Connecticut is the central hub for New England. A semi-wealthy enclave where the rich ‘Summer’ and everyone else does whatever Connecticut people do.
It’s a pretty nifty state.
But is it all roses there? Definitely not. This article aims to determine, using science, the worst places to live there. Don’t shoot the messenger, this is all using data.
After analyzing all 268 cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in Connecticut:
- South Woodstock
- East Brooklyn
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.
How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?
In order to rank the worst places to live in Connecticut, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, great weather, things to do and a stable economy.
So we scraped the internet for those criteria, asked for the opposite of those things, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.
How we crunched the numbers
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the government census, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Sperling’s Best Places, this is the criteria we used:
- Population Density (The lower the worse)
- Highest Unemployment Rates
- Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
- High Housing Vacancy Rate
- Education (Low expenditures per student and high Student Teacher Ratio)
- Long Commute Times
- High Crime (for smaller towns, we factored in nearby cities)
- The Worst Weather
Again, this isn’t a knock on any particular place. It’s an unbiased, research-driven analysis.
A quick note: For our vacant homes statistic: We’re aware that for many towns in Connecticut, vacation homes mean these home are vacant or unoccupied for most of the year. Our reasoning is a smaller community with many vacant units isn’t a desirable place to be year round.
Unemployment rate: 10.2%
Crime: 9th worst in Connecticut
Weather: 28th worst in the state
If you live in Connecticut, you may or may not be surprised that Bridgeport ranked, at least on paper, as the worst place to live in the state. It has almost the highest unemployment rate in the state, and it’s almost the most dangerous.
And if weather matters, according to BestPlaces.Net, Bridgeport is one of the worst spots, based on rain, snow, sunny days and humidity.
Incidentally, Bridgeport is the most densely populated city in Connecticut. Draw your own conclusions.
Household income: $89,325
Sunny days: Far lower than most of Connecticut
Commute time: 13th worst in the state
The village of Georgetown is south of Danbury, about as close to the New York State line as you can get. There’s not a lot to do there, and you don’t get a lot of sun. Statistically, though $90,000 a year in income seems like a lot, it’s far lower than many places in Connecticut.
Long commute times and high cost of living also weighed heavily in this ranking.
3. South Woodstock
House vacancy rate: 29%
Population density: Far lower than most of Connecticut
Unemployment rate: 7.4%
Tiny South Woodstock, tucked away in the far northeast corner of the state, has a population under 1,000 and shrinking by the year. When nearly a third of the homes are vacant and the unemployment rate is a full percentage below the national average, it’s not a very appealing place to live. Unless you want peace and quiet.
The cost of living here is well beyond the national average as well.
On the bright side, the weather in South Woodstock is ranked as 4th best in the entire state. So you can enjoy the sun…alone.
Household income: $28,931
Crime: 3rd highest in the state
Unemployment rate: 12.4%
Well, the good news, is, obviously, there’s lots to do in Hartford.
The bad news is Hartford ranks almost the highest in the state of Connecticut for crime and unemployment rate, and residents earn a paltry income each year. Hard-core Hartfordians might disagree with this ranking, but, again, the data doesn’t lie.
Crime: Well above the Connecticut state average
Unemployment rate: 8.4%
Household income: $55,598
The town of Killingly, a mid-sized place on the Rhode Island border, has a cost of living that’s 30% higher than the national average and an unemployment rate a full 2% points higher than the rest of the nation as well.
Additionally, it’s out in the middle of nowhere, so there’s not a lot to do. Unless you want to drive to Providence.
House vacancy rate: 27%
Household income: $41,196
Crime: Surrounding area worse 5% in state.
Teeny Westbrook is along the coast, east of New Haven on I-95. While some will argue that coastal towns are a gem (we agree), what you can’t argue against is the fact that nearly 1 in 3 homes are vacant, the income levels are almost the lowest in Connecticut, and nearby crime is almost as high as anywhere else in the state, per capita.
Additionally, the home values are dropping here, and the cost of living is 10% above the national average.
7. East Brooklyn
House vacancy rate: 15.2%
Median income: $50,645
Nearby crime: Worst 5% in Connecticut per capita
Statistically, East Brooklyn isn’t horrible, but when you are towards the top in the state in unemployment rate, lower than most in income levels, and 1 in 6 homes are vacant, it might not make a town very desirable.
Plus, there’s simply not a lot of amenities in East Brooklyn, unless you want to drive to nearby Killingly (see No. 5 above).
On a good note, datawise, East Brooklyn has the best weather in Connecticut. However, see No. 3.
Unemployment rate: 8.5%
Household income: $41,007
If you’ve traveled east-west on your way from Hartford to Providence, you may have passed through the town of Windham. And not even known it.
The unemployment rate here is well above the national average, and residents earn far less than their Connecticut neighbors. And when you don’t have a lot to do, and you’re landlocked, Windham isn’t the first place you think of moving to.
House vacancy rate: 34%
The main knock on Seymour is the high number of homes that are vacant – more than 1 in 3 homes aren’t occupied. Additionally, the cost of living is way out of line – residents here pay 44% more to live here than they should.
However, the area is a suburb of New Haven, and you can bet many Yale University faculty and staff make Seymour home. That isn’t so bad.
Crime: Worst 5% in state in general area
Household income: $39,396
Putnam residents are more likely to be unemployed, and earn far less than other Connecticut residents. Additionally, crime is abnormally high here.
Putnam is located just north of Killingly. See a pattern here?
There You Have It
Like we said earlier, naming the worst places in Connecticut sounds silly, since many of the places here would rank really high in other states. But if you’re analyzing places in Connecticut with the worst economic situations, where there’s high crime and there’s not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
If you’re curious enough, best click here to read about the places to live in Connecticut, according to science.
- Orange (Pop. 13,919)
- Mansfield Center (Pop. 1,205)
- Oakville (Pop. 9,005)
- Prospect (Pop. 9,450)
- Old Mystic (Pop. 3,570)
Disclaimer: This article is an opinion based on data. It should not be taken as fact.