The cheapest places to live in Connecticut in 2023 couldn’t be more attractive. Yes, Connecticut is renowned for its prestigious Yale University in New Haven, and the Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam, but a lesser-known gem of the Constitution State is its array of affordable places to live. Amidst the rising cost of living, it is wonderful to discover some genuinely cheap yet great places to live in Connecticut.
To help you find the cheapest places to live in Connecticut for 2023, we provide insights on the cost of living, average home prices, and rents across Connecticut. We turned to the latest Census and cost of living data. Many of the most affordable places in Connecticut are also top-rated for family living.
Finding a place to live in the most affordable places in Connecticut can be challenging. Acquiring a home in these financially comfortable zones requires a stable income to be affordable. However, the unemployment rate in most of these marked places is better than the national average.
Read on to learn more about these cost-effective treasures of the Constitution State.
The 10 most affordable places to live in Connecticut
According to the most recent census data, what’s the cheapest place to live in Connecticut? The cheapest place to live in Connecticut for 2023 is Torrington.
So, if you care about home values and affordability, take a look at the list below to see where your Connecticut dollar will go the furthest. And if you don’t find your favorite place there, head to the bottom for a complete list of affordable places to live in Connecticut.
Check out some more reading about Connecticut and the cheapest places in the country:
The 10 cheapest places to live in Connecticut for 2023
According to the data, Torrington is the cheapest place to live in Connecticut for 2023. Torrington’s recently gotten some major improvements done in the downtown area, so you know the city’s not skimping on public works to achieve its affordability. If you’re planning on moving to Torrington, know that you’ll be enjoying the second cheapest home prices in the state at a median price of $158,000. With residents earning a median income of $63,135, Torrington has the second best home price to income ratio in Connecticut. On top of that, Torrington is one of the cheapest places to rent in the state. So when you’re kicking back at Burr Pond, finances will be the last thing on your mind.
Torrington is the largest city in Litchfield County in the northwestern part of Connecticut.
Located just south of Waterbury, Naugatuck ranks as the second cheapest place to live in Connecticut. Naugatuck is an absolute godsend for renters, who get to enjoy the second best rent to income ratio in the whole state. Part of that is due to the relatively low median rent of $1,167 in Naugatuck, while some of the credit goes to the relatively high median income of $86,900.
Naugatuck’s not a bad choice for those looking to buy a home either. Home prices are just a hair pricier than Torrington when looked at a percentage of income. In any case, you’ll have no shortage of free outdoor activities wtih Naugatuck State Forest right in your backyard.
Bristol is an all-around great place to live in 8/10+ in every single category of our overall Snackability score. Maybe that’s why we named it as one of the best places to live in Connecticut. Or maybe it’s because it’s home to Lake Compounce, an amusement park that every CT kid went to at least once during their childhood. In any case, Bristol is among the cheapest places to live in Connecticut whether you’re renting or buying. The median rent in Bristol is $1,153 and the median home price is $207,400.
Bristol is located between Hartford and Waterbury, so your commute will be short if you’re working in either city.
Norwich is a port city located at the mouth of the Thames River in eastern Connecticut that has some seriously sweet deals on housing. Norwich boasts the sixth cheapest homes in the state and, more importantly, the sixth best home price to income ratio. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Thamesville or across the river in Laurel Hill; there’s something for everyone in Norwich. Especially if you’re into gambling, seeing as Mohegan Sun is just a short drive away.
Hey, with all the money you’re saving on housing, you can afford to hit the blackjack table every now and then.
Located on I-91 between New Haven and Hartford, Meriden ranks as the fifth most affordable place to live in the Constitution State. The median rent in Meriden is $1,105, which taken with a median income of $59,792 gives Meriden the tenth best rent to income ratio in Connecticut. Homes are also the fifth most affordable in the state, so it doesn’t matter much if you’re buying or renting here — it’s all cheap
And if you still can’t shake your financial worries, drive or climb up to Castle Craig in Hubbard Park – we guarantee you’ll forget all about it as you overlook the rolling hills of Central Connecticut.
One of the biggest cities in Connecticut, Waterbury clocks in as the sixth cheapest place to call home in the state. You’d be hard-pressed to find a less expensive house than one in Waterbury, where the median home price is the lowest in the state at $140,700. That puts Waterbury firmly in the top ten in terms of home price to income ratio. Which leaves plenty of money left over to catch a show at the famous Palace Theater.
On the flip side, Waterbury is the least economical place to rent on this list and the city does have a bit of a crime problem.
Located just southwest of Hartford, New Britain ranks as the seventh least expensive city in Connecticut.
Whether you’re enjoying the rose garden in Walnut Hill Park or catching an exhibition at the Museum of American Art, you’ll never be left wondering what to do with yourself on the weekend in New Britain. That’s part of the reason we named it one of the best cities for singles in Connecticut. The fact that you can enjoy all this on a shoestring budget is just icing on the cake. New Britain has the third cheapest homes on the market in CT, with a median price tag of $166,100.
West Haven, a city just west of New Haven, ranks as the eighth most affordable spot to live in Connecticut. You’d be surprised to learn you’re living in one of the most expensive states in America if you’re a resident of West Haven.
Homes in West Haven go for about $210,900, which, taken with the city’s median income of $66,868 gives West Haven the seventh best home price to income ratio in Connecticut. It’s also the first place on this list with beaches, so if that’s a priority for you, West Haven is the place to be.
Shelton is one of the most affordable places to live in connecticut. With a median home value of $358,900 and a median rent of only $1,373, it’s easy to see why. In addition, the overall cost of living in Shelton is lower than the national average.
But affordability isn’t the only reason to consider Shelton as your next home. The city’s unemployment rate sits at 4.99%, ranking it first in the state. The median income in Shelton is also higher than the national average, coming in at $103,647. With its friendly community and easy access to nearby cities like New Haven and Bridgeport, Shelton is a great place to call home.
Derby, a city in New Haven County, Connecticut, is one of the most affordable places to live in the state. With a median home value of $212,900, Derby offers a cheaper cost of living compared to other towns in the area. The median rent in Derby is also notably lower than the state average at $1,202.
Aside from being budget-friendly, Derby is also a great place to call home. It’s conveniently located near major highways, making it easy to commute to nearby cities for work or leisure.
Cheapest places to live in Connecticut FAQs
The county in Connecticut with the lowest cost of living is Fairfield County. The average living wage in Fairfield County is $107,191 according to MIT data. Fairfield County has the lowest cost of living because it has relatively less expensive childcare and housing costs compared to Connecticut as a whole. Childcare costs $22,084 a year in Fairfield County for two children compared to the Connecticut average of $19,219. Housing costs, defined as a blend of the average rent and average mortgage payment, are $20,654 per year in Fairfield County compared to $17,169 on average in Connecticut.
The cost of living in Connecticut is 11.4% higher than the US average. According to MIT, the required living wage for a family of four with two working parents in Connecticut is $99,955 vs the national average for a family of four with two working parents of $89,744. The median income of a Connecticut household is $79,855.
The cheapest housing market in Connecticut is Waterbury. The average home value in Waterbury is $132,700, the lowest in the state. The average home value in Connecticut is $279,700, almost 2.1 times higher than Waterbury.
Methodology: How we determined the most affordable places to live in the Constitution State for 2023
Determining affordability for places in Connecticut boils down to two factors:
- How much money do I make?
- How much does it cost to live here?
You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make to determine affordability. For example, imagine a place in Connecticut where median incomes are $100,000 and housing costs $200,000 to buy. That’s more affordable than living in a place with a median income of $50,000 where houses cost $101,000. The ratio of income to home prices is higher in the first example.
With that logic in mind, we derived several cost of living statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2017-2021 for Connecticut. The cost of living statistics are:
- Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
- Median Income / Median Rent (higher is better)
- Median Home Price
You can include median home price as a stand alone variable because high home prices generally correlate with higher costs for all goods and services (heating, electricity, food, etc). You then compare these cost of living metrics for each place in Connecticut to figure out which is the least expensive.
We aggregate those rankings into a “Cost of Living Index” for each city in Connecticut. The “Cost of Living Index” allows you to rank all of the 21 places in Connecticut that have more than 9,000 people from least expensive to most expensive.
The place in Connecticut with the lowest cost of living according to the data is Torrington. You can download the entre cost of living data set for Connecticut here.
Connecticut affordabilility summary
This is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in Connecticut for 2023, if you’re looking at the cost of living numbers in Connecticut.
Here’s a look at the most expensive cities in Connecticut according to the data:
For more Connecticut reading, check out:
- Worst Places To Live In Connecticut
- Richest Cities In Connecticut
- Best Places To Raise A Family In Connecticut
The cheapest places to live in Connecticut
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