Asset Map for High Poverty, Low Opportunity Areas

View the interactive map

Use the tool to see the location of active child care, family resource centers, and select healthcare sites located in 12 towns with “high poverty, low opportunity” census tracts. 

Census tracts are small areas — generally with a population size of 1,200 to 8,000 — that are used for presenting census data. High poverty and low opportunity census tracts are areas where 30% or more of residents have incomes below the federal poverty line. These tracts were classified by the The Office of Policy and Management.

Note that the map doesn’t include home visiting services, since they’re available in every town and one location may serve multiple towns. Learn more about home visiting.

Development of the asset map

Public Act #23-205 is a law passed in Connecticut in 2023. One of its requirements was for researchers to examine existing home visiting, child care, family resource centers, and healthcare resources available within high poverty, low opportunity census tracts.

Researchers at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work — as part of the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood Partnership — developed an interactive map to help identify and study some of these areas.

Researchers examined available resources in 64 high poverty, low opportunity census tracts — classified by the Office of Policy and Management — in 12 towns:

  • Bridgeport
  • Enfield
  • Hartford
  • Mansfield
  • Meriden
  • Middletown
  • New Britain
  • New Haven
  • New London
  • Stamford
  • Waterbury
  • Windham

What the researchers found

Most of the 12 towns do have resources for families with young children. However, researchers also found that:

  • These resources are not spread out evenly 
  • They’re not always located in “high poverty, low opportunity” census tracts, where need may be the highest

We need more research to see if:

  • Families use resources outside their areas
  • What barriers exist to accessing resources, including the location of resources

Other key findings

When studying the 12 towns with 1 or more high poverty, low opportunity census tract, researchers found:

  • Most of these tracts have child care centers and/or family child care homes. The exceptions are Hartford, Meriden, and New Haven, which have 1 or more tracts without a child care center or family child care home.   
  • All of the 12 towns — except Mansfield — have a family resource center. But only Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, and Windham actually have a family resource center inside a high poverty, low opportunity census tract. 
  • All of the 12 towns — except Windham — have a federally-qualified health center. Federally-qualified health centers serve medically underserved areas or populations and offer sliding fee scales. Only Bridgeport, Enfield, Hartford, Meriden, New Britain, New Haven, and Waterbury actually have 1 of these centers inside a high poverty, low opportunity census tract. 

Limitations

  • The asset map only shows the addresses of resource sites, not where the families using them live.
  • It doesn’t provide details about the quality of the resources or barriers families might face, like limited hours or transportation issues.
  • Information on healthcare resources is limited to the locations of children’s hospitals and federally-qualified health centers that provide pediatric or family care (and excluding mobile, shelter-based, and school-based centers). We don’t have information on private pediatric practices and we also don’t know who specifically is using what resources and where they live.
  • The map covers resources in only 12 of Connecticut’s 169 towns, so we can’t compare these towns to others in the state.
  • The definition of “high poverty, low opportunity” census tracts — areas where 30% or more residents have incomes below the federal poverty line — is limited. It may not capture other factors that result in low levels of opportunity.

Learn more about the project

In addition to developing the asset map, the team at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work also explored how many children and families received child-focused services in Connecticut. 

The full report includes:

  • Author information
  • Detailed findings
  • Funding information
  • List of data sources used
  • Important limitations of this research

Read the full report.

Last updated June 11, 2024