There has been no shortage of conversations had recently about our population growth as well as the number and size of apartment developments (both in favor and against) being built in the City of Norwalk.
With Memorial Day approaching, I thought it might be appropriate to provide some observations about the population growth spurt that occurred in Norwalk in the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s.
According to the U.S. Census, Norwalk’s population in 1940 was 39,849. During World War II (1941 to 1945), 6,687 Norwalkers served in the military with 184 making the ultimate sacrifice. All 6,687 of their names can be seen on the bronze plaques outside the front entrance of City Hall.
Following the end of the War, as eloquently chronicled by Tom Brokaw in his book, “The Greatest Generation,” those who served came home, went to work, and started families. Connecticut at the end of World War II was still predominately a manufacturing economy so there were plenty of blue collar jobs available in Norwalk, Stamford, Bridgeport, Stratford, and throughout the Naugatuck Valley.
In 1946, the post-war population growth spurt known as the Baby Boom began and by the time it ended in 1964, 76.4 million “baby boomers” were added to the population and made up almost 40% of the total population.
There are not many World War II Veterans left, so if you happen to see one on Memorial Day, thank them.