Connecticut is well known for its educational institutes, plentiful lighthouses, and contributions to American history. While the winters can be cold, the beautiful autumn foliage, ample state parks, and historical architecture make Connecticut a scenic place to call home. If you’re considering moving to Connecticut, check out our list of the top 8 best places to live in the state.
Housing cost to income ratio: 2.39%
Average childcare cost to income ratio: 3.15%
Violent crime index: 16
Nonviolent crime index: 24.8
Cost of living index: 118.5
The Stamford-Norwalk metropolitan area is located on the southwestern tip of Connecticut. Urban attractions include science and art museums, arboretums, and an aquarium. During the 179 sunny days that Stamford and Norwalk experience yearly, take advantage of the metropolitan area’s proximity to the beach and go for a swim or catch some rays. Be sure to check the weather before going out, however, as the cities also experience 50 inches of rain and 29 inches of snow annually. Both cities are very dog-friendly, with over 60 restaurants in the area allowing dogs to join their owners. Stamford and Norwalk provide access to quality hospitals and schools, so parents don’t need to worry about where to take their children for medical care or education. Stamford-Norwalk leans politically liberal, and popular suburbs include Newfield, Belltown, and Westover.
Housing cost to income ratio: 3.70%
Average childcare cost to income ratio: 1.54%
Violent crime index: 55.5
Nonviolent crime index: 58.6
Cost of living index: 93.9
Connecticut’s capital city places second on our list of best places to live. With a variety of museums, performance arts centers, and beautiful parks along the Connecticut River, you’ll never find yourself bored in Hartford! Classic American literature fans will love the Mark Twain House & Museum and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. Looking for something new and dog-friendly to do? Tour the beautiful Hartford wine country with your pooch along the Connecticut Wine Trail! Hartford’s weather runs cold in the winter, with 38 inches of snowfall expected annually; take advantage of the 189 sunny days while you can! Hartford leans strongly politically liberal and encompasses 7 area hospitals and 8 school districts. If you’d prefer to live in the suburbs, check out choices like West Hartford, Weatogue, and Avon.
3. New Haven-Meriden
Housing cost to income ratio: 3.75%
Average childcare cost to income ratio: 1.71%
Violent crime index: 51
Nonviolent crime index: 59
Cost of living index: 102.2
The New Haven-Meriden metropolitan area extends from the Long Island Sound into southern Connecticut. Make the most out of the waterside location by taking a boat tour or kayaking on the Long Island Sound; if you’re looking for a new morning jog location, hit up Hammonasset Beach State Park outside New Haven, the largest shoreline park in Connecticut.
In Meriden, step back in time at Castle Craig, hike Chauncey Peak, or catch a live art performance at Castle Craig Players. Over 40 restaurants in the area allow dogs to accompany you, which is great news for dog owners. This metropolitan area is sunnier than other regions of Connecticut, with an average of 204 sunny days expected per year. 16 area hospitals are ready to assist you and your family with all your medical care needs. New Haven-Meriden leans politically liberal and includes popular neighborhoods like Woodbridge, Orange, and Cheshire.
Housing cost to income ratio: 3.89%
Average childcare cost to income ratio: 2.30%
Violent crime index: 12.9
Nonviolent crime index: 24.6
Cost of living index: 114.9
If you’re looking for a city with a great blend of urban and natural attractions, look no further than Danbury. Located along the New York-Connecticut border, Danbury has a wealth of retail centers and a thriving cultural arts scene including museums, performance theaters, and entertainment centers. Enjoy 174 sunny days per year in Danbury, where you can make the most of the sunshine by swimming or hiking along Candlewood Lake or taking your dog for a run at Bear Mountain Reservation. If you’re looking for even more adventure, New York City is about 2 hours away and makes for a great weekend trip. With 51 inches of rain and 42 inches of snow expected per year, Danbury experiences region-typical precipitation. Like other Connecticut cities, Danbury provides access to quality medical care and educational institutes. The city leans politically liberal, and its most popular suburbs include Mill Plain, Hawthorne Terrace, and Hayestown.
Housing cost to income ratio: 4.49%
Average childcare cost to income ratio: 2.33%
Violent crime index: 27.2
Nonviolent crime index: 57.1
Cost of living index: 93.8
Welcome to Waterbury! Known as “The Brass City”, Waterbury is a politically liberal city located southwest of Hartford. Enjoy shopping and dining at Brass Mill Shopping Center, and finish the day by catching a live performance show at the Palace Theater. Brush up on local history at the Mattatuck Museum, or enjoy an invigorating jog at one of the multiple city parks.
Waterbury has no shortage of rain; the city experiences 52 inches of rain and 37 inches of snow per year. Take advantage of the 203 sunny days per year by practicing your swing at the local golf courses or venturing just north of the city to hike along Whitestone Cliffs Trails. For medical care, Waterbury has 2 hospitals ready to serve you and your family quality medical care. Prefer to move to the suburbs? Check out neighborhoods like Bunker Hill, Hop Brook, and East Mountain.
Housing cost to income ratio: 5.59%
Average childcare cost to income ratio: 1.17%
Violent crime index: 14.9
Nonviolent crime index: 21.4
Cost of living index: 109.5
The Berkshires-Litchfield metropolitan area is located in scenic northwest Connecticut. Bursting with small-town charm, the area is your go-to destination for a quiet lifestyle that still provides access to urban amenities, including great restaurants and boutiques. Moving to a small town, you don’t have to sacrifice excellent medical care and education; Litchfield provides access to 4 hospitals and 38 schools. The area receives approximately 198 sunny days per year; you can make the most of the sunshine by touring the local wineries and distilleries. If you’re a dog owner, take your furry friend with you as you explore the state parks and nature centers within the city. Be prepared for cold winters, as Litchfield experiences a whopping 51 inches of snow annually, the most of any area on our list. The Berkshires-Litchfield metropolitan area leans politically conservative, and popular suburbs include Washington and New Hartford.
7. New London-Norwich
Housing cost to income ratio: 5.92%
Average childcare cost to income ratio: 1.94%
Violent crime index: 35.9
Nonviolent crime index: 40.4
Cost of living index: 89.4
With the Thames River and coastal beaches, the New London-Norwich metropolitan area is a great place to call home if you dream of waterside living. Whether you prefer to go for a hike, picnic in the riverside parks, visit Ocean Beach Park, or go shopping on the boardwalk, you’ll have ample opportunity to enjoy blue water and fresh air. If you’re looking for something more educational, Fort Trumbull State Park is a great place to learn about local history and take your dog for a walk. This metropolitan area sees an average of 204 sunny days, 50 inches of rain, and 29 inches of snow per year. During cold and cloudy weather, spend your time at the art and history museums or catch a live show at the theater. New London-Norwich encompasses 35 hospitals and 38 schools, allowing you a wide variety of medical care and educational opportunities. This coastal metropolitan area leans politically liberal, and its most popular neighborhoods include Noank, East Lyme, and Mystic.
Housing cost to income ratio: 7.31%
Average childcare cost to income ratio: 3.14%
Violent crime index: 42.6
Nonviolent crime index: 38
Cost of living index: 106.1
With over 140,000 residents calling it home, Bridgeport is the most populous city in Connecticut. As you’d expect, this means it’s teeming with activity and entertainment. Folks can see the latest art installment at the Housatonic Museum of Art, visit the animals at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, and observe the statues and ocean at Seaside Park. There is no shortage of parks in the city if you’re looking for a new jogging trail and many welcome dogs. Bridgeport’s climate matches other cities in the region, with 175 sunny days, 47 inches of rain, and 30 inches of snow expected annually. The political climate leans strongly liberal, and you’ll find dozens of hospitals and schools in the nearby area. Prefer the suburbs? Try Oyster Bay Cove, Bayville, and Northport.
This list was compiled using statistics for cost of living, average housing costs, average childcare costs, and crime indices.
Sarah graduated from Trinity University in 2012 with a degree in International Relations and Political Science. She writes blogs on new homes, decor, communities, and more for NewHomeSource. When she’s not writing, you can find her spending time with her three cats.