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 21 cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in Connecticut:
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. And the worst place to live in Connecticut? That would be Bridgeport.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2021.
For more Connecticut reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In Connecticut
- Cheapest Places To Live In Connecticut
- Most Dangerous Cities In Connecticut
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Connecticut For 2021
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, Bridgeport is one of the worst spots, based on rain, snow, sunny days and humidity.
Incidentally, Bridgeport is the 2most densely populated city in Connecticut. Draw your own conclusions.
Hartford is a crucial city in Connecticut. It serves as the state’s capital and one of its largest cities. Unfortunately, it also counts as one of state’s worst hometowns.
The 123,088 residents of Hartford face an unemployment rate of 12.0%. The median income is a modest $36,278. Despite this, housing in the area remains expensive, with a median home value of $165,300. Hartford also has high crime and mediocre schools.
Still, there are benefits to living in the area. As a reasonably large urban area, it offers a lot of city amenities. If you want a more historical perspective, check out the State Capitol, located near Bushnell Park.
Waterbury has the nickname “Brass City.” This comes from the town’s history as a production center for brass castings and finishings. These days, high-paying manufacturing jobs are hard to find. The resulting economic troubles have made Waterbury the number 3 least appealing place in Connecticut.
The unemployment rate in the area runs a lofty 9.6%. As a result, 23.4% of the population struggle below the poverty line. These economic challenges impact other aspects of the community. For instance, the crime rate runs about 30% above the national average.
Not everything in Waterbury is terrible. As a sizable city, the area offers numerous urban attractions. There are also many cultural highlights, like the Mattatuck Museum.
New Haven has a long history, stretching at least as far back as city’s founding in 1638. It remains an important location today, with a population of 130,331. Still, the people of New Haven face significant challenges. It ranks as the number 4 least inviting place to put down roots in Connecticut.
Poverty and crime represent the biggest problems with life in New Haven. Residents face a 9.0% unemployment rate and a 26.5% poverty level. Meanwhile, the crime rate runs nearly 90% above the U.S. norm.
Of course, there are a lot of positive aspects to life in New Haven. The long history lends significant charm to this scenic coastal spot. It also serves as home of Yale University.
Built at the confluence of the Housatonic and Naugatuck rivers, Derby began life in the 1600s as a trading post. Commerce is a little harder to come by these days, as economic woes make Derby one of the worst places in Connecticut to call home.
Jobs are hard to find for the town’s 12,485 inhabitants, as the unemployment rate comes in at 10.4%. Median incomes are $56,357, but an expensive housing market makes it difficult to afford the area’s $206,300 median home price.
Don’t assume life in Derby is without joy, however. The town includes excellent parks along the rivers, as well as the lovely Osbornedale State Park.
New London rose to prominence as a whaling port in the 19th century. You know Moby Dick? That’s the kind of venture that would take off from New London. Of course, there are not many people chasing white whales these days. Economic stagnation has made this one of the worst places to live in Connecticut.
New London’s 26,966 residents suffer with a 8.5% and a 24.5% poverty rate. It’s also hard to afford a place in town, with a cost of living about 10% higher than the national average and the median home price sitting at $181,900.
New London has its charms. The whaling ships may be gone, but the city is still built by the sea, giving access to beaches and other water attractions.
New Britain has a long history as a manufacturing hub. It still serves as the headquarters of Stanley Black & Decker and sports the nickname “Hardware City.” However, this has limits. In reality, a lackluster job market makes New Britain the number 7 least enticing location in Connecticut.
The unemployment rate in town sits at 8.0%, while the poverty rate comes in at 21.7%. At the same time, the area’s educational system leaves a lot to be desired.
There are bright spots in town as well. The quaint town includes a beautiful downtown area and Walnut Hill Park, a park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the same man who created Central Park in New York City.
A lot of towns in Connecticut have cute nicknames, mostly derived from their manufacturing heydays. Danbury is no different. Just call it “Hat City.”
Of course, the type of hats that earned Danbury its name went out of style in the middle of last century (check out black-and-white movies if you want a glimpse of what we mean). Still, the town has transitioned to the 21st century pretty well, with solid economy and a crime rate 45% below the national average.
The problem? Danbury has gotten expensive. The standard of living is now 30% above the national average. This includes a median home price of $299,600. This affordability issue makes Danbury the number 8 hardest place in Connecticut to live.
Located along the coast on the southeast part of Connecticut (complete with beaches and an aquarium), Norwalk lies about an hour from downtown Manhattan. This makes the town part of NYC’s extended metropolitan area, prime real estate for commuters to the Big Apple.
Still, Norwalk ranks as the number 9 worst place to live in Connecticut. The area scores high in jobs, safety, diversity, and education. So why is it so hard to live there? Well, there’s one main problem: it’s too expensive.
That influx of cash from the city has driven the median home value to $435,800. Even with local median incomes of $85,769, that’s a tough mortgage to pay. Thanks largely to this housing situation, the overall cost of living in town is 50% above the national average.
Situated along the Naugatuck River, Ansonia was a critical manufacturing center in the 19th century. These days, its 18,802 residents face an uncomfortable mix of economic conditions: a sluggish job market and an expensive cost of living.
First, let’s look at the job situation. The unemployment rate sits at an elevated 7.3%. Second, there’s the cost of living. That figure sits about 20% above the U.S. norm, due largely to a median home price that hovers at $214,200.
Still, you get some value with your home in Ansonia. New York City is just an hour and a half away. Yet, you can enjoy a more picturesque setting, like hikes in any of the numerous local parks.
How we determined the worst places to live in Connecticut for 2021
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
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 9,000 people were considered — leaving 21 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 21 for all the criteria with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.
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 — Bridgeport. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Connecticut. You can download the data here.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
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, Bridgeport ranks as the worst city to live in Connecticut for 2021.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Connecticut:
- Groton (Pop. 9,030)
- Middletown (Pop. 46,511)
- Shelton (Pop. 41,141)
For more Connecticut reading, check out:
Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Connecticut?