The 10 Best Places To Live In Connecticut For 2024

The best places to live in Connecticut for 2024 are Milford, Shelton, and Middletown. Find out where your city or town ranks.

Welcome to the best places to live in Connecticut, located in one of the most expensive and wealthiest states in the country.

But assuming you have the cash to move to the Nutmeg State, you need to know where the best place is to call home.

So, we decided to find the best places to live in Connecticut. We used a mix of Census, Zillow, and FBI data on indicators of quality of life in the 21 largest places in Connecticut. After comparing factors including cost of living, crime, and schools, we landed on this set of Connecticut’s best places to live.

If you live in New Haven County, consider yourself lucky.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Table | Map | Methodology | Summary

The 10 Best Places To Live In Connecticut For 2024

  1. Milford
  2. Shelton
  3. Middletown
  4. Bristol
  5. Stamford
  6. Groton
  7. Naugatuck
  8. Norwalk
  9. Torrington
  10. West Haven

As you can see, there are plenty of amazing places to live in Connecticut, but these top ten cities undoubtedly take the cake.

What’s the best place to live in Connecticut? According to the most recent FBI and Census data, Milford is the best place in Connecticut for 2024.

For more reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Connecticut For 2024

Best Places To Live In Connecticut Map

Milford, CT

Source: Wikipedia User makemake | GFDL
Stat Milford Connecticut
Population 50,664 3,611,317
Rank Last Year 2
Median Home Value $444,403 $381,629
Median Income $104,503 $90,213
Unemployment Rate 4.3% 5.9%
Crime Per Capita 0.0252 0.0172

More on Milford: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Milford is a city of 50,664 sandwiched between New Haven and Bridgeport on Long Island Sound. Milford’s public schools have a student-teacher ratio of 11:1, beating out the statewide average of 13:1. All that extra one-on-one attention apparently does the trick, because students in Milford dropout of high school at the lowest rate in Connecticut.

Staying in school pays off big time and Milford showcases that wonderfully. Milford has a poverty level of just 4.5% and an unemployment rate of 4.3%, both of which rank at or near the top compared to other Connecticut cities. Homes in Milford are the 4th priciest in the state at $444,403. The median household income in Milford is $104,503/year, so you’ll want to make sure you can pull in around that much if you want to live comfortably here.

As a non-statistical bonus, Milford’s coastal location comes with obvious advantages for beach lovers. Silver Sands State Park is probably the most popular choice, but nearby Walnut Beach is also a great option.

Shelton, CT

Source: Wikipedia User TheDemonChicken at English Wikipedia | GFDL
Stat Shelton Connecticut
Population 41,206 3,611,317
Rank Last Year 1
Median Home Value $484,367 $381,629
Median Income $112,366 $90,213
Unemployment Rate 5.5% 5.9%
Crime Per Capita 0.0099 0.0172

More on Shelton: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

We begin our exploration of the best places to live in Connecticut for 2024 with Shelton, a city of 41,206 located between Bridgeport and New Haven. Shelton has an extremely successful economy, with the 3rd lowest poverty level and 4th lowest unemployment rate in Connecticut, at 5.5% and 5.5% respectively. It’s not like people are just scraping by here either. We named Shelton the richest place in Connecticut, with the highest household median income in the state at $112,366 year. Homes are also the 3rd most expensive statewide, with a median price tag of $484,367.

One thing to note is that at 44, Shelton has the oldest median age of anywhere we’ll be covering on this list. If living in a more experienced and mature community is a priority for you, Shelton has you covered. Seeing as older folks with lots of cash don’t have any reason to go around committing crimes, it makes sense that Shelton also has the lowest crime rate in CT, about 70% lower than the national average. And if you’re looking for a school district that invests in its youth, Shelton spends roughly 10% more per student than the statewide average.

That’s just one example of how Shelton spends its tax revenue in smart ways. Another example is the recent downtown revitalization project, which has been a huge hit. For those more interested in nature than high-end dining and gorgeous tree-lined streets, Indian Well State Park is a local favorite year-round.

Middletown, CT

Source: Wikipedia User Joe Mabel | GFDL
Stat Middletown Connecticut
Population 48,152 3,611,317
Rank Last Year 3
Median Home Value $302,920 $381,629
Median Income $75,120 $90,213
Unemployment Rate 4.7% 5.9%
Crime Per Capita 0.0170 0.0172

More on Middletown: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Coming as the 3rd best place to live in CT is Middletown, a city of 48,152 about 15 minutes southeast of New Britain. Middletown is home to the prestigious Wesleyan University, so you’ll never have to look far to find intelligent conversation here. Neither will you have far to go to reach pristine natural beauty, what with Wadsworth Falls State Park right in your backyard.

Middletown enjoys the 2nd lowest unemployment rate in Connecticut at 4.7%. All those employed people also get the benefit of having the 3rd shortest average commute time in the state at 21 minutes. You have very little reason to fear being car-jacked on said commute either because Middletown has 9th lowest rate of criminal activity in Connecticut. If you do find yourself in a bad way medically, Middletown will have you feeling right as rain in no time, because 96.5% of residents have health insurance, the 3rd highest rate in CT.

Bristol, CT

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY 2.5
Stat Bristol Connecticut
Population 61,052 3,611,317
Rank Last Year 4
Median Home Value $286,446 $381,629
Median Income $82,094 $90,213
Unemployment Rate 6.6% 5.9%
Crime Per Capita 0.0138 0.0172

More on Bristol: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Next up on our tour of awesome places to live in Connecticut is Bristol, a city of 61,052 located north of Waterbury and west of New Britain. The cost of living in Bristol is about 10% lower than the Connecticut average, making it one of the most affordable places to live on this list. Residents enjoy low unemployment and poverty numbers as well, so everyone gets in on the savings in Bristol. And if safety is a big concern for you, Bristol had the 3rd lowest rate of violent crime in the state.

One thing to note is that Bristol is also one of the most liberal cities in Connecticut, so keep that in mind if the political affiliation of your neighborhood is important to you.

As a Connecticut native, I believe that Bristol being home to Lake Compounce oughta bump it up a few spots on this list. It is hands-down the best amusement and water park in New England, in this writer’s opinion.

Stamford, CT

Source: Public domain
Stat Stamford Connecticut
Population 135,413 3,611,317
Rank Last Year 7
Median Home Value $611,989 $381,629
Median Income $100,718 $90,213
Unemployment Rate 5.5% 5.9%
Crime Per Capita 0.0138 0.0172

More on Stamford: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

It’s hard to know where to begin when covering a city as awesome as Stamford, the third biggest city in Connecticut. Stamford is home to eight Fortune 500 companies and is the largest financial district in the New York metropolitan area (besides NYC itself), so you know there’s a solid economic base here. Stamford enjoys the 3rd highest median household income in the state at $100,718/year. The poverty level and unemployment rate are both among the top ten lowest in the state as well, meaning everyone gets in on the success story in Stamford.

The only downside of Stamford is how pricey it is. The cost of living in Stamford is about 60% higher than the national average, making it Connecticut’s most expensive city. All that cash will buy you some super-smart neighbors because over 20% of residents have at least a master’s degree.

It’ll also buy you access to one of the most happening cities in CT. Between catching a show at The Palace Theatre and catching some sun at Cove Island Park, there’s something for everyone in Stamford. Just be sure to move quickly, because Stamford is also the state’s fastest-growing city, having added roughly 8,000 people to its ranks since 2010.

Groton, CT

Source: Public domain
Stat Groton Connecticut
Population 9,364 3,611,317
Rank Last Year 5
Median Home Value $374,397 $381,629
Median Income $64,611 $90,213
Unemployment Rate 6.1% 5.9%
Crime Per Capita 0.0106 0.0172

More on Groton: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

We’re taking our first foray into eastern Connecticut to reach the 6th best place in the state, Groton. This is the youngest city we’ll be covering on our list, with a median age of 38. Part of the reason Groton is so young is that its home to a naval submarine base. Even if you’re not signing up for the Navy, you can learn more about Groton’s historical ties to America’s naval tradition at the Submarine Force Museum. Of course, Groton’s coastal location also comes with tons of beaches and waterfront parks to choose from. And even though it’s technically located in Mystic, I couldn’t fail to include the nearby Mystic Aquarium here; seriously, every Connecticut kid will end up here on a field trip at some point and to this day it’s one of the most impressive aquariums I’ve visited.

Perhaps having some armed forces around keeps people in check, because Groton’s crime rate is roughly 20% lower than the CT average and ranks as the 2nd lowest statewide. If you’re not taking a submarine to work, your commute in Groton will take about 17 minutes, the 1st shortest commute in the state.

Naugatuck, CT

Source: Flickr User eschipul | CC BY-SA 2.0
Stat Naugatuck Connecticut
Population 31,653 3,611,317
Rank Last Year 8
Median Home Value $295,263 $381,629
Median Income $91,145 $90,213
Unemployment Rate 5.5% 5.9%
Crime Per Capita 0.0127 0.0172

More on Naugatuck: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Located just south of Waterbury, Naugatuck comes in as the 7th best place to live in Connecticut for 2024. While there are many expensive places in Connecticut, Naugatuck isn’t one of them. With a cost of living about 10% lower than the statewide average, Naugatuck is one of the cheapest places to settle down in. Combine that with the 5th highest median household income in CT at $91,145/year and you’ve got yourself a recipe for big savings.

Naugatuck also has the 4th lowest crime rate in Connecticut, so you won’t have to worry about Amazon porch pirates here. And with the 2nd lowest poverty level in the state at 5.5, you don’t have to worry about an economic downturn much either. If you want to get away from it all, we recommend visiting Naugatuck State Forest. Especially in fall, if you can manage to beat the NYC leaf-peepers there.

Norwalk, CT

Source: Wikipedia User Noroton at English Wikipedia | GFDL
Stat Norwalk Connecticut
Population 91,050 3,611,317
Rank Last Year 6
Median Home Value $560,154 $381,629
Median Income $97,879 $90,213
Unemployment Rate 5.9% 5.9%
Crime Per Capita 0.0186 0.0172

More on Norwalk: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Located on the northern shore of Long Island Sound between Stamford and Bridgeport, Norwalk ranks as the 8th best place to call home in CT. Those looking for a fun day out will find exactly that at The Maritime Aquarium, but those who’d rather get on the water will probably prefer taking a boat trip to see the historic lighthouse on Sheffield Island.

Great schools, safe streets, and an economy that works for everyone all make Norwalk a great place to live. Norwalk has the 7th lowest poverty level in Connecticut, sitting at 10.9%. And while the median household income in Norwalk is the 4th highest in the state at $97,879/year, homes are also the 2nd most expensive. In fact, the cost of living is nearly 20% higher in Norwalk than the Connecticut average, making it one of the priciest places to live in the state.

9. Torrington

Torrington Location In connecticut

Torrington, CT

Source: Flickr User Danielle Scott | CC BY-SA 2.0
Stat Torrington Connecticut
Population 35,510 3,611,317
Rank Last Year 9
Median Home Value $247,430 $381,629
Median Income $66,616 $90,213
Unemployment Rate 5.8% 5.9%
Crime Per Capita 0.0110 0.0172

More on Torrington: Real Estate

Wrapping up our list of the best places to live in Connecticut is Torrington, our sole representative of Litchfield County. We’ve already covered one of the most liberal cities on this list, so it’s only fair we included Torrington, the most conservative city in CT as well. Greatness knows no political affiliation here at HomeSnacks. Republicans and Democrats alike appreciate a good deal, and that’s just what you get in Torrington. The cost of living in Torrington is about 15% lower than your average Connecticut city and we named it the state’s most affordable city for 2024. Part of that is the fact that at $247,430, Torrington has the cheapest homes for sale that you’ll see on this list.

Torrington also has the 6th lowest levels of unemployment and poverty in CT, so everyone can take part in the good deals Torrington offers. And you never have to worry about crime ruining your good time here, because Torrington had the 3rd lowest crime rate in the state.

Torrington is also home to the Warner Theatre, a historic spot that puts on everything from operas to plays to big-name concerts. And if you’d rather spend the day outside, Burr Pond is the place to be.

West Haven, CT

Source: Public domain
Stat West Haven Connecticut
Population 55,336 3,611,317
Rank Last Year 11
Median Home Value $302,368 $381,629
Median Income $72,827 $90,213
Unemployment Rate 7.9% 5.9%
Crime Per Capita 0.0218 0.0172

More on West Haven: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

What’s the best haven?

West Haven.

West Haven is home to 55,336 with a strong median income of 72,827. The presence of Long Island Sound offers public beaches elevating home prices to $302,368 and rent to $1,322. The University of New Haven bolsters education opportunities and an average 23 minute commute underscores the city’s convenience.

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Connecticut

Best Places To Live In Connecticut Size Requirement

Before we even started to collect data on the best places to live in Connecticut, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Hartford, with a population of 121,057, against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.

So, to create our ranking, we broke the best places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities — Populations over 9,000
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 9,000
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This filter left 21 cities, 67 towns, and 13 small towns.

We then decided no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in Connecticut have more of everything, and therefore, you need over 9,000 people to truly be ‘the best.’

Methodology: How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In Connecticut

Now that we had our set of the best possible cities, it was time to rank them using Saturday Night Science.

We ranked each place in Connecticut across a number of criteria from one to 21, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, crowning the city posting the lowest overall score, the “Best Place To Live In Connecticut.”

The criteria we looked to determine the best places were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher is better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data, FBI Crime Data, and Zillow. We updated this article for 2024. This report is our tenth time ranking Connecticut’s best places to live.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Connecticut. Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Milford at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Summary: The Best Places In Connecticut

If you’re looking at areas in Connecticut with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

The best places to live in Connecticut are Milford, Shelton, Middletown, Bristol, Stamford, Groton, Naugatuck, Norwalk, Torrington, and West Haven.

Milford made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Connecticut for 2024.

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Connecticut according to the data:

  1. Bridgeport (Pop. 148,470)
  2. Waterbury (Pop. 114,480)
  3. Hartford (Pop. 121,057)

For more Connecticut reading, check out:

Best Places To Live In Connecticut Table

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value Median Income Rent Crime Per Capita
1 Milford 50,664 4.3% $444,403 $104,503 $1,783 0.0252
2 Shelton 41,206 5.5% $484,367 $112,366 $1,539 0.0099
3 Middletown 48,152 4.7% $302,920 $75,120 $1,312 0.0170
4 Bristol 61,052 6.6% $286,446 $82,094 $1,228 0.0138
5 Stamford 135,413 5.5% $611,989 $100,718 $2,129 0.0138
6 Groton 9,364 6.1% $374,397 $64,611 $1,100 0.0106
7 Naugatuck 31,653 5.5% $295,263 $91,145 $1,238 0.0127
8 Norwalk 91,050 5.9% $560,154 $97,879 $1,861 0.0186
9 Torrington 35,510 5.8% $247,430 $66,616 $1,086 0.0110
10 West Haven 55,336 7.9% $302,368 $72,827 $1,322 0.0218
11 Derby 12,373 6.1% $294,531 $69,835 $1,301 0.0337
12 Ansonia 18,954 9.9% $318,783 $67,474 $1,329 0.0208
13 Danbury 86,456 6.0% $431,374 $79,983 $1,726 0.0146
14 New London 27,596 7.1% $260,757 $56,237 $1,178 0.0193
15 Norwich 40,054 7.0% $243,007 $62,713 $1,159 0.0197
16 Meriden 60,556 8.4% $266,816 $63,671 $1,191 0.0263
17 New Britain 74,212 8.9% $251,760 $53,766 $1,136 0.0241
18 New Haven 135,736 7.8% $279,194 $54,305 $1,402 0.0367
19 Bridgeport 148,470 9.5% $305,486 $54,440 $1,369 0.0165
20 Waterbury 114,480 9.8% $232,478 $51,451 $1,140 0.0323
21 Hartford 121,057 10.6% $171,873 $41,841 $1,154 0.0303

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.