How do you pick the best places to live in what many agree is the best darn state in the nation? If you do a survey, you’ll get opinions based on most likely, emotions.
That’s why we use science. After all, the data never lies.
After analyzing everything from weather and amenities to crime and education, we’ve come up with the following list as the best places to live in Connecticut. Read on below to see how we calculated the results and where your home town ranked. Hint: If you live in New Haven County, consider yourself lucky.
The Top 10 Best Places to Live in Connecticut are:
- Shelton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Milford (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Middletown (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Bristol (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Stamford (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Norwalk (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Groton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Danbury (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Naugatuck (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- West Haven (Photos | Homes For Sale)
Well, it looks like you should check out Shelton if you’re thinking of moving to Connecticut — it’s the best the Constitution State has to offer according to the data.
Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Connecticut.
For more Connecticut reading, check out:
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Connecticut
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Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Connecticut
The Pressing Question: Size
Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Hartford with a population of 124,320 against places with a population of 18?
We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.
So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:
- Cities — Populations over 9,000
- Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 9,000
- Small Towns — Populations below 1,000
This left us with 21 cities, 67 towns, and 13 small towns.
We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 9,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.
You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.
How We Calculated The Best Place To Live In Connecticut
Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.
We ranked each place in Connecticut across a number of criteria from one to 21, with one being the best.
We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Connecticut”.
The criteria we looked at were:
- Median Home Values
- Median Income
- Population Density (Higher better)
- Unemployment Rate
- Commute Time
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Connecticut.
Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Shelton at the end of the cul-de-sac.
Crime is something that doesn’t happen very often in Shelton. Statistically the 1st safest place in the state, there were only 28 violent crimes in the entire city last year.
It’s really beautiful in Shelton, and new homes continue to replace older homes. Resident earn $87,277 a year, and homes are valued at more than $338,200.
What else could you possibly want if you’re someone who likes the good things in life?
The crime rate is much lower here than in the rest of Connecticut, as there were only 34 violent crimes in the city limits last year. The unemployment rate is the 2nd lowest in Connecticut (6.6%), and the public schools are ranked 3rd in the state in terms of spending per student.
Additionally, homes are the 4th most expensive in Milford ($305,100), meaning a lot of people want to live there.
Plus, the residents earn a really great salary: $81,971 a year.
You might be surprised to see the Town of Middletown so high on the list. Unless you live in Middletown.
The unemployment rate here is really low, and at 6.3%, Middletown residents are some of the hardest working in the state of Connecticut. When you factor in high home prices, high incomes and low crime, Middletown is doing quite well.
Let’s be honest — Middletown is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.
Bristol has a really low crime rate (2nd lowest) and only 7.8% of the people are unemployed. Additionally, residents here have high paying jobs ($61,551). And that goes a long way.
The population is growing at a steady clip, and the cost of living is lower than it should be. So people have an extra incentive to live in Bristol.
Stamford has a long and illustrious history and its ranking in the top ten of our best places to live is just another notch in its belt.\n\Stamford had the 3rd highest household median income adjusted for cost of living at $81,634.
Not to mention that its residents have plenty to do on the weekends.
If you own a home in Norwalk, you’re aware that your home values are skyrocketing right now. That’s a sign that things are going swimmingly. Most people there have good jobs, and the commute times are short.
The median home costs a cool $416,800 and households make $80,896 which is good for 4th in Connecticut.Norwalk has a well deserved spot on this list.
Groton is a cute little city where crime is far below the state average, and where it’s affordable. The schools are also solidly rated.
Home prices clock in at $198,100 and households earn a median salary of $55,137. One could get used to that.
The Danbury has the 3rd lowest unemployment rate in Connecticut. The population growth here has been 8% over the last 15 years, meaning a lot of people want to live here. If they can afford it; the cost of living in Danbury is higher than the national average and households make $67,430 per year.
We’d move to Danbury if we could in a heart beat.
Naugatuck is feeling the love as it ranks as the 9th best city to live in Connecticut for 2016.
It ranked highly because of its high incomes (8th overall) and low crime (5th overall and one of the best in the top ten).
We think the city should probably change its motto at this point to something like “The Place To Be In Connecticut”.
West Haven is a short drive from everything, but who would want to leave the 10th best place in Connecticut?
Homes are priced around $193,800 and residents have the 6th shortest commute in Connecticut.
Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Connecticut
If you’re looking at areas in Connecticut with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
Shelton made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for 2018.
Best Towns To Live In Connecticut
- Weatogue (Pop. 3,179)
- Gales Ferry (Pop. 1,005)
- West Simsbury (Pop. 2,354)
- Mystic (Pop. 4,241)
- Georgetown (Pop. 1,821)
- Durham (Pop. 2,687)
- Woodmont (Pop. 1,425)
- Southport (Pop. 1,694)
- Pemberwick (Pop. 4,286)
- Guilford Center (Pop. 2,517)
Best Small Towns To Live In Connecticut
- Terramuggus (Pop. 934)
- Fenwick (Pop. 78)
- Groton Long Point (Pop. 477)
- New Preston (Pop. 996)
- Wilton Center (Pop. 675)
- Stonington (Pop. 973)
- Mansfield Center (Pop. 969)
- Falls Village (Pop. 490)
- Lakeville (Pop. 903)
- Brooklyn (Pop. 906)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Connecticut according to the data:
- Bridgeport (Pop. 147,022)
- Waterbury (Pop. 109,211)
- Hartford (Pop. 124,320)
For more Connecticut reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Connecticut