January 1969: Wilton then and now
Among the many documents in the Wilton History Room is a 1969 profile of Wilton that reveals how much — and how little — has changed about the town over the past 50 years.
In January 1969, the Town Association of Wilton created a survey for “newcomers to Wilton or families who are considering Wilton as their new home” that answered questions like:
- “How long have Wilton people been Wilton people?”
- “When the man of the house goes off to business, where does he go?”
- “How much does he make when he goes to work?”
Residency and age
According to the 1969 survey, 38% of respondents had lived in Wilton for more than 10 years and 24% had lived in town for five to 10 years, while 19% had lived in Wilton for two to four years and 19% had lived in town for less than two years.
Of the those who had lived in Wilton for more than 10 years, 74% were 45 years or older.
Forty-one percent of those who had lived in town for five to 10 years, 46% of those who had lived in town for two to four years, and 53% of those who had called Wilton home for less than two years were between the ages of 35 and 44.
According to the 1969 document, residents under the age of 25 accounted for less than 5% in each group. Today, under-25-year-olds make up the largest age group in town at approximately 36%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.
In 1969, 62% of working Wilton men worked in either New York City or Wilton, while 27% worked in other Connecticut towns and 9% commuted to Westchester County.
Fifty-six percent of those living in Wilton for at least 10 years worked in Wilton, according to the 1969 survey, while 55% worked in New York City.
According to the 2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, about 76% of working Wilton residents — both men and women — work in Connecticut, while around 24% work out of state. Of those who work in Connecticut, 73% do so in Fairfield County.
More than half of working men from Wilton made $10,000 to $25,000 a year in January 1969, while 22% made $30,000 or more a year.
Nine percent of working Wilton men made between $25,000 and $30,000 a year, 4% made between $7,000 and $10,000, and 8% made between $5,000 and $7,000 a year. Two percent made between $3,000 and $5,000, and only 1% made less than $3,000 a year.
According to the 2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, more than half of Wilton families have inflation-adjusted incomes and benefits of at least $200,000, and only 1% of families have less than $10,000.
The Wilton History Room is on the second floor of Wilton Library at 137 Old Ridgefield Road. Curators are available for assistance Wednesdays from 11 to 4, and Fridays from 1 to 4 — although Friday hours have been suspended until Jan. 25. History room materials are also available during regular library hours through the reference desk. To set up an appointment with a history room curator, call 203-762-6330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.