These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Connecticut For 2018

These are the cream of the crop when it comes to the Constitution State

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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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:

  1. Shelton (Photos)
  2. Milford (Photos)
  3. Middletown (Photos)
  4. Bristol (Photos)
  5. Stamford (Photos)
  6. Norwalk (Photos)
  7. Groton (Photos)
  8. Danbury (Photos)
  9. Naugatuck (Photos)
  10. West Haven (Photos)

Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Connecticut.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

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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’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

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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
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

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.

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1. Shelton

Shelton, Connecticut

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 40,979
Rank 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.

2. Milford

Milford, Connecticut

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 52,005
Rank 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.

3. Middletown

Middletown, Connecticut

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 46,933
Rank 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.

4. Bristol

Bristol, Connecticut

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 60,437
Rank 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.

5. Stamford

Stamford, Connecticut

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 127,410
Rank 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.

6. Norwalk

Norwalk, Connecticut

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 87,930
Rank 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.

7. Groton

Groton, Connecticut

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,240
Rank 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.

8. Danbury

Danbury, Connecticut

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 83,890
Rank 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.

9. Naugatuck

Naugatuck, Connecticut

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 31,625
Rank 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

West Haven, Connecticut

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 54,972
Rank 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

  1. Weatogue (Pop. 3,179)
  2. Gales Ferry (Pop. 1,005)
  3. West Simsbury (Pop. 2,354)
  4. Mystic (Pop. 4,241)
  5. Georgetown (Pop. 1,821)
  6. Durham (Pop. 2,687)
  7. Woodmont (Pop. 1,425)
  8. Southport (Pop. 1,694)
  9. Pemberwick (Pop. 4,286)
  10. Guilford Center (Pop. 2,517)

Best Small Towns To Live In Connecticut

  1. Cannondale (Pop. 92)
  2. Terramuggus (Pop. 934)
  3. Groton Long Point (Pop. 477)
  4. Fenwick (Pop. 78)
  5. New Preston (Pop. 996)
  6. Wilton Center (Pop. 675)
  7. Mansfield Center (Pop. 969)
  8. Stonington (Pop. 973)
  9. Falls Village (Pop. 490)
  10. Lakeville (Pop. 903)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Connecticut:

  1. Hartford (Pop. 124,320)
  2. Waterbury (Pop. 109,211)
  3. Bridgeport (Pop. 147,022)

For more Connecticut reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Cities In Connecticut

City Rank Previous Rank Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
Shelton 1 1 40,979 7.9% $338,200
Milford 2 2 52,005 6.6% $305,100
Middletown 3 3 46,933 6.3% $228,500
Bristol 4 8 60,437 7.8% $192,500
Stamford 5 5 127,410 8.0% $504,200
Norwalk 6 7 87,930 7.9% $416,800
Groton 7 6 9,240 7.5% $198,100
Danbury 8 12 83,890 7.3% $286,400
Naugatuck 9 11 31,625 10.0% $178,800
West Haven 10 9 54,972 11.3% $193,800
Meriden 11 16 60,203 8.9% $174,800
Norwich 12 15 40,057 9.7% $169,600
Torrington 13 14 35,227 8.6% $162,300
Ansonia 14 13 18,950 11.5% $214,800
Derby 15 18 12,755 9.7% $199,400
New Britain 16 20 72,876 10.7% $157,300
New London 17 19 27,218 12.5% $183,900
New Haven 18 21 130,405 11.3% $190,700
Bridgeport 19 22 147,022 15.2% $168,200
Waterbury 20 23 109,211 13.2% $129,500
Hartford 21 24 124,320 17.5% $159,100

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13 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Connecticut For 2018

  1. Connecticut has 169 towns, your data set is not aggregating and incrementing ranking correctly with two distinct issues:
    1) Several duplicates such as lines 98 and 99, both named “Middletown”
    1) Less obvious CDP (census designated place)/Village usage such as East Granby, North Granby and Granby. Only the Town of Granby and Town of East Granby exist, the Census Designated Place of North Granby is a village, not a town or city and should be aggregated within its town/city.

    1. Doesn’t matter North , West or just Granby still under the poor leadership of Town Hall, Worthless Community Developer and High Taxes!!! Just see what they did to the landowner at 572 Salmon Brook Street! They should all be ashamed of their lack of leadership!! The P&Z Commission needs to be completely voted out, too!!!

  2. CT has very high taxes. CT STINKS!
    Our Govenor just raised taxes on corporations and now we may lose some important businesses that are headquartered here.

  3. You would think that neighboring areas would score similarly on the weather ranking but that does not appear to be the case, particularly with the number of sunny days.

  4. Granby is below Wilimantic , no surprise with the highest taxes and the worst Town Government. Just a bunch of Liars!!!!

  5. Does Weston’s ranking include its underpopulated schools and overly taxed citizens?
    How about the fact that we have a tiny town center that overcharges for its merchandise?

  6. When the article started by suggesting that Connecticut is the best darn state in the nation, the author lost credibility almost as fast as the state is losing population.

    High taxes and cost of living, terrible weather, crappy roads, marginal schools, crowded conditions, and little to do cause so many people to move away as soon as they can. I cant wait to be among those waving goodbye to the Constitution state. I’ve lived a lot of different places, and this state has the least to offer.

  7. Besides the numerous obvious flaws in this study, your number 1 consideration: “Population Density (The higher the better)” is simply inane. I don’t think there’s a person in the state that would opt for overcrowded urban conditions, yet that’s exactly what you classify as optimum. It’s possible there is an “optimum” population density, but you have failed entirely by not trying to determine that quantifier and simply pulled “more is better” out of thin air.

    1. Seems like from a stand point of selling HomeSnacks this list might be accurate to that specail interst group only.

  8. As soon as you said, “We firmly decided that yes, bigger cities should be given a bigger ranking factor…” this was no longer scientific but an opinion. Correcting data doesn’t make something “scientific.” Objectively analyzing the data does.

  9. Connecticut is a generally great place to live. I live, I pay taxes, I work, and I love Connecticut.

    If anyone has come here just to say how terrible Connecticut is, you really need to take a step back and examine the parts of your life that you’re blaming on the state and figure out how to act on them in a positive way that will in turn brighten your life.

    Connecticut is fantastic. First in flight as well.

  10. I grew up in Branchville across the tracks from Georgetown, it was about as ” Mayberry” as you could get. It was a great place to grow up, haven’t been back for thirty years don’t suspect it’s changed that much.

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