A week after the former governor leaves Connecticut, a new census report shows many more are following suit.
Metro Hartford, which includes Middlesex and Tolland counties, recently saw the 10th largest population loss in the country.
The Hartford region has not seen any growth in the last five years, and some experts worry the state is not doing anything to change it.
After living in Cromwell for more than 30 years, Bob O’Brien and his wife are packing up. After spending 29 years at the state’s crime lab, he’s moving to West Virginia to teach forensic science at the state’s university.
“Taxes are an issue, property taxes, sales taxes, everything weighs on families these days,” O’Brien said.
In a span of 12 months in 2014-15, the latest U.S. census shows 1,900 people left Hartford, Middlesex, and Tolland counties.
“It's bittersweet that we're leaving, but we have many friends and family in the area, we'll be in touch,” O’Brien said.
Ellen Paklos has been a realtor for the last 14 years and she said there’s a stark change in the central part of the state.
“When I first entered you would list a house and it would be listed in two days and you'd have a multiple offers. Now, what's happening is there are a lot of still foreclosure and short sales,” Paklos said.
Census data shows many retirees are leaving for the south, but millennials are going elsewhere as well.
“A lot of these kids have student loan debt and that affects them getting a mortgage,” Paklos said.
The O’Brien’s said their two sons are no longer in Connecticut. One is in central Massachusetts and the other is in Virginia.
“Potential job opportunities, they just decided to go elsewhere,” O’Brien said.
Paklos said in order to gain some traction on keeping people here, the state needs to get more aggressive when it comes to jobs and taxes.
“Nothing is easy. The prices of homes are too expensive, the taxes are too expensive. The flood insurance is way up there,” Paklos said.
Some of the other cities that saw significant departures were Chicago, Cleveland and Pittsburgh.
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