THE 10 BEST Places To Live In Connecticut For 2020

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

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best places to live in Connecticut.

Welcome to Connecticut, one of the most expensive and wealthiest states.

But assuming you have the cash to move to the Nutmeg State, you might be wondering what the best place to call home would be. So we did the math to help you understand why you should think about moving to Shelton. 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 most likely get opinions based emotions.

That's why we use science -- a mix of Census and FBI data on indicators of quality of life in Connecticut. After all, the data never lies. And 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 hometown ranked.

Hint: If you live in New Haven County, consider yourself lucky.

What's the best place to live in connecticut? According to the most recent FBI and Census data, Shelton comes in first as the best place in connecticut for 2020 based. Hope you can afford to make the move.

As you can see, there are plenty of amazing places to live in connecticut, but these top ten cities undoubtedly take the cake.

Their low unemployment rates, low crime rates, high incomes, low household vacancy rates, and abundance of things to do make these ten places the best places to live in connecticut for 2020.

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

For more Connecticut reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Connecticut For 2020

Shelton, CT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 41,155
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $345,200 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (2nd best)
More on Shelton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Shelton ranks 1st 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 Shelton over the past years. Goes to show that everyone wants in on this great community.

Middletown, CT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 46,473
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $227,000 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.6% (3rd best)
More on Middletown: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there's A LOT of demand to live in Middletown.

Middletown ranked impressively high for its crime rate (2nd overall) and its short commute times (4th).

We think that's worth the price of admission.

Milford, CT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 52,349
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $306,100 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (1st best)
More on Milford: Real Estate | Data | Photos

If you live in Milford, you probably know how great it is already.

Milford has a stable economy where residents earn a large salary ($89,583). And the crime is really, really low (11th lowest in Connecticut).

If we could afford to move here, we probably would.

Bristol, CT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 60,308
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $195,900 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (4th best)
More on Bristol: Real Estate | Data | Photos

We think the motto in Bristol should be "Everything is greater in Bristol," and that seems to be pretty close to the truth.

Bristol has some of the highest home values in Connecticut, and they're going up fast. Additionally, Bristol only has 10.8% of its residents living in poverty.

Crime is also well below the state average, making Bristol a solid option for people who value safety. At least those who can afford it.

Groton, CT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,109
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $207,900 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (12th best)
More on Groton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Perhaps what makes Groton so amazing is the high emphasis they put on quality education: they have one of the highest rate of education at attainment for adults.

However, quality education isn't all that makes Groton great. They also have the 14th highest median income and the 3rd shortest commute time.

Stamford, CT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 129,026
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $526,700 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.8% (8th best)
More on Stamford: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Stamford isn't just the nicest place to live in Connecticut - it's also the one of the fastest growing places in the state. And with good reason.

It's got the 8th lowest unemployment rate, the 3rd highest adjusted income, and rates above most places in education.

When you're looking at science and data, Stamford definitely deserves a spot on the list for 2020.

Norwalk, CT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 88,436
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $427,300 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.2% (11th best)
More on Norwalk: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Crime is something that doesn't happen very often in Norwalk. Statistically the 9th safest place in the state, there were only 252 violent crimes in the entire city last year.

It's really beautiful in Norwalk, and new homes continue to replace older homes. Resident earn $82,474 a year, and homes are valued at more than $427,300.

What else could you possibly want if you're someone who likes the good things in life?

Naugatuck, CT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 31,481
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $182,300 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (9th best)
More on Naugatuck: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Naugatuck is just about as close to a perfect area as you can get. Residents here are gainfully employed, and the schools are some of the best in the state. It's safe, and residents get to enjoy the benefits of quality at home living.

It's quite a gem tucked away in Connecticut.

Meriden, CT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 59,864
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $172,200 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.4% (5th best)
More on Meriden: Real Estate | Data | Photos

There's two types of people who live in Meriden. Either the old hold outs who have lived there forever and are watching their home values skyrocket, or those d who can afford to buy a $172,200 home there.

Either way, you're set. Your kids go to great schools, there's a ton of things to do, and you earn a great salary. Meriden is exactly what you hoped for when you played that board game, LIFE as a kid.

Torrington, CT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 34,737
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $155,700 (20th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (6th best)
More on Torrington: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Torrington is another great city in Connecticut with a low unemployment rate and where residents earn high salaries.

Said one reviewer on " We feel incredibly safe in Torrington. The houses and neighborhoods are beautiful, the people are friendly, and it's wonderful to have such good neighbors. People watch out for each other here, they teach their children to be respectful of others and things."

Enough said.

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 123,628 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 cities to live in Connecticut have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 9,000 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.

How We Calculated The Best Cities 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. You can download the data here.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Connecticut? That would be Shelton.

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.

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 the best place to live in Connecticut for 2020.

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. Terramuggus (Pop. 934)
  2. Fenwick (Pop. 78)
  3. Groton Long Point (Pop. 477)
  4. New Preston (Pop. 996)
  5. Wilton Center (Pop. 675)
  6. Stonington (Pop. 973)
  7. Mansfield Center (Pop. 969)
  8. Falls Village (Pop. 490)
  9. Lakeville (Pop. 903)
  10. Brooklyn (Pop. 906)

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

  1. Bridgeport (Pop. 146,417)
  2. Waterbury (Pop. 108,672)
  3. Hartford (Pop. 123,628)

For more Connecticut reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In Connecticut?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Shelton 41,155 5.3% $345,200
2 Middletown 46,473 5.6% $227,000
3 Milford 52,349 5.3% $306,100
4 Bristol 60,308 6.1% $195,900
5 Groton 9,109 7.3% $207,900
6 Stamford 129,026 6.8% $526,700
7 Norwalk 88,436 7.2% $427,300
8 Naugatuck 31,481 6.9% $182,300
9 Meriden 59,864 6.4% $172,200
10 Torrington 34,737 6.5% $155,700

How Is Your Town In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

20 thoughts on “THE 10 BEST Places To Live In Connecticut For 2020

  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.

  11. Hello my name is Tyler, I just so happen to scroll into these comments on your state, Connecticut during my search since my wife and I are contemplating moving there in a year or two at the most. I would like to gain some further perspective on the cities, towns and the state in general. A little history about us… We are from Seattle, WA born and raised and moved to Georgia 3 years ago. I am in the transportation industry and my wife is a realtor for Keller Williams. We are interested in living in a place with all 4 seasons. We are active and will get out in all weather conditions. The educational system is important to us, because we are in the process of starting a family. Crime is a concern for us, being that New Haven is the 3rd most dangerous city in the country raises some flags, but we are not naive and are aware that all major cities have a crime issue. Diversity is important, as we are pretty well rounded in this area and would like our children to be as well. Also a since of community. I have searched on Niche for most of my information as well as reading forums and blogs such as this one. These however, are the locations we are considering; Middletown, Stamford, West Haven, Norwalk, Hamden, Windsor, Danbury, Brandford, Milford and Stratford. We would like to narrow our list, any suggestions?

    1. Hi Tyler, I can help you out with that. The list is pretty much accurate that home snacks provided.
      Middletown is nice I have coworkers that live there and love it there and they are from Connecticut. It may be a little pricy though.
      Stamford is nice and is hella expensive. Imfrom New York, The Bronx and the rents are just as high like New York. It’s diverese in Stamford a little bit of everyone sprinkled around.
      West Haven is nice one of my closest friends live there and he never complains about west haven he’s been living there for over 10 years.
      Norwalk is okay I’ve been there a few times. They seem to have a city type attitude and seemed chill when I went there.
      Hamden is ok too I’ve been there a few times.
      Windsor I’ve never been to yet so I don’t know but I heard it’s nice out there.
      Danbury I’ve never been there, I heard it’s hilly and nice there too.
      Branford is nice, I’ve been there a few times it’s quiet there, as for being diverse I’m not too sure about that one.
      Milford is really nice and expensive. It’s a nice town and to me it’s not that diverse. I’ve been to Milford plenty of times because I lived in Bridgeport and it’s the next town after Stratford.
      Stratford is one of my favorite places. When I lived in Bridgeport I loved going to Stratford. It’s nice quiet and clean. The home owners take pride in their spaces. I would have liked to live in Stratford but I can’t afford it right now.
      My personal opinion, being that I live in Waterbury, I like the other side of Connecticut, I don’t like the Fairfield county side. Since I’ve moved to Waterbury the people are nicer than in Bridgeport and they’re more calm. I like the scenery and it’s so many stores. Connecticut really is a beautiful state. I like looking at the nature views. Best thing I can tell you is to visit the good and bad parts and see for yourself. So far the best place I lived in Connecticut is Waterbury, I kinda didn’t like Bridgeport.

  12. Anything like this is subjective but where are values like diversity, sense of community, as well as school quality, arts, architecture?! Things that give life meaning….

  13. We’ve lived in Connecticut for over 60 years. To us that list would be better suited for being the top 10 worse. If anyone still wants to move there i would recommend Madison, Glastonbury, Avon, Simsbury, Ridgefield, Farmington or Orange. The list that was printed have the worst schools probably in the state. Taxes are extremely high and they are now putting in tolls which will make it extremely expensive for commuters. Think long and hard before choosing this state. At one time it was definitely one of the best states to live in the country, sadly that has changed.

  14. I want to move from Texas to CT but I don’t know where in CT I want to live. I was born and raised there but that was a long time ago, I’ve been back since then and it’s really beautiful. I currently live in San Antonio and is jam packed with people and getting worse by the day. There is construction all over the place, but it can’t keep up with the demand.

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