These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In Connecticut For 2018


We used science and data to determine which places in Connecticut are basically dead broke.

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Connecticut brings to mind images of Hartford, beautiful landscapes, and some of the best people you’ll find in the good ole US of A.

However, like all states, Connecticut has certain places that are going on hard times. These places have an above average percent of people that are living in poverty, out of work, or not making as much as they should be.

With all the talk about income inequality going on around the country, we thought it prudent to take a look at the places in each state that are struggling to make it even as the economy continues to improve. So we set our sites on bringing attention to the places in Connecticut that could use a helping hand.

To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 21 places in Connecticut with more than 9,000 people.

We were left with this set of the ten poorest places in the Constitution State for 2018:

  1. Hartford (Photos)
  2. New London (Photos)
  3. Waterbury (Photos)
  4. New Haven (Photos)
  5. Bridgeport (Photos)
  6. New Britain (Photos)
  7. Ansonia (Photos)
  8. West Haven (Photos)
  9. Norwich (Photos)
  10. Derby (Photos)

Again, this isn’t a commentary on the people that live there or the vibrant culture and traditions of these places. Instead, it’s just a look at the facts.

And according to the facts, Hartford is the poorest place in Connecticut for 2018.

Rich people not your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the richest places in Connecticut or the most dangerous.

For more on how we calculated the top ten, and for more information about these places, read on.

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Connecticut For 2018

The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about determining the poorest places is to simply the poverty rate. That is, the number of people living below a federally established level of income for a household of a certain size.

However, we don’t think that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the ‘poorest places’. So we looked at this set of criteria from the newly released 2012-2016 American Community Survey:

  • Poverty Level
  • Median Household Income adjusted for the cost of living
  • Unemployment Rate

The ‘median household income adjusted for the cost of living’ attempts to gauge how expensive it is to live in a place and how that impacts the quality of life. For example, a town might have fewer people living below the official poverty line, but the cost of living is so high they’d still feel poor.

The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for improvement in the city or town. If more people are employed, the brighter the future looks and vice versa.

After we collected the data for all 21 places with more than 9,000 people in Connecticut, we ranked each place from 1 to 21 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the poorest.

We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a ‘Poor Score’ with the place having the lowest overall Poor Score, Hartford, crowned the ‘Poorest Place In Connecticut For 2018’.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 21 places.

1. Hartford

Hartford, Connecticut

Source: Public domain

Population: 124,320
Median Income: $32,095
Unemployment Rate: 17.5%
Poverty Rate: 31.9%
More on Hartford: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Hartford, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in Connecticut thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.

The city of 124,320 people averages the 1st lowest median household income in Connecticut and the 1st highest poverty rate. At the very least, the cost of living ranks in the bottom 15% of place in the state, so things like housing are relatively affordable.

User comment that mentions Hartford: Why isn’t Willimantic on this list– If you’re looking for unemployment, drug use, and poverty, start there. The quiet towns mentioned like killingly, Brooklyn and Woodstock are great communities! We may not have big city clubs for entertainment value, but our agriculture and historical sites are world renowned. No, we don’t have big city life, and we like it that way. As far as crime, drugs, poverty, and bad education are concerned, stay away from Hartford, Willimantic, and wauregan.

Your comment could be here. Add a comment on a city or town.

2. New London

New London, Connecticut

Population: 27,218
Median Income: $35,357
Unemployment Rate: 12.5%
Poverty Rate: 28.2%
More on New London: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

The second poorest city in Connecticut is New London.

The city ranks as having the 2nd highest incidence of poverty and 2nd lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 4th highest in the Constitution State.

User comment that mentions New London: You know, I’ve seen a lot of stupid list’ articles on Facebook and this is by far the worst one I’ve ever seen. You couldn’t be more incorrect. If you think New London is a redneck city, then I have some oceanfront property out in Kansas that I really think you’d be interested in.’

Your comment could be here. Add a comment on a city or town.

3. Waterbury

Waterbury, Connecticut

Population: 109,211
Median Income: $39,681
Unemployment Rate: 13.2%
Poverty Rate: 25.4%
More on Waterbury: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Placing as the third poorest city, Waterbury’s median income ranks as the 4th lowest.

And that’s a sign that there’s a relatively substantial jump in the quality of the economy from second to third place on our list. The poverty rate is 25.4% and ranks near the bottom of places in the state.

But what makes up for the relatively low incomes of the city is its low cost of living. The income you do make here goes further than in most parts of the Constitution State.

User comment that mentions Waterbury: I’m from long island and want to move to CT. Can ||anyone native to the area tell me if this article is correct about Waterbury. I found a few houses their I love but have read many articles like this saying it’s a bad area with a lot of crime.

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4. New Haven

New Haven, Connecticut

Population: 130,405
Median Income: $38,126
Unemployment Rate: 11.3%
Poverty Rate: 26.1%
More on New Haven: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

New Haven ranks as the fourth poorest place in Connecticut.

The town ranks as having the 3rd lowest median household income and the 3rd highest incidence of poverty in the state.

That being said, there’s still a ton of cultural diversity in the city as it hosts many events throughout the year.

User comment that mentions New Haven: This is the state that took by eminent domain a whole neighborhood in New Haven, and tore down all the houses to make a parking lot for a company that immediately moved out of state. It’s now a huge weed covered plot.

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5. Bridgeport

Bridgeport, Connecticut

Population: 147,022
Median Income: $43,137
Unemployment Rate: 15.2%
Poverty Rate: 22.1%
More on Bridgeport: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

The fifth poorest city in Connecticut is Bridgeport.

The city ranks as having the 6th lowest median income in the state. However, an extremely low cost of living prevents a good number of folks from living in poverty as the poverty rate only ranks as the 6th highest in Connecticut.

Still not the best news for Bridgeport.

User comment that mentions Bridgeport: Bridgeport is a country club compared to New York city! I was afforded the opportunity to buy a home in Lake Forest Bridgeport CT. My children won a lottery and went to Westport Schools because I lived in Bridgeport. Both of my children and I went to Housatonic Community college in But and went to University of Bridgeport. I have many friends who are police officers, teacher, public works employees in Bridgeport. Only a person will no roots in this city would write a piece with such ill regard. Lake Forest is a hidden Gem in this City. North end is a very nice area in Bridgeport, all areas of Bridgeport are being revitalized. Bridgeport Hospital, St Vncents Hospital ae wonderful and they are in my City. Seaside a beautiful beach and Park! This is a city full of culture and arts! We have areas in need of more work than others this is true but we are a far cry from being one the 10 worst places to live in. Where do you live- must be heaven!

Your comment could be here. Add a comment on a city or town.

6. New Britain

New Britain, Connecticut

Population: 72,876
Median Income: $41,844
Unemployment Rate: 10.7%
Poverty Rate: 22.9%
More on New Britain: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

New Britain ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Constitution State.

It ranks as having the 5th highest incidence of poverty and the 8th highest unemployment rate.

User comment that mentions New Britain: They took a bunch of houses in new britain as well, so Celebration could have a parking lot too. Except their parking lot isnt as big as the space they took, and thats just a big yard/field now.. lots of people lost their homes for no reason

Your comment could be here. Add a comment on a city or town.

7. Ansonia

Ansonia, Connecticut

Population: 18,950
Median Income: $43,386
Unemployment Rate: 11.5%
Poverty Rate: 20.7%
More on Ansonia: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Ansonia places as the seventh poorest city in Connecticut.

The city of over 18,950 ranks as having the 7th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

8. West Haven

West Haven, Connecticut

Source: Public domain

Population: 54,972
Median Income: $50,831
Unemployment Rate: 11.3%
Poverty Rate: 15.4%
More on West Haven: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

West Haven ranks as the eighth poorest city in Connecticut.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 6th highest in the state.

9. Norwich

Norwich, Connecticut

Source: Public domain

Population: 40,057
Median Income: $51,758
Unemployment Rate: 9.7%
Poverty Rate: 15.8%
More on Norwich: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Norwich couldn’t stay out of the top ten poorest places in Connecticut; it ranks number 9.

While the median income is the 9th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Norwich ranks as having the 8th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Connecticut.

10. Derby

Derby, Connecticut

Source: Public domain

Population: 12,755
Median Income: $55,316
Unemployment Rate: 9.7%
Poverty Rate: 12.7%
More on Derby: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Connecticut is Derby.

The city of 12,755 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Constitution State.

User comment that mentions Derby: A lot of these towns get a bum wrap from this haphazard listing. ||I moved to Derby from New York, its a wonderful place to raise my family, great people,places and community. Affordable homes, beautiful victorian houses. State parks and Nature conservatory, wetlands…lots of wildlife, the riverwalk, Lots of history. Yes the downtown is in need of some redevelopment…The crime is no different than any where else…if anything, its always some outsider in town… you just hear about it more because the town has the superior court and all you hear is out of Derby though the crime was committed in another town… ||Shelton is at the other end of the spectrum yet they share so much with Derby and vice versa…I see no posts about their issues which get swept under the rug like other communities not on the list so I see issues here…Vibrant arts community, excellent library system with 2 fantastic full service libraries that are open six days a week with long hours, schools get a bum wrap. both my kids graduated from the system and were tested at the top percentage in the state. Both got full scholarships to the colleges of their choice. I am involved in the community. I work the streets everyday and have a successful business on Elizabeth Street for 8 years with out an issue. I walk the streets in the morning, noon and night, folks say hello and are friendly for the most part…I don’t see the issues at hand. Everytown has that one or two streets with questionable activity. My parents live in a wealthy community in New York, Probably in the top 20 affluent areas in the country. They had child abductions, a couple of violent murders, bodies found in bags etc…the place never faltered on any listing… This list is biased. I hate to say it but Newtown had that horrible incident a few years ago… Somehow that town didn’t make any bad lists that year…Just saying…

Your comment could be here. Add a comment on a city or town.

There You Have It – The Poorest Places In Connecticut For 2018

Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the poorest places in Connecticut, we weren’t sure what we’d encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in Connecticut.

When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very bottom of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.

If you’re curious enough, here are the richest cities in Connecticut, according to data:

Richest: Milford
2nd Richest: Shelton
3rd Richest: Norwalk

For more Connecticut reading , check out:

  • 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Connecticut
  • 10 Worst Places To Live In Connecticut
  • 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Connecticut
  • Detailed List Of The Poorest Cities In Connecticut

    Rank City Poverty Rate
    1 Hartford 31.9%
    2 New London 28.2%
    3 Waterbury 25.4%
    4 New Haven 26.1%
    5 Bridgeport 22.1%
    6 New Britain 22.9%
    7 Ansonia 20.7%
    8 West Haven 15.4%
    9 Norwich 15.8%
    10 Derby 12.7%
    11 Meriden 12.5%
    12 Groton 13.4%
    13 Naugatuck 9.6%
    14 Torrington 10.0%
    15 Bristol 10.3%
    16 Middletown 11.4%
    17 Danbury 11.2%
    18 Stamford 8.9%
    19 Norwalk 8.5%
    20 Shelton 5.0%
    21 Milford 7.1%

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