Bridgeport is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Connecticut, and the fifth-largest city in New England. Located in Fairfield County, the city has an estimated population of 137,912 and is the core of the Greater Bridgeport area, which itself is considered part of the labor market area for New York City.
The city is quite marked by its attachment to famed resident, circus-promoter and once-mayor P.T. Barnum. Barnum built three houses in the city, and housed his circus in-town during winters.
Bridgeport was originally a part of the township of Stratford. The first settlement here was made in 1659. It was called Pequonnock until 1695, when its name was changed to Stratfield, due to its location between the already existing towns of Stratford and Fairfield. During the American Revolution it was a center of privateering. In 1800 the borough of Bridgeport was chartered, and in 1821 the township was incorporated. The city was not chartered until 1836.
As of the census² of 2000, there were 139,529 people, 50,307 households, and 32,749 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,367.0/km² (8,720.9/mi²). There were 54,367 housing units at an average density of 1,312.0/km² (3,398.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 45.02% White, 30.76% African American, 0.48% Native American, 3.25% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 14.81% from other races, and 5.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 31.88% of the population.
There were 50,307 households out of which 34.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.0% were married couples living together, 24.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.9% were non-families. 29.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.34.
In the city the population was spread out with 28.4% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 30.5% from 25 to 44, 18.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $34,658, and the median income for a family was $39,571. Males had a median income of $32,430 versus $26,966 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,306. About 16.2% of families and 18.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.8% of those under age 18 and 13.2% of those age 65 or over.
The city's public school system has 30 elementary schools, three comprehensive high schools, two alternative programs and an interdistrict vocational aquaculture school. The system has about 23,000 students, making the Bridgeport Public Schools the second largest school system in Connecticut. The school system employs a professional staff of more than 1,700.
The city has started a large school renovation and construction program, with plans for new schools and modernization of existing buildings.
Bridgeport is also home to several Catholic schools. They are St. Ambrose, the largest of all the Catholic schools, St. Raphaels, St. Augustine, St. Andrews, and St. Peters.
Bridgeport Coast Guard was telephoned by John McClain (Bruce Willis) in the movie Die Hard With a Vengeance.