It's long been known that Hartford is one of America's poorest cities, when measured in per capita income. A new study on newgeography.com based on the 2010 American Community Survey and the census shows a startlingly high poverty gap between the city and the suburbs.
At 31.2 percent, Hartford's poverty rate is four times the 7.8 percent poverty rate of the suburbs, which include all 57 towns in Hartford County plus Tolland County and Middlesex County.
Lifelong Connecticut resident Teresa Cooke says she's never seen things in Hartford as bad as they are now.
"Everything is expensive. There are no basic jobs or anything like that. We need help," Cooke said. "It's critical. We need somebody who really cares to step in and make a difference."
Her son Solomon, shopping with his two children, said, "Hartford probably needs a little more help than other towns."
In a statement on the gap he called "alarming" , Mayor Pedro Segarra said, "There is no question that the median income in Hartford is far lower than its surrounding suburban towns, but there has been significant progress."
Just last week Segarra released details of a new initiative, Opportunities Hartford, designed to "align, enhance, and expand the most promising education, employment, and income opportunities currently existing in Hartford."
"What we are focused on is expanding and generating new opportunities that provide every city resident with self or family-sustaining employment and income," Segarra said.