These Are The 10 Worst Cities In Connecticut For 2017

We used a scientific analysis of data to determine which Connecticut cities are the real pits.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2017.

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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 24 cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in Connecticut:

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

What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we’re picking on small town America, that’s not the case. We understand there’s a lot of good in every place.

However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty and ‘friendly people’), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2017.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

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How we determined the worst places to live in Connecticut for 2017

To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.

We don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that people like the following things:

  • Good education
  • Lots of jobs
  • Low crime
  • Low poverty
  • Nice homes
  • High incomes
  • High population density (Lots of things to do)
  • Short work commutes
  • Health insurance

The data comes from the Census’s most recent American Community Survey and from the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight — if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.

Furthermore, only cities with at least 1,500 people were considered — leaving 24 cities.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 24 for all the criteria with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.

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Next, we averaged the rankings into one “Worst Place To Live Score”.

Finally, we ranked every city on the “Worst Place To Live Score” with the lowest score being the worst city in Connecticut — Hartford. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Connecticut.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

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1. Hartford

Hartford, Connecticut

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 124,795
Home Values: $161,400 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 19.4% (1st worst)
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 — it’s the worst place to live in Connecticut for 2015.

2. Waterbury

Waterbury, Connecticut

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 109,551
Home Values: $134,500 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.7% (3rd worst)
Waterbury needs some tough love as it ranks as the 2nd worst city to live in Connecticut for 2015.

Crime in Waterbury is the 3rd highest in the state, where 1 in 24.2 people have a chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the latest FBI numbers.

. Additionally, the income is almost dead last in Connecticut.

If commute time is important, Waterbury residents have the 12th longest commute of any residents on our list.

3. Bridgeport

Bridgeport, Connecticut

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 147,340
Home Values: $169,100 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.0% (2nd worst)
If you live in Connecticut, you may or may not be surprised that Bridgeport ranked, at least on paper, as the 3rd 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, Bridgeport is one of the worst spots, based on rain, snow, sunny days and humidity.

Incidentally, Bridgeport is the 24th most densely populated city in Connecticut. Draw your own conclusions.

4. New Haven

New Haven, Connecticut

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 130,612
Home Values: $191,800 (11th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.7% (5th worst)
New Haven doesn’t have it much better, in terms of overall economic outlook. The unemployment rate is at 12.7%, and people average less than $37,192 a year in combined household incomes. Homes stand at $191,800, which is very low, and crime in the worst 10% in Connecticut.

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And again, in terms of the overall ‘enjoyment’ factor, it’s not easy to find fun on a Friday night.

5. New Britain

New Britain, Connecticut

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 72,988
Home Values: $159,900 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.6% (6th worst)
New Britain doesn’t have it much better, in terms of overall economic outlook. The unemployment rate is at 12.6%, and people average less than $40,457 a year in combined household incomes. Homes stand at $159,900, which is very low, and crime in the worst 10% in Connecticut.

And again, in terms of the overall ‘enjoyment’ factor, it’s not easy to find fun on a Friday night.

6. New London

New London, Connecticut

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 27,423
Home Values: $185,400 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.3% (4th worst)
Welcome to New London, Connecticut, where 1 in 7.5 people is without a job, and families bring in a combined $36,250 a year.

Crime is the 9th highest in Connecticut, where you have a 1 in 42.8 chance of being the victim of a property crime, and every year, you have a 1 in 178 chance of being raped, attacked or murdered when you’re within New London city limits.

7. Derby

Derby, Connecticut

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 12,796
Home Values: $207,000 (14th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.6% (10th worst)
Derby ranks as the 7th worst city in Connecticut. Located in New Haven County, Derby has the 11th lowest income levels in the state of Connecticut ($51,596), and some of the lowest number of doctors in the state. Crime is above average, and the unemployment rate is 10.6%.

8. Danielson

Population: 4,026
Home Values: $148,800 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (20th worst)
If you live in Connecticut, you may or may not be surprised that Danielson ranked, at least on paper, as the 8th worst place to live in the state. It has the 20th highest unemployment rate in the state, and the 23rd most dangerous.

Incidentally, Danielson is the 15th most densely populated city in Connecticut. Draw your own conclusions.

9. Meriden

Meriden, Connecticut

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 60,439
Home Values: $179,000 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.8% (9th worst)
Meriden needs some tough love.

Years ago, someone told me the sun never shines in Meriden. That’s not true, of course, but you can understand why she might say that when you analyze certain facts about Meriden. Of the 24 cities considered in this ranking, Meriden had the least to be proud of across the board.

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Not only does Meriden have Connecticut’s 8th lowest home value rank, but it also had the 9th and 10th highest rankings in unemployment and crime respectively. Statistics like that will certainly make the sun shine a bit dimmer, and it will win you are in contention for title of “Worst City in Connecticut.”

If you know anyone in Meriden, tag them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.

10. Norwich

Norwich, Connecticut

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 40,254
Home Values: $176,400 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.2% (12th worst)
Norwich doesn’t have it much better, in terms of overall economic outlook. The unemployment rate is at 10.2%, and people average less than $50,078 a year in combined household incomes. Homes stand at $176,400, which is very low, and crime in the worst 10% in Connecticut.

And again, in terms of the overall ‘enjoyment’ factor, it’s not easy to find fun on a Friday night.

Wrapping Up The Worst In Connecticut

If you’re looking at areas in Connecticut with the worst economic situations, where there’s higher than average crime, and not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

And in the end, Hartford ranks as the worst city to live in Connecticut for 2017.

If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Connecticut:

  1. Shelton (Pop. 40,783)
  2. Milford (Pop. 51,643)
  3. Woodmont (Pop. 1,563)

For more Connecticut reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Cities In Connecticut

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Hartford 124,795 19.4% $161,400
2 Waterbury 109,551 13.7% $134,500
3 Bridgeport 147,340 16.0% $169,100
4 New Haven 130,612 12.7% $191,800
5 New Britain 72,988 12.6% $159,900
6 New London 27,423 13.3% $185,400
7 Derby 12,796 10.6% $207,000
8 Danielson 4,026 7.3% $148,800
9 Meriden 60,439 10.8% $179,000
10 Norwich 40,254 10.2% $176,400
11 Torrington 35,493 9.2% $167,700
12 Ansonia 19,035 12.6% $216,500
13 Danbury 83,476 8.7% $288,000
14 Naugatuck 31,722 10.4% $183,700
15 Litchfield 1,474 5.3% $350,000
16 West Haven 55,189 12.0% $200,800
17 Bristol 60,554 9.2% $194,600
18 Norwalk 87,701 8.6% $410,000
19 Groton 9,305 7.2% $215,700
20 Stamford 126,592 8.9% $501,200
21 Middletown 47,218 6.7% $226,800
22 Woodmont 1,563 3.8% $342,200
23 Milford 51,643 7.4% $299,600
24 Shelton 40,783 8.3% $343,200

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34 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Cities In Connecticut For 2017

  1. This is crazy, a joke, or just both! South Woodstock is not a town or a city, neither is East Brooklyn. South Woodstock literally touches three of the most beautiful areas in northeast CT, but with more amenities than surrounding towns. Convenient, quaint, and historical, it is more expensive due to the aforementioned and the amazing school system. In defense of Putnam, it’s one of the up and coming towns winning statewide recognition for food, antiques, shopping, and fun and THREE MILES from “South Woodstock”, you better check your stats and sources! hahaha!

  2. I think this list is highly inaccurate. Woodstock, Putnam, Killingly and Brooklyn are very nice towns to live in. I don’t think all of your scientific factors used are neccisarily negatives. instead you should look at factors that involve education, culture, and quality of life.

    1. This is absurd! Families move to Woodstock, build or buy “nice” homes, mainly for the highly rated educational system which is located, geographically, in South Woodstock although Woodstock Academy is considered Woodstock. Someone just wanted to write for the sake of writing , not bothering to gather any facts, but the disclaimer did mention something about just an opinion! Oh, well.

  3. On behalf of north eastern Connecticut I’d like to say F U. Clearly you’ve never been there. We are the Last Green Valley. We have the oldest agricultural fair in the country. We have fine dining, festivals, great local businesses, award winning restaurants, and are just sucking awesome. We have an amazing Artist community. I will agree on willingly but you have it all wrong about putnam and woodstock. Want a shitty north eastern town check out Moosup or something……also south woodstock is not a town it is a burrow of woodstock….at least get your shit straight….some with “south Brooklyn”.

  4. 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.

  5. Westbrook’s town center is a dump. The only nice building is the Walgreen’s building and that is saying something in itself. There are very few nice houses in that town.

    1. You have no idea what you are talking about. I am 14th generation Westbrook resident! Beautiful town and houses. Many historic and many new high end houses…large range!!

    2. If you think Walgreens is the nicest building on the Westbrook town green, you clearly don’t belong in this area. Go enjoy yourself in some low-class, overpopulated town that has demolished all the beautiful historic buildings.

    3. that is the most hideous building in the town center, where are you from Long Island? That’s the only building that pops out as oversized and prefab compared to the rest which are historic New England. Westbrook use to be a hidden gem and now it’s become built up and people flock to it for their great schools. It’s smack in the middle of the golden shoreline, if you can stay with me here…Fairfield county sucks, oh such fun that area is(congestion, trust fun bums, losers) and new London which is cool but rough. Fairfield, new haven, and new London all have sea ports=nasty. Westbrook is one town over from old saybrook which butts up to the CT River which does NOT have a seaport because of old blue laws. ITS THE NICEST CALMEST HUCK FIN ADVENTOUROUS TOWN IN CT! Now don’t go making fun of Bills Seatood for serving food on paper plates I’ll scream! Read the reviews of Bills on Yelp they’re so funny, I love that Westbrook is semi rustic and deters most preppy tool bags, that’s what Fairfield county is for oh what great fun, land of the fake, yes johny is taking cricket lessons

  6. F the sox and f the patriots go giants ! Knew this article was crap when you opened with those teams. Nobody should like them f Boston

  7. I grew up in Seymour, a lot of the “empty homes” are new constructions. Seymour is a beautiful peaceful town with farms, horses, larger homes and high end living. Its mostly wooded, not a lot of crime, beautiful remodeled schools, affordable apartments, shopping centers. Recreational centers, great parks for kids, exellent down town landscaping, a center for both the Hoisatonic and the Naugatuck river and beautiful springs and waterfalls. It has miles of hiking trails and acres of reserved forestry. It has a beautiful antique district with historic buildings and small shops and it has newer retail facilities SBD its a developing town. It hosts tons of festivals and parades like its famous Pumpkin Festival…. I grew up there, it was amazing. The best town to raise your family if you want a beautiful rural community.

  8. This is an example of how not to use science. Speaking as a resident, familiar with much of the state, your analysis, however well grounded in data it may be, is complete bunk. For example, putting Georgetown on a list of the worst places to live in Connecticut is hilarious, and you cite the comparatively “low” median household salary — then you compare it to Hartford, a city literally 100 times the size with a fraction of the median household income.

    Also, how can you compare weather from town to town with a straight face? It’s one of the smallest states in the union.

  9. There is no better town to grow up in than Seymour CT! Such a great pedestrian downtown of independent restaurants and historic buildings, with some fine art galleries and antique shops. So many beautiful neighborhoods of Victorian and colonial homes, mostly in good repair, much of it with sidewalks. Parks are close to almost every neighborhood, there are many small woods to explore as kids or adults. The schools are excellent, the teachers care and the buildings are updated. The people are nice, many of them have lived here for many decades. The Naugatuck and Housatonic rivers provide fine recreation and scenery, including the new fish ladder at the Falls. My favorite town in the world, the place of my happy childhood back then and of my nieces’ and nephews’ happy childhood now.

    The author of this article has done absurd “research” using criteria that obviously do not yield real-world measure of quality of life. And if he indeed did all that supposed research, why not publish the tabulated data and cite the sources –not because it would make his absurd conclusions correct, but at least prove you did the research and let it be seen so the obviously bad methodology can be critiqued and understood for the mis-measure it is.

  10. I’m from Bridgeport and yes our taxes are high but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Bridgeport is improving for the better no matter what you think. Where else in Connecticut can you enjoy the zoo, the beach, multiple parks, free outdoor music every week in the summer,out door movie nights, arts festivals, vibes, the theater, catch the ferry and so much more!!!! I am tired of everyone talking about Bridgeport, there are worst places to live.

  11. This author is simply dead wrong. At least about Westbrook. Westbrook is one of the best kept secrets. I also find his math flawed. Percentages in different populations are totally different. According to his article, Westbrook has about 2200 people living in it and about 25% of houses are vacant. That’s a little over 500 house (which I’m not sure I believe). But there is a town with about 25,000 people. 25% of that would be 6,000 house. My point is that you can’t compare Westbrook to most towns because the population is so small. As for crime, I haven’t heard of any. NOT ANY! I’m wondering if he is counting all the shoplifting from travelers visiting the Westbrook Outlets. Or maybe traffic violations?? I simply cannot figure out where his crime figure came from. This is one of the safest places to be. The green is small, but the community events held there are top notch! I grew up in Madison (top 10 town) and Westbrook feels pretty much the same. This guy needs to do more research!

  12. Wrong! Yes, downtown Danielson and parts of Dayville are crappy, but my side of Dayville heading up 101 towards RI is beautiful. This article is ridiculous and if having a long commute is all you got, that’s pathetic. There are many other towns I can think of that are much worse.

  13. Your analysis is flawed. The population of the town is roughly 6,500 people. There are vacant homes here due to “summer residents” and snowbirds. The town shuts the water off in November to many of these beach front shanties. Housing prices are high due to consumer demand.
    Why not base your analysis off how many stop lights Westbrook has or the tonnage of fish caught. Both seem more plausible than your method. Somewhere in Durham North Carolina a car salesman is trying to appear as a statistician.

  14. Interesting article. As someone who just moved from the shoreline to happening and hip Durham, NC I have to agree that these towns are pretty lame. I spent years traveling around many of the towns mentioned and although they are mostly physically beautiful there isn’t much going on economy wise, culturally and there is pervasive small town mentality that was very limiting for us.

    I don’t know about his statistics or whether he is right or not about crime and vacant houses but I do know that on our street there half the people lived there for only a few months in the summer making the neighborhood dead and bleak for the rest of the year.
    We were glad to leave and do not miss it, beauty and all.

  15. Terribly misinformed article with incorrect data.

    Want crappy CT towns? Try Willimantic, New London, or Hartford. The only one I agree with is Bridgeport.

    Killingly? Westbrook? Woodstock? Uh.. Those are actually pretty well-off towns. Wonder what the author is smoking.

  16. Given that Georgetown lies in four towns—Wilton, Redding, Ridgefield and Weston—and is a postal designation, but not a taxing district, you might want to re-examined your statistics.

  17. Why is low population density negative? That makes no sense at all. Also, Westbrook is a wonderful place and highly desirable. If I was rating articles, this one would be in the Top 10 worst list.

  18. Nick James, your “scientific analysis” is laughable. You have census-designated areas mentioned that aren’t even towns. Low population density as a negative value? Well then Dhaka Bangladesh must be heaven on earth! How does population density equate to a higher standard of living? Moreover, how the hell is Waterbury not on this list?

    My personal 5 worst (I’ll spare Bridgeport as it’s been beaten up enough), in no particular order:

    1. New Britain
    2. Waterbury
    3. Derby
    4. Hartford
    5. Willimantic

    Nick, you know nothing about CT and your article is garbage. Please throw yourself under a bus.

    Concerned CT Citizen

  19. This article seems to be geared on the premise that old equals boring and that a town without a nightlife is boring. Many “older” people are more active than younger people between working and volunteer activities. They are engaged in what they do and are outside of themselves. You see young people on a date and they are each on their various devices rather than concentrating on each other. Whoop dee do!

  20. Any list for lousy CT town that doesnt have Waterbury at the top of it is crap. Did Waterbury buy their removal from this list? For heavens sake, the reason why Route 8 was even built was so people could leave Waterbury.

  21. This is one of the worst articles i have read in some time. The reasons and justifications for these places being the “worst” places to live, is laughable. Lets be blunt here, what makes a town/city a bad place to live? Crime and poverty. Not having places to go out, is not a valid point for making a town “a bad places to live”. The list should look like this, based on crime, poverty, urban blight and quality of life.
    1. Hartford
    3.New Haven
    4.New Britain
    5.Meriden/Waterbury (tie)

    These are all places with rich history, but unfortunately are havens for drugs and violence. It is a brutal truth that i hope changes one day. These cities are just like all those around the country, the ones you see in the movies are right down the street from me and you.

  22. I have lived most of my life in Killingly, in fact I moved to Leicester, MA for close to 10 years and moved back to Killingly. My wife loves the sense of community in the northeast connecticut, when we moved here it was the land of Pizza joints, no coffee shops, Ocean State Job lot was the only place to shop, beside a few local businesses. Now the area has a large mall in dayville, and a few smaller, gyms, and even though the downtown is run down with very few businesses, it’s a great place to live. I worked outside if Boston, so the commute was long, but the great part of living in Northeast is you are less than 60 miles or less of the 3 state capitals. Unemployment is common in the area with low wages, but as stated you are in a tri-state area so most folks work out of town. Crime is petty and non violent. The area is quiet, hence it’s nickname “Quiet Corner” agree with most replies that you do not know what you are talking about, and if you lived in the area you might be able to enjoy the quiet where you can concealed in writing a great article, rather than the trash you threw out on us.

  23. Given the fact that Georgetown doesn’t even touch Danbury, and is like 10 minutes from it, and is a village not even a town, and the majority is located in Wilton, a beautiful town you may want to get your facts corrected.

  24. As an outsider just touring around the area for an escape of Providence, I have to say this article is off by a long shot. Those of us mid lifers with families love the qualify of life out here. Pomfret, Woodstock, Brooklyn, even killingly and Danielson are in there too. There is some rural beauty out here. A great county fair and small town atmosphere are not a bad thing at all. As far as work goes, people around here all travel to other places in RI, MA, and so on. So what? Then they retreat back to the goodness and serenity of the country? There is all the stores you need in Killingly, Lisbon, or anywhere else you want to travel to. RI is a hop skip and jump away? Taxes are cheap, a lot of house for the money, and up and coming place too? Crime is Wauregan, Norwich, and the others mentioned above. Statistics are subjective at best. CT has beautiful green valleys this Rhode Islander would love to own! Now, do an article on how horrible Rhode Island is, ILL HELP YOU WITH IT. Leave CT alone its cost effective and motorcycle friendly, woods and fairs and friendly country folks too! Much respect my CT neighbors you have a beautiful place!

  25. We have more citizens moving into Willimantic than out….More businesses moving into Willimantic than out……..Local university in Willimantic continues to receive accolades from those organizations grading colleges and universities.

    Most agree that one of Willimantic’s charm is that it is authenic.

    Willimantic is where “history meets the arts”.

  26. Niantic, Connecticut should of been on the list as one of the worst towns. They have the most cold heartless stuck up ritzy people in Connecticut. I was just told to stop walking across a lawn today by some b*tch. I walk across a small part of it cause it’s dangerous to walk on the street.

  27. Bob Apples – I love your response, and I agree. I love Westbrook, and jealous I don’t live there. I love Bills, though I hear it’s better in the fall. I’m just jealous I don’t live there.

  28. Yes I will agree buying a house in New Britain does not make economic sense. The elementary schools are not the best, but the high school is a really good school. As far as crime, I don’t know where they are getting there facts, but New Britain is not unsafe. I’ve been here for a long time and I have never had any problems. With our young hard working mayor, this city has a lot of pride again. Downtown is coming back. Our parks are second to none. Our hospital is excellent. CCSU is a great place for higher education. Traffic is no problem, and we can get to anywhere in the state in under an hour. Why not visit some of these communities before you slander them?!

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