need an income of $64,295 before taxes to afford their basic needs.


We thank the following individuals and organizations for their invaluable insights as subject matter experts and participation in research focus groups and interviews related to the project:


  • Alicia Robinson, Turnaround Arts: Bridgeport
  • Anka Badurina, Building One Community
  • Catherine Bailey, Connecticut Women’s Legal Education Fund
  • Cloonan Middle School
  • Eileen Scully, The Rising Tides
  • Eileen Swerdlick, Stamford Public Schools, Retired
  • Fairchild Wheeler Interdistrict Multi-Magnet Campus
  • Fran Pastore, Women’s Business Development Council
  • Frances Padilla, Universal Health Connecticut
  • Ingrid Seeman, University of Connecticut
  • Jill Keating Herbst, All Our Kin
  • Kari Kaplan, Girl Scouts of Connecticut
  • Kathy Williamson, Mount Aery Baptist Church
  • Lindsay Reimers, SVP Connecticut
  • LouAnn Bloomer, The Bridge to Independence & Career Opportunities
  • Maggie Young, Liberation Programs
  • Mary Lee Kiernan, YWCA Greenwich
  • Shamain Johnson, Girls Lead
  • Sheila Perrin, Perrin Family Foundation
  • Vida Samuel, University of Connecticut
  • Patti Russo, Women’s Campaign School at Yale
  • Yvrose Romulus, University of Bridgeport