Where are the best places in the state of Connecticut?
To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Constitution State where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.
However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in Connecticut.
There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.
After analyzing 21 places in Connecticut, we came up with this list of the best places:
- Shelton (Photos)
- Milford (Photos)
- Middletown (Photos)
- Bristol (Photos)
- Stamford (Photos)
- Norwalk (Photos)
- Groton (Photos)
- Danbury (Photos)
- Naugatuck (Photos)
- West Haven (Photos)
Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best 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 9,200
- Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 9,200
- Small Towns — Populations below 1,000
This left us with 21 cities, 67 towns, and 15 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 9,200 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.
Population: 40,979Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Values: $338,200 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (6th best)
You might be surprised to see the Town of Shelton so high on the list. Unless you live in Shelton.
The unemployment rate here is really low, and at7.9%, Shelton residents are some of the hardest working in the state of Connecticut. When you factor in high home prices, high incomes and low crime, Shelton is doing quite well.
Let’s be honest — Shelton is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.
Population: 52,005Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Values: $305,100 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (2nd best)
Milford has it made. In fact, according to science, it’s one of the best places to live in the state of Connecticut.
The unemployment rate is the 2nd lowest in the state at 6.6%, and residents make a pretty penny. Median incomes are $81,971, and the average cost of a home is $305,100. Which is an indication that lots of people want to live here.
We wouldn’t be surprised if more and more publications call Milford one of America’s gems.
Population: 46,933Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Values: $228,500 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (1st best)
Middletown takes 3rd place on our list of best places in Connecticut for 2018 thanks to a strong showing in unemployment rate (1st overall) and things to do.
Middletown is no stranger to top ten lists, being named one of the best places to live in the country by multiple outlets over the past ten years.And that tends to happen when home prices hit $228,500 at the median.
Population: 60,437Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Home Values: $192,500 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (5th best)
Bristol had the 5th lowest unemployment of any place in our research (7.8%) and the 2nd lowest crime rate. However, the relative lack of population density and long commute times held it back from being higher on our list.
Bristol is home to an exceptional Volunteer Fire Department that represents so much about what it’s like to live there.
Population: 127,410Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Home Values: $504,200 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 8.0% (8th best)
The crime rate is much lower here than in the rest of Connecticut, as there were only 351 violent crimes in the city limits last year. The unemployment rate is the 8th lowest in Connecticut (8.0%), and the public schools are ranked 3rd in the state in terms of spending per student.
Additionally, homes are the 1st most expensive in Stamford ($504,200), meaning a lot of people want to live there.
Plus, the residents earn a really great salary: $81,634 a year.
Population: 87,930Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Home Values: $416,800 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (6th best)
Norwalk takes 6th place on our list of best places in Connecticut for 2018 thanks to a strong showing in unemployment rate (6th overall) and things to do.
Norwalk is no stranger to top ten lists, being named one of the best places to live in the country by multiple outlets over the past ten years.And that tends to happen when home prices hit $416,800 at the median.
Population: 9,240Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Home Values: $198,100 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.5% (4th best)
Taking its place as the 7th best place in Connecticut is Groton. Residents here earn a really high salary each year, and crime is fairly low, in comparison to the rest of Connecticut.
It’s considered a cultural community, as it boasts an arts scene, and many ethnic restaurants, too. Which means you can’t be bored here.
An unemployment rate of only 7.5% helps thing too.
Population: 83,890Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 4)
Home Values: $286,400 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (3rd best)
Danbury ranks 8th on our list of best places to live in Connecticut thanks to its low unemployment and high adjusted median income.
Additionally, its crime rate ranks in the lowest 10% of all places in Connecticut that we examined.
People have been flocking to Danbury over the past years. Goes to show that everyone wants in on this great community.
Population: 31,625Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Home Values: $178,800 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 10.0% (13th best)
Naugatuck is feeling the love as it ranks as the 9th best city to live in Connecticut for 2015.
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”.
10. West Haven
Population: 54,972Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Home Values: $193,800 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 11.3% (15th best)
And rounding out the top 10 best places to live in Connecticut is West Haven.
West Haven followed a similar path to other cities the top 10 with its low unemployment, however it also stood out for its crime rates, which place in the top 10% of the state.
Another universally recognized great place to live, West Haven has consistently appeared as one of the best places to live in Connecticut over the years.
Wrapping Up The Best Of The Best 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
- Cannondale (Pop. 92)
- Terramuggus (Pop. 934)
- Groton Long Point (Pop. 477)
- Fenwick (Pop. 78)
- New Preston (Pop. 996)
- Wilton Center (Pop. 675)
- Mansfield Center (Pop. 969)
- Stonington (Pop. 973)
- Falls Village (Pop. 490)
- Lakeville (Pop. 903)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Connecticut:
- Hartford (Pop. 124,320)
- Waterbury (Pop. 109,211)
- Bridgeport (Pop. 147,022)
For more Connecticut reading , check out:
- 17 Hilarious Connecticut Jokes That Are Actually Funny
- These Are The 10 Most Redneck Cities In Connecticut
- These Are The 10 Snobbiest Places In Connecticut
Detailed List Of The Best Cities In Connecticut