The 10 Best College Towns In Connecticut For 2019


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Believe it or not, America has the best colleges in the world. It's been proven by data (and surveys) that the U.S. educational system is of the highest quality

It's actually not even close and Connecticut is home to a handful of them.

While we could debate which colleges within the are the 'best,' that's not the goal of this post.

Instead, ride along with us as we determine which college towns in Connecticut are the best.

You know, the type of places where there's energy and stimulation, but the type of place you can walk around at night. The happiest, chillest, most downright fun places where you can send your kids off to college where you won't break the bank, or worry about their well being.

Without further ado, here are the best college towns in Connecticut for 2019:

  1. New Haven, CT (Photos | Homes)
  2. Storrs, CT (Photos | Homes)
  3. Willimantic, CT (Photos | Homes)
  4. Groton, CT (Photos | Homes)
  5. New Britain, CT (Photos | Homes)
  6. Stamford, CT (Photos | Homes)
  7. Bridgeport, CT (Photos | Homes)
  8. Middletown, CT (Photos | Homes)
  9. Hartford, CT (Photos | Homes)
  10. Danbury, CT (Photos | Homes)

While some of these may not seem like a 'real' college town per se, when you look at the numbers, it's hard to argue against.

And for those who live in New Haven, Storrs and Willimantic - we tip our hats to you and we'll schedule a tour for next week. You can see where New Haven ranks in terms of the best college town in America.

Read on to find out more or for more on Connecticut check out:

How'd we figure out the best college towns in Connecticut?

To crunch our data on Connecticut's best college towns, we had to first decide which qualities (or rankings) make sense to use in the data, and then crunch the numbers for our rankings.

First off, we firmly decided that only cities with a 4 year college should make the cut -- so there has to be at least one college granting bachelors degrees in town.

You might be surprised to hear that there are only 14 places in Connecticut with an institution of higher learning with that criteria.

Source of data include OpenStreetMaps, the College Scorecard, the U.S. Census, and FBI reporting data to include the following factors:

  • Students Make Up Large % of the Population
  • College-specific Factors
    • Graduation rate
    • Tuition Cost
    • Student Body Diversity
  • Town Characteristics
    • Safety
    • Affordability
    • Income and Employment Opportunities
  • Things to Do
    • Bars
    • Museums & Libraries
    • Population Density

We ranked each city across each of the criteria, with one being the best.

We rolled up the individual scores into the category and ranked them again based on the category.

Finally, we took the average rank across each category, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best College Town In Connecticut For 2019".

And it looks like New Haven placed Summa Cum Laude.

New Haven, CT
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 130,884
% Undergrad Pop.: 11.6% (4th best)
Median Rent: $1,137 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1040.0% (10th best)
Crime Rank: 14th best
More on New Haven: Real Estate | Data | Photos

New Haven, in the U.S. state of Connecticut, is the principal municipality in Greater New Haven, which had a total population of 862,477 in 2010. It is located on New Haven Harbor on the northern shore of Long Island Sound in New Haven County, Connecticut, and is part of the New York metropolitan area. It is the second-largest city in Connecticut, with a population of 129,779 people as of the 2010 United States Census. According to a census of 1 July 2012, by the Census Bureau, the city had a population of 130,741.

Colleges: Southern Connecticut State University, Yale University, Gateway Community College

Storrs, CT
Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 16,077
% Undergrad Pop.: 82.4% (1st best)
Median Rent: $1,185 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 610.0% (1st best)
Crime Rank: 7th best
More on Storrs: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Colleges: University of Connecticut

Willimantic, CT
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 17,550
% Undergrad Pop.: 27.5% (2nd best)
Median Rent: $815 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 1160.0% (11th best)
Crime Rank: 1st best
More on Willimantic: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Willimantic is a census-designated place, former city and borough, and special-services district. It is located in the town of Windham in Windham County, Connecticut. The population was 17,737 at the 2010 census. It is home to Eastern Connecticut State University and the Windham Textile and History Museum. Willimantic was incorporated as a city in 1893; the city was superseded in 1983 by the Willimantic Special Services District/Willimantic CDP. It is also the birthplace of former U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut.

Colleges: Eastern Connecticut State University, Windham Memorial Hospital-Radiologic Technology Program, Windham Technical High School

Groton, CT
Overall SnackAbility
8.5
/10

Population: 9,184
% Undergrad Pop.: 6.6% (6th best)
Median Rent: $969 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 690.0% (3rd best)
Crime Rank: 6th best
More on Groton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Groton is a town located on the Thames River in New London County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 40,115 at the 2010 census.

Colleges: University of Connecticut-Avery Point, Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy-Groton

New Britain, CT
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 73,069
% Undergrad Pop.: 12.9% (3rd best)
Median Rent: $956 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 870.0% (7th best)
Crime Rank: 12th best
More on New Britain: Real Estate | Data | Photos

New Britain is a city in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. It is located approximately 9 miles southwest of Hartford. According to 2010 Census, the population of the city is 73,206.

Colleges: Central Connecticut State University, Lincoln Technical Institute-New Britain, Charter Oak State College

Stamford, CT
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
8.5
/10

Population: 128,851
% Undergrad Pop.: 0.8% (14th best)
Median Rent: $1,704 (15th best)
Unemployment Rate: 740.0% (4th best)
Crime Rank: 4th best
More on Stamford: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Stamford is a city in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 122,643. As of July 1, 2014, according to the Census Bureau, the population of Stamford had risen to 128,278, making it the third-largest city in the state and the seventh-largest city in New England. Approximately 30 miles from Manhattan, Stamford is in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk Metro area which is a part of the Greater New York metropolitan area.

Colleges: University of Connecticut-Stamford

Bridgeport, CT
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 147,586
% Undergrad Pop.: 1.0% (12th best)
Median Rent: $1,142 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1380.0% (14th best)
Crime Rank: 10th best
More on Bridgeport: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bridgeport is a seaport city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is the largest city in the state and is located in Fairfield County at the mouth of the Pequonnock River on Long Island Sound. Bridgeport had a population of 144,229 during the 2010 Census, making it also the 5th-most populous in New England. It is bordered by the towns of Trumbull to the north, Fairfield to the west, and Stratford to the east. The Greater Bridgeport area is the 48th-largest urban area in the United States. Located 60 miles from Manhattan and 40 miles from the Bronx, Bridgeport is also part of the New York metropolitan area.

Colleges: Housatonic Community College, University of Bridgeport, St Vincent's College

Middletown, CT
Overall SnackAbility
7.5
/10

Population: 46,747
% Undergrad Pop.: 5.8% (7th best)
Median Rent: $1,094 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 610.0% (1st best)
Crime Rank: 3rd best
More on Middletown: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Middletown is a city located in Middlesex County, Connecticut, along the Connecticut River, in the central part of the state, 16 miles south of Hartford. In 1650, it was incorporated as a town under its original Indian name, Mattabeseck. It received its present name in 1653. Middletown was included within Hartford County upon its creation on May 10, 1666. In 1784, the central settlement was incorporated as a city distinct from the town. Both were included within newly formed Middlesex County in May 1785. In 1923, the City of Middletown was consolidated with the Town, making the city limits of the city quite extensive.

Colleges: Wesleyan University, Middlesex Community College, Vinal Technical High School

Hartford, CT
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
4
/10

Population: 124,390
% Undergrad Pop.: 1.7% (11th best)
Median Rent: $935 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 1600.0% (15th best)
Crime Rank: 15th best
More on Hartford: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hartford is the capital of the U.S. state of Connecticut. It was the seat of Hartford County until Connecticut disbanded county government in 1960. As of the 2010 Census, Hartford's population was 124,775, making it Connecticut's third-largest city after the coastal cities of Bridgeport and New Haven. Census Bureau estimates since then have indicated Hartford's fall to fourth place statewide, as a result of sustained population growth in the coastal city of Stamford.

Colleges: Capital Community College, Trinity College, Lincoln Technical Institute-Hartford

Danbury, CT
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 84,573
% Undergrad Pop.: 5.8% (8th best)
Median Rent: $1,404 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 750.0% (5th best)
Crime Rank: 2nd best
More on Danbury: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Danbury is a city in northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States, located along the Still River approximately 70 miles northeast of New York's city center. Danbury's population at the 2010 census was 80,893. Danbury is the fourth most populous city in Fairfield County, and seventh among Connecticut cities. The city is within the New York combined statistical area and Bridgeport metropolitan area.

Colleges: Western Connecticut State University, Paul Mitchell the School-Danbury, Ridley-Lowell Business & Technical Institute-Danbury

There You Have It -- The Best College Towns In The

If you're looking for the best college towns in Connecticut, you came to the right place.

These places all have great college sports programs, tons of stuff to do, and are great places to raise a family.

For more reading, check out:

14 Best College Towns In Connecticut

Rank City Population
1 New Haven, CT 130884
2 Storrs, CT 16077
3 Willimantic, CT 17550
4 Groton, CT 9184
5 New Britain, CT 73069
6 Stamford, CT 128851
7 Bridgeport, CT 147586
8 Middletown, CT 46747
9 Hartford, CT 124390
10 Danbury, CT 84573
11 Waterbury, CT 109250
12 New London, CT 27147
13 West Haven, CT 55044
14 East Hartford, CT 50812

Best College Towns By State

Enjoy The Snack?