Woog’s World: There is only one Woog’s World
Published 12:00 am, Friday, February 17, 2017
The recent kerfuffle over TEAM Westport’s essay contest on white privilege focused national attention on our town. Nearly every news report noted Westport is 93 percent white.
Some residents thought that figure sounded high. Others believed it was low.
In fact, according to 2010 census data, our “white alone” population is 84.5 percent. The next most populous group is “Asian alone,” at 5.8 percent. Then comes Hispanic (4.5 percent), “two or more races” (2.0), “black alone” (0.8), “other race alone” (0.02) and “American Indian alone” (0.03).
So yeah, we are pretty white.
But we’re other things, too. A ramble through the demographic landscape of Google yields some very intriguing statistics. I’ll share some of them here, with only a few editorial comments.
We’re 51.9 percent female, and 48.1 percent male. Our median age is 45.4 years, making us nearly four years older than the statewide average.
More Westporters claim Italian ancestry (13.7 percent) than anything else. That’s followed by “American” (9.6 percent), which actually makes this entire category invalid. With only 0.03 percent of our population calling themselves “American Indian alone,” I’m not exactly sure what “American” means.
We are 9.2 percent Irish, 5.5 percent Russian, 5.3 percent English and 3.8 percent Eastern European.
Our foreign-born population is more than 7 percent. Those Westporters were born primarily in Europe (4.8 percent), Asia (2.0) and Latin America (1.4).
Westport’s estimated median household income in 2015 was $167,872. Connecticut’s median household income was $71,346. Of course, ours is one of the wealthiest states in the country. We are definitely up in one percent-ville.
On the other hand, the percentage of Westporters living in poverty in 2015 was 4.7.
The estimated per capita income in 2015 was $97,331. That’s an astonishing figure. I don’t know too many kindergartners (or even high school students) earning that much. So, their parents are pulling in some serious bucks.
It should be noted the average household size is 2.7 people. That may come as a surprise to those who think Westport is a town filled only with families with kids.
As for same-sex couples: 0.4 percent of all households are headed by two men, another 0.4 percent by two women.
For those of us who are at least 25 years old, 98.9 percent have a high school degree or higher. The figure for at least a bachelor’s degree is 76.6 percent. An astonishing 39.0 percent have a graduate or professional degree. There is no indication how many of us attended Trump University.
On weekdays, our population increases by 7,346, a change of 26.6 percent. That means many more people commute into Westport for work than commute out. This can be verified by the amount of inbound traffic around 9 a.m. every day, and outbound around 5. Or you could just walk into Starbucks and count the number of people working on Macbooks.
Our most common occupations in 2015 were management (27 percent), sales-related (18), business and financial occupations (13), legal (7), office and administrative support, health-related (4), and arts, design, entertainment, sports and media (4). That sounds way off to me. Almost everyone I know here is a lawyer, runs a hedge fund, or works for ESPN.
Meanwhile, the most common industries in Westport — which I think means jobs that are based here — are finance and insurance (29 percent), professional, scientific and technical services (19), retail trade (8), health care and assistance (7), wholesale trade (4), construction (4) and manufacturing (4). I am surprised there is not a separate category for nail salons and frozen yogurt shops.
Nationally, among places with a population of at least 5,000, we are number 52 on the list of cities with the highest percentage of workers working at home.
Fortunately, our “historical tornado activity” is slightly below the Connecticut state average, and 41 percent smaller than the overall U.S. average. Our earthquake disaster, while near the state average, is a whopping 88 percent smaller than the national average. Fun fact: Did you know there have been 13 presidential declarations of disasters in Fairfield County?
We are generally healthier than the state as a whole. Our average BMI of 28.1 compares favorably with the state average of 28.7. On the other hand, 35.4 percent of us are overweight.
While 21.2 percent of all Connecticut residents report “feeling badly” about themselves, in Westport that number is 18.7 percent. The percentage of people — presumably adults — who do not drink alcohol at all is 8.5. We sleep an average of seven hours a night.
That’s a lot of stuff. Some of it makes sense; some seems senseless. But here’s one statistic that no one can argue with: Number of “Woog’s Worlds” in Westport.
There is only one.