The 5 Worst Hartford Suburbs

The worst Hartford suburbs are Waterbury and Springfield based on Saturday Night Science. Find out where your town ranks.

More and more people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Hartford to avoid all the hustle and bustle.

So the question arises: what suburbs of Hartford are the worst?

Today, we’ll use Saturday Night Science to determine which Hartford ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Hartford area if you will. Realistically, you can only expect some of the suburbs to live up to Hartford proper, although Westfield certainly tries.

We examined the 10 biggest suburbs of Hartford to find out the worst places to live. And while you won’t necessarily find them on the worst places to live in Connecticut lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Hartford in terms of quality of life.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

The 5 worst suburbs around Hartford for 2024

  1. Waterbury
  2. Springfield
  3. New Britain
  4. Meriden
  5. Torrington

Now don’t freak out.

What’s the worst suburb of Hartford? Waterbury ranks as the worst suburb of Hartford for 2024 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

Or, if you’re thinking of moving to elsewhere in Connecticut check out the best places in Connecticut overall or the worst.

And remember, there are some good places to live around Hartford too.

The 5 Worst Hartford Suburbs To Live For 2024

Waterbury, CT

Source: Wikipedia User Daniel Case, Grossus | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 114,480
Median Income: $51,451 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.8% (highest)
Median Home Value: $232,478 (lowest)
More on Waterbury: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

We’ll get the ball rolling with Waterbury, the absolute worst place to live around Hartford according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, Waterbury beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 2nd worst in the Hartford area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks worst when it comes to home values.

But hey, at least it’s cheap to live there. But there’s a reason for that… it’s Waterbury.

You won’t feel bad about not having a great income for the area. There aren’t a bunch of places to spend your money anyway.

Springfield, MA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 155,305
Median Income: $47,677 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.7% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $262,369 (4th lowest)
More on Springfield: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

Welcome to Springfield. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.

This city is 25.2 miles to Hartford. Income levels here are the lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $47,677 a year, which only goes so far even on a shoestring budget.

But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.

New Britain, CT

Source: Wikipedia User Bmr1987 | CC BY 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 74,212
Median Income: $53,766 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.9% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $251,760 (3rd lowest)
More on New Britain: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

Back up the highway we go for the third worst Hartford suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see New Britain on here. While the cost of living is low, your entertainment and work options are limited. And that’s an understatement.

In terms of numbers, it’s in the worst 15% for insurance, and the adult high school dropout rate is poor compared to other Hartford suburbs.

But at least there are lovely parks to bring the kids during the day.

Meriden, CT

Source: Wikipedia User John Phelan | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 60,556
Median Income: $63,671 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.4% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $266,816 (5th lowest)
More on Meriden: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

If you live in Meriden, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 4th lowest Hartford suburb for median household incomes.

Not only that, but this is the 4th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Hartford. Remember, we looked at 10 cities for this study.

Meriden is about 16.9 miles to downtown.

5. Torrington

Torrington Location In Connecticut

Torrington, CT

Source: Flickr User Danielle Scott | CC BY-SA 2.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 35,510
Median Income: $66,616 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $247,430 (2nd lowest)
More on Torrington:

Torrington has the distinction of being a Hartford suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Torrington has the 2nd lowest home values in the metro Hartford area, where the median price is $247,430. The median income is $91,145.

Torrington has an unemployment rate of 5.84% which ranks 7th worst.

Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Hartford for 2024

To figure out how bad a Hartford suburb is to live in, we used Saturday Night Science to identify the kinds of things people like and then decide what suburbs have the least amount of those things.

Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2018-2022, this is the criteria we used:

  • High unemployment rate
  • Low median household incomes
  • Low population density (no things to do)
  • Low home values
  • A lot of high school dropouts
  • High poverty
  • High rate of uninsured families

We defined a suburb as any town within 30 miles of Hartford.

We also limited the analysis to places with over 31,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 10 suburbs to evaluate around Hartford.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 10 in each category, where 1 was the “worst.”

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality-of-life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the worst quality of life index, the “Worst Suburb near Hartford.” We’re looking at you, Waterbury.

We updated this article for 2024, which reflects our tenth time ranking the worst suburbs around Hartford.

Summary: The areas around Hartford where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2024

Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Hartford with Waterbury casting itself ahead of the pack.

The worst suburbs of Hartford are .

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Hartford aren’t all bad. Westfield takes the cake as the best place to live around Hartford.

  • Westfield
  • Middletown
  • Bristol

For more Connecticut reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Hartford Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Waterbury 114,480 $51,451 $232,478
2 Springfield 155,305 $47,677 $262,369
3 New Britain 74,212 $53,766 $251,760
4 Meriden 60,556 $63,671 $266,816
5 Torrington 35,510 $66,616 $247,430
6 Chicopee 55,441 $63,866 $281,474
7 Naugatuck 31,653 $91,145 $295,263
8 Bristol 61,052 $82,094 $286,446
9 Middletown 48,152 $75,120 $302,920
10 Westfield 40,794 $78,307 $336,401
About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends.

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.

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