These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Connecticut

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

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

  1. Bridgeport
  2. Georgetown
  3. South Woodstock
  4. Hartford
  5. Killingly
  6. Westbrook
  7. East Brooklyn
  8. Windham
  9. Seymour
  10. Putnam

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.

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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.

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1. Bridgeport

Source: Flickr user Doug Kerr

Population: 144,446
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.

2. Georgetown

Source: Google Maps

Population: 1,462
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

Source: Google Maps

Population: 937
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.

4. Hartford

Source: Flickr Doug Kerr

Population: 124,879
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.

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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.

5. Killingly

Source: Google Maps

Population: 17,345
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.

6. Westbrook

Source: Google Maps

Population: 2,269
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

Source: Google Maps

Population: 1,820
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.

8. Windham

Source: Google Maps

Population: 25,178
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.

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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.

9. Seymour

Samford University. Source: Google Maps

Population: 16,487
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.

10. Putnam

Source: Flickr user Doug Kerr

Population: 9,562
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.

  1. Orange (Pop. 13,919)
  2. Mansfield Center (Pop. 1,205)
  3. Oakville (Pop. 9,005)
  4. Prospect (Pop. 9,450)
  5. Old Mystic (Pop. 3,570)

Disclaimer: This article is an opinion based on data. It should not be taken as fact.

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29 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Connecticut

  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!

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