The Opportunity-Race Gap in Connecticut


April 20, 2015

HARTFORD, CT – The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, the Connecticut Fair Housing Center, and Open Communities Alliance, this week released an updated analysis of access to “opportunity” in Connecticut.  The analysis, which maps neighborhood conditions and access to opportunity by census tract using 12 indicators across five opportunity levels, provides Connecticut communities and policymakers with critical data on local resources. 

Each indicator, covering issues from economic well-being to educational outcomes, is drawn from decades of social science research connecting “place” to life outcomes.  Opportunity maps can be used to determine which areas have resources that can be leveraged to best create access to opportunity for groups that have historically been cut off from such resources and guide investment in areas that are opportunity-isolated. 



According to Jason Reece, Director of Research for the Kirwan Institute,  “One important finding of the opportunity mapping analysis is that opportunity in Connecticut is not available on an equal basis by race.  In fact, while 26% of Whites and 36% of Asians live in areas of lower opportunity, 73% of Blacks and Latinos are living in such communities.  This place/race geography is connected to disparities in other areas, such as health outcomes and the educational achievement gap.” 

“These findings highlight why fair housing protections and access to housing choice are so important to the fabric of Connecticut,” said Erin Kemple of the Connecticut Fair Housing Center. 

Open Communities Alliance, working with Jack Dougherty of Trinity College, Scott Gaul of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Chris Brechlin of Blueprint for Impact, and Natalia Vorotyntseva of the Mapping and Geographic Information Center at the University of Connecticut, also used the base opportunity data to create an interactive map, allowing users to explore opportunity access in their own neighborhoods, and a Mobility App, intended to assist families using government housing subsidies locate housing in thriving communities.

Erin Boggs, Executive Director of Open Communities Alliance said, “Taken together, these opportunity mapping tools can play an important role in moving racial, ethnic, and income equality to a more central position in state and regional planning and generating access to opportunity for thousands of families in a way that does not reconstitute poverty concentration.”

All of the Opportunity Mapping tools can be accessed here.

Questions?  Call Erin Boggs, 860-857-6971


  • Open Communities Alliance
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  • Phone: 860-610-6040