The 10 Worst Places To Live In Connecticut For 2021

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

RoadSnacks is reader-supported. When you click through real estate links on our site, we earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

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:

The 10 Worst Places To Live In Connecticut For 2021

  1. Bridgeport
  2. Hartford
  3. Waterbury
  4. New Haven
  5. Derby
  6. New London
  7. New Britain
  8. Danbury
  9. Norwalk
  10. Ansonia

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.

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

For more Connecticut reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Places To Live In Connecticut For 2021

Bridgeport, CT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 145,639
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $174,700
Unemployment Rate: 12.5%
More on Bridgeport:  Data | Photos

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, CT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 123,088
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $165,300
Unemployment Rate: 12.0%
More on Hartford:  Data | Photos

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, CT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 108,276
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $130,700
Unemployment Rate: 9.6%
More on Waterbury:  Data | Photos

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, CT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 130,331
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $199,000
Unemployment Rate: 9.0%
More on New Haven:  Data | Photos

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.

Derby, CT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,485
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $206,300
Unemployment Rate: 10.4%
More on Derby:  Data | Photos

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, CT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 26,966
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $181,900
Unemployment Rate: 8.5%
More on New London:  Data | Photos

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, CT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 72,767
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $160,800
Unemployment Rate: 8.0%
More on New Britain:  Data | Photos

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.

Danbury, CT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 84,619
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $299,600
Unemployment Rate: 6.0%
More on Danbury:  Data | Photos

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.

Norwalk, CT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 88,599
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $435,800
Unemployment Rate: 6.7%
More on Norwalk:  Data | Photos

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.

Ansonia, CT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 18,802
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $214,200
Unemployment Rate: 7.3%
More on Ansonia:  Data | Photos

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

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 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:

  1. Groton (Pop. 9,030)
  2. Middletown (Pop. 46,511)
  3. Shelton (Pop. 41,141)

For more Connecticut reading, check out:

Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Connecticut?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Bridgeport 145,639 12.5% $174,700
2 Hartford 123,088 12.0% $165,300
3 Waterbury 108,276 9.6% $130,700
4 New Haven 130,331 9.0% $199,000
5 Derby 12,485 10.4% $206,300
6 New London 26,966 8.5% $181,900
7 New Britain 72,767 8.0% $160,800
8 Danbury 84,619 6.0% $299,600
9 Norwalk 88,599 6.7% $435,800
10 Ansonia 18,802 7.3% $214,200
11 West Haven 54,763 9.3% $193,800
12 Norwich 39,260 7.0% $164,200
13 Stamford 129,309 6.3% $532,700
14 Meriden 59,676 6.0% $171,900
15 Naugatuck 31,347 6.4% $183,400
16 Torrington 34,489 6.0% $153,700
17 Bristol 60,218 5.4% $197,800
18 Milford 52,732 4.8% $312,500
19 Groton 9,030 6.3% $221,800
20 Middletown 46,511 5.9% $231,300
21 Shelton 41,141 5.5% $349,300

How Is The Area In ?

Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the worst places to live in Connecticut.

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.