Westport By The Numbers

On April 15, it doesn’t take Einstein — or even a very good accountant — to know that Westporters pay more than the average American in taxes.*

We don’t have exact figures for exactly how much more. But — thanks to the MIT Data Lab, which crunches numbers from census and other figures — we do have an interesting statistical picture of our town. For example:

  • 2014 median household income: $151,771
  • Westporters living below the poverty line: 4.27%
  • Westport’s largest demographic group in poverty: Women ages 45-54
  • Compared to other census tracts, Westport has an unusually high percentage of lawyers, law clerks, human resources, artists, designers
Westport has lots o' lawyers.

Westport has lots o’ lawyers.

  • Median age: 44.6
  • US citizens: 94.7%
  • Ethnic groups: White, by a vast majority. Asian is 2nd, followed closely by Hispanic
A screen shot showing Westport's race and ethnicity data. "Other," "Native" and "Hawaiian" populations are even lower.

A screen shot showing Westport’s race and ethnicity data. “Other,” “Native” and “Hawaiian” populations are even lower. Click on image to enlarge.

  • Most common non-English language: Spanish, by a wide margin. Next most popular, far down the list: Chinese, Korean, Italian
  • Compared to the rest of the the US, Westport has a relatively high percentage of speakers of: “Scandinavian,” Greek, Hebrew
  • Percentage of owner-occupied housing units: 85.9%
  • Percentage of households with: 2 cars (50%), 3 cars (25%), 1 car (12%), 4 cars (8%)

For more Westport facts and figures, click here

*Unless their name appears in the Panama Papers.

(Hat tip: Bill Ryan)

15 responses to “Westport By The Numbers

  1. What’s the population? – Chris Woods

    • Estimated in 2015: 26,391

      • That represents a decline in population over the last 45 years.

      • Jack Whittle

        Westport’s population has remained remarkably steady over the last 45 years – fluctuating between ~27,300 (1970) and ~24,400 (1990). The current figure of ~26,400 is less than 1,000 from our peak.

        I’d guess our capacity (based on bedrooms) has increased dramatically, however.

  2. You may want to offer your readers this article from the Washington Post with a link to the questionnaire about “being out of touch”, not true science but insightful.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/04/12/the-most-out-of-touch-places-in-america/?wpisrc=nl_az_most
    There is a second link from PBS news that specifically rates Westport as one of the top out of touch places AKA “growing up in a bubble”.
    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/did-you-grow-up-in-a-bubble-these-zip-codes-suggest-you-did/

  3. “Paul…catch the first plane to MIT and check if the high number of lawyers in Wesport is connected with the high number of lawsuits filed there. Della…book me into a nail salon for a manicure….”

  4. Here are a couple of other numbers, for 2014: Total CT income tax paid from Westport: $216.3mm, fourth highest in the state. CT income tax paid per return filed: $18,848, also fourth highest in the state. Percent of total CT personal income taxes paid by Westport: 3.3%. Westport’s population as a % of the state: 0.77%. (Sources: Tax data: CT Department of “Revenue Services;” population: CT Department of Health)

    • Bart Shuldman

      Iain–Westport better be careful with how we spend our money—the state is broke and you can quickly see how much taxes the residents of Westport already pay. And the leadership in hartford wants more money from us. This will only get worse while the state also cuts the amount Westport gets.

      Can Rep Steinberg really get re-elected given his voting record that now has helped drive the budget crisis?

  5. Sven Davidson

    Westport population per the 1956 census: 18,346. 1960 census = 20,972.

  6. Bart Shuldman

    The stats easily tell us why the busing system is rarely used. How much more marketing dollars will the town spend and will the BofF approve, until we realize we don’t have the population without cars that justifies the cost.

    • The decision to waste the taxpayers’ dollars on public transport is based on ideological and political considerations, not economics or common sense.

      • Bart Shuldman

        As we watch the financial issues get worse and we face billions in deficits the next few years, maybe we will get smart and stop ‘hoping’ the transportation will work. Hope is no strategy but deficits are real.

        Any idea how we will absorb losing almost $2 million towards our schools? Can the education budget handle this it will a new budget and higher taxes be set?

  7. Certainly Westport doesn’t have a population that demands bus service – but other communities in the state do, including those that provide Westport with low-wage workers (anyone driving past the bus stops will see).

    I wonder if Westporters who complain about tax money going to buses are the “out of touch” types to which the PBS and Washington Post links refer?

    Though I have no idea why a thread on Westport demographics leads to another Westport GOP campaign comment. Yawn.

    • Bart Shuldman

      You are too funny. The WTD had been plagued by high costs and low ridership. The town losses money.

      The facts and figures help explain why the service is not used. Nothing political-just the facts.

      What is troubling is your inability to look what is happening around the state and understand that spending and raising taxes is destroying CT. Our own Rep Steinberg has helped drive GE out, while making sure our taxes go up.

      CT is a disaster. In Westport we better be careful how we spend our money going forward. When taxes go up due to the lose of $2 million, everyone will pay. Very regressive tax-seniors will feel it the most.

      Your easy answer is to call it political. I would rather get into the facts and try and do what is right.

    • Jerry MacDaid

      If Westport just allowed some affordable housing to be built, maybe some of the low wage workers could actually live in town. 🙂