Connecticut is a state located in the North-Eastern part of the US and as of 2010, had the highest income per capita and average income per household of all states in the country. The capital city of Connecticut is Harford but its most populated city is Bridgeport. The state has a rich history that can be traced as far back as 1630. Of the 50 states in the country, Connecticut is the third smallest by land area and the fourth-most densely populated. The state also has a strong maritime tradition which an expatriate can still experience today.
Is Connecticut a good place to live? Connecticut is a beautiful and picturesque state regardless of the season. The state is close and well connected to New York City where most people commute to work. There are rural areas and modern cities alike in the state.
Moving to Connecticut will be a revealing experience. Connecticut can be said to be divided into two: Fairfield County and everywhere else. There is a great natural beauty in the state with green lush forests as well as beautiful beaches. The state also has high taxes due to the high incomes earned by residents of Connecticut. You can easily commute to New York as some people do but driving in Connecticut is expensive due to gasoline taxes that increase the price of gas. The state’s population deserves credit for being diverse to a degree and the people in Connecticut are reserved.
Is Connecticut a good place to live?
Connecticut has a unique blend of coastal towns and rural heavens. The state is largely gorgeous and you will love most of the residential areas in Connecticut. Where you decide to live as an expat in the state will depend on your interests. Therefore, a good or bad neighborhood will largely depend on your taste. However, ranking neighborhoods based on metrics like income per capita, safety and standard of living; the best neighborhoods to live in Connecticut are Simsbury, New Canaan, Old Greenwich, Weatogue, Weston, Avon, Glastonbury, Ridgefield, Greenwich, Woodbridge, Darien, West Hartford, Riverside and Cos Cob. The worst neighborhoods are Hartford, Bridgeport, Waterbury, New Haven, New London, Derby, New Britain, Danbury, Norwalk, and Torrington.
The crime rate in Connecticut deserves credit for being the lowest it has been in decades. This is why the area has some of the best cities to live in Connecticut. The overall crime rate is about 20 crimes per every 1,000 residents. A violent crime like murder and aggravated assault are really low in Connecticut. The violent crime rate is about 2 crimes per 1,000 residents and is well below the national average. Property crimes like burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson make up the majority of crimes in Connecticut at a rate of about 18 crimes per 1,000 residents. It is a good idea to have insurance for any precious items you have in your home.
Education in Connecticut is a priority and the results prove it. In 2018, Education Week’s Quality Counts 2018 report ranked Connecticut third in the country in educational performance. The public education system in Connecticut from grades K to 12 is run by the Connecticut State Board of Education. Members of the board are elected by the Governor of the state. There are more than 40 private elementary schools in the state. There are also great private and public colleges and universities in Connecticut offering degree programs including Ivy League member Yale University. The University of Connecticut is the main university in the state. Other noteworthy universities and colleges include Central Connecticut State University, Capital Community College and the University of New Haven.
Connecticut has an extensive transportation network including interstate highways I-95, I-84, I-91 and I-395. Other main highways in the state are Merritt Parkway and Wilbur Cross Parkway which form Connecticut route 15, US Route 7, Route and Route 9. Rail transportation is also common in Connecticut. The rail networks in the state include Metro-North Railroad and the national Amtrak system. There is a statewide bus service, Connecticut Transit and a bus rapid transit service, CTfastrack. Connecticut has several airports the main one being Bradley International Airport. Smaller civil airports in the state include Danbury Municipal Airport, Waterbury-Oxford Airport, Hartford–Brainard Airport, and Groton-New London Airport, Sikorsky Memorial Airport and Tweed New Haven Airport. There are also ferry services to and from the coastal towns in Connecticut.
There is something for someone in Connecticut and residents agglomerate to share many activities. There are college sports teams, museums, music venues and outdoor parks where citizens meet. Connecticut is also a great state for biking. The social life is mainly in the cities.
Living in Connecticut pros and cons
- You have easy access to two major cities from Connecticut in New York and Boston.
- You get to experience all four seasons which are all beautiful in Connecticut.
- The foliage in Connecticut during the Fall will take your breath away. The variety and scale of leaves are astounding.
- The school system in Connecticut is one of the best in the country. The performance is consistently above par which is great news for young parents.
- The average annual salary in the state is the highest in the country. A higher-income affords you more options in Connecticut than in a state like New York.
- You can expect to meet smart, educated people in Connecticut who will not only challenge you but also make your life better.
- You can choose to live a variety of lifestyles in Connecticut. You can choose to live in a city, a coastal town or in a rural setting.
- Land in Connecticut is cheap and plentiful while being beautiful and serene.
- You will enjoy excellent beaches in Connecticut during all season but winter.
- The overall crime rate in Connecticut is low hence life in the state is safe.
- Housing in Connecticut is quite expensive and it will consume the majority of your monthly paycheck.
- You will pay high property taxes in Connecticut which make homeownership less of a good idea than in other less taxed states.
- High gasoline taxes make driving your own car quite expensive in Connecticut.
- People in Connecticut and reserved and not that friendly. Many people will not say hi or even look you in the eye.
- The cost of living in Connecticut is quite high so unless you can afford, it, it would be prudent to live in another State.
- There is a lot of traffic congestion on the highways, especially during rush hour. The commute to and from work in Connecticut can be exhausting.
- The police in Connecticut have been repeatedly accused of racism. The police are also very militarized which is not good news for minorities.
- The local government in Connecticut is relatively corrupt.
Is Connecticut a good place to work?
The GDP of Connecticut as of 2016 was $230 Billion making it the 23rd largest state economy in the country. With a state per capita income of over $60,000 per annum, Connecticut has the highest per capita income of all the states in the country. As of 2013, Connecticut had the third-highest percentage of millionaires of all states in the country. Therefore, an expat with the right credentials can expect to get a well-paying job when they move to Connecticut. On the contrary, there is large income inequality between the top 1% and the rest of the 99% of Connecticut residents. The unemployment rate in Connecticut is 3.9% which is well below the national average unemployment rate.
One of the things that make Connecticut not a good place to work is the high tax rates. The state services in Connecticut are mainly funded by taxes. However, there are several industries in the state through which the local government also makes money through taxing them. The main industry in Connecticut is finance and insurance which contributes about 17% of the state’s GDP. The real estate industry is the second largest industry in the state accounting for about 15% of GDP. Manufacturing comes in a close third with a 12%contibution to the state’s GDP. Tourism is also a major industry in Connecticut contributing about $14 Billion to GDP.
Pertaining to individual employers in the state of Connecticut, the largest employers as of 2019 are United Technologies, XPO Logistics, Otis Elevator, Amphenol, Subway, Stanley Black & Decker, Aetna, Carrier, Cigna and Pratt & Whitney. Other major employers include Xerox, EMCOR Group, Praxair, Harman International Industries and Frontier Communication. The largest employers in the city are evidence of the strength of the financial services industry in the state.
Is Connecticut a good place to buy a house?
House prices in Connecticut are relatively expensive and mirror the high-income rates in the state. The average home price in Connecticut is $243,700. The homeownership rate in Connecticut stood at 65% as of 2018 with most homes being owned by a mortgage. 5-30 year mortgage rates stand at about 3% which makes homeownership very attractive in the state.
Due to the high-income rates, you will find similar apartments elsewhere at much cheaper rates. The 35% of Connecticut residents who rent their property pay an average of $1,145 per month. The rent you pay will depend on the area you decide to live in. Rent in the larger cities of the state is more expensive than in the rural areas.
The best neighborhoods to live in Connecticut are Simsbury, New Canaan, Old Greenwich, Weatogue, Weston, Avon, Glastonbury, Ridgefield, Greenwich, Woodbridge, Darien, West Hartford, Riverside and Cos Cob. On the other hand, the worst neighborhoods to live in Connecticut are Hartford, Bridgeport, Waterbury, New Haven, New London, Derby, New Britain, Danbury, Norwalk and Torrington.
A one-bedroom apartment in Connecticut will go for a monthly rent of $1075. A two-bedroom apartment, on the other hand, will cost you a rent of $1250. If you decide to stay in a three-bedroom apartment, then the rent will be $1465. Four bedroom apartments fetch a rent of about $1700 while the rent for a five-bedroom apartment is $2020 a month.
Is Connecticut a good place to retire?
Connecticut is a good state in which to retire for a couple of reasons. One of the best reasons to retire in Connecticut is the low crime rate. Most retirees would prefer to live the rest of their days in relative safety and that is exactly what they will find in Connecticut.
Another reason to retire in Connecticut is the weather. The state has great weather even during winter. Retirees will especially enjoy the summers and fall in Connecticut. Retirees can enjoy watching the seasons change with plenty of activities to do in all of them.
Most retirees in Connecticut rent their properties. There aren’t many retirement properties in Connecticut hence most retirees will rent or buy property just like the rest of the Connecticut residents.
The cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment is $1155. While if you would like to rent a two-bedroom apartment, you will pay $1440 rent. If you are looking for a three-bedroom apartment, then the rent in Connecticut goes for $1520. The mean monthly rent for a four-bedroom apartment in Connecticut is $1800 and the average monthly rent for a five-bedroom apartment is $2100 a month.
Are you thinking of buying an apartment in Connecticut? Buying a one-bedroom apartment goes for $218,750. While the cost of buying a two-bedroom apartment in Connecticut is $260,000. The average price of an apartment with three bedrooms is $305,500. The average price of an apartment with four bedrooms is $345,000. The average price of an apartment with five bedrooms is $401,000.
Is Connecticut a good place to visit?
Connecticut is a good state to visit with plenty of activities for tourists to do and places to see. It would take several weeks to tour the entire state and there is so much to see and do in Connecticut. However, there are certain places that are must-see and they include:
The capital of Connecticut has many landmarks to see including Mark Twain’s house and museum which will be a highlight of your visit. Other attractions in the city include Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Connecticut Science Center and the Bushnell Park Carousel.
New Haven is a coastal Connecticut city and home to Yale University. The city is renowned for its cultural life and includes theatres and outdoor venues for dramas, music and festivals. Be sure to visit East Rock Park which has plenty of fun activities.
Greenwich is an affluent town in Fairfield County. It is home to beautiful parks, romantic sites and incredible art museums. You should visit Bruce Museum, Saxon Woods Park, Mianus river State Park and Kensico Reservoir.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.