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The 14 Worst Places to Live in Connecticut (Updated 2023)

Hartford

Connecticut's name is derived from Quinnehtukqut– a Mohegan-Pequot word that translates to "beside a long tidal river." This is because the Constitution State has a river that essentially bisects the state's 5,542 square miles.

Like any other state, Connecticut has both incredibly desirable places to live – with some of the most expensive Gold Coast zip codes in the nation – the state's southwesternmost county, where a New York City commute is convenient and comfortable.

However, other locations throughout the state have higher crime rates, making them less appealing – landing these locations on our list of the worst places to live in Connecticut.

Our Methodology

Objectively determining the worst places to live in Connecticut is essential because, for the most part, what is best or worst for anyone is hugely personal and subjective – and based on individual priorities/preferences.

Our methodology for determining the worst places to live in CT (or any other place) begins by looking at unbiased data – provided by agencies and organizations designed to help identify and control the problems associated with criminal behavior. Plus, numerous data sources across the internet, like Population U – list the latest crime data. Current population data for the analysis was obtained from the Connecticut Demographics.

However, for most, it begins by knowing if their income has the capacity to maintain a reasonable standard of living, which typically includes one or more of the following factors –

  • Housing Affordability.
  • Employment, Education, Recreational, Opportunities.
  • Healthcare Services.
  • Weather/Climate.
  • Public Services.
  • Environmental Factors.
  • Cultural and Recreational Opportunities, and many more.

Using Crime Rates As Primary Criteria Data in Selecting the Worst Places to Live in Connecticut

For our analysis, we began with the FBI's Crime Data Explorer, which reports that In 2022, 98 percent of Connecticut's population reported –

  • 5,050  violent crime incidents, which include rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and murder.
  • 54,887  property crime incidents.

High crime rates can act as a significant deterrent to house hunters as locations with high crime stats may be perceived as less safe, so it is often a prime factor in one's decision as to where to live.

The 14 Worst Places to Live in Connecticut (Updated 2023)

According to the state's yearly Crime Statistics Report (2022), Connecticut has experienced a 4 percent reduction in its overall crime rate while dropping 3 percent in property crimes and a 13 percent reduction in violent crime when compared to the previous year.

Furthermore, the report indicates a 26 percent decrease in overall crime in Connecticut over the past decade. This includes a significant 41 percent drop in violent crime and a 23 percent decrease in property crime. But not all cities and towns fared as well -

14. Hartford

Hartford
  • Population (2023) – 120,686
  • Violent Crime Per 1,000 Persons – 10.97

While ranking consistently in most top-ten lists in recent years, Hartford, the insurance capital of the country, moves up the list despite being one of the state's largest cities. Its current unemployment rate is 5.1 percent, which is significantly above the state average of 3.4 percent (Ct. Dept. of Labor October 2023), which is both a symptom and a cause of the high criminal activity in the city. Furthermore, crime is a big issue in Connecticut's capital city, as It has the most murders anywhere in the Nutmeg State, and it ranks as the second-most dangerous city overall.

13. Plainville

Plainville
  • Population (2023) – 17,479
  • Violent Crime Per 1,000 Persons – 11.16

At first glance, Plainville, one of many Hartford suburbs, may not seem that bad, as it has above-average public education, a reasonably diverse community, good transport hubs, and various activities to enjoy, suiting all tastes. However, this small suburb has 49 crimes per square mile – nearly three times the state average.

12. East Haven

East Haven
  • Population (2023) – 27,682
  • Violent Crime Per 1,000 Persons – 12.72

There are many issues that contribute to East Haven, a coastal Connecticut town. Like many other locations included in our list of the worst places to live in Connecticut, East Haven’s crime rates and a lack of safety remain the biggest concerns for those searching to rent or own. East Haven's property crime rates are three times the state average – at 58 per square mile. Unemployment had been an issue for some time, but in 2023, East Haven's unemployment rate was 3.5 percent, which is approximately the same as that of the entire state.

11. East Hartford

  • Population (2023) – 50,718
  • Violent Crime Per 1,000 Persons – 14.94

Located on the banks of the Connecticut River – across from the state capital, East Hartford is the eleventh worst place to live in Connecticut. This smaller city has an unusual number of rapes and violent crimes for 2023, and its overall crime rate is 95 per square mile – more than five times the state average and among the highest in the Constitution State. Unemployment rates for October 2023 in East Hartford are 3.9 percent, which is about 10 percent above the state average.

10. Bridgeport

Bridgeport
  • Population (2023) – 148,377
  • Violent Crime Per 1,000 Persons – 15.02

Bridgeport has become the most densely populated city in Connecticut. Unfortunately, many of those who live in this area are living below the poverty line and face some of the murder rates in Connecticut. Bridgeport's unemployment rate was 4.7 percent for October 2023 – creating the highest unemployment rate on our list of worst places to live in Connecticut.

9. Ansonia

Ansonia
  • Population (2023) – 18,923
  • Violent Crime Per 1,000 Persons –15.23

Both the economy and crime rates are problematic for the residents of Ansonia. Like Bridgeport, Ansonia's unemployment rate for October 2023 was 4.7 percent - creating a tie for the highest rate in the state. Another negative aspect of life in this city is that the schools are not great, which is why the average property value in Ansonia ($318,784) is well below the state average of $381,629.

8. New London

New London
  • Population (2023) – 27,980
  • Violent Crime Per 1,000 Persons – 16.49

New London is also the eighth-highest on our list of the worst places to live in CT. This location is not a good place to live for families, as the area lacks family-oriented services/activities, and the public schools are below average. While property crime in New London is in line with state averages, its overall crime rate is more than four times the state average due to excessive violent crime stats. Finally, New London's unemployment rate of 4.4 percent far exceeds Connecticut's average and is among the state's highest.

7. Derby

Derby
  • Population (2023) – 12,358
  • Violent Crime Per 1,000 Persons – 18.20

Located in New Haven County, Derby's population is just under 13,000 residents; Derby is the seventh-worst place to live in Connecticut. The unemployment rate is among the worst in the state at 4.2 percent. Violent, property, and overall crime rates in Derby all exceed state averages, which makes Derby one of the worst places to live in Connecticut – in terms of crime.

6. Manchester

Manchester
  • Population (2023) – 59,461
  • Violent Crime Per 1,000 Persons – 18.72

Manchester is now Connecticut's sixth worst place to live. This Hartford suburb has an average violent crime rate for Connecticut but has an unusual number of rapes and murders. Unemployment in Manchester was at 3.1 percent for October 2023 and is just below the Connecticut state average, which shows recent improvement in the city's employment opportunities.

5. Waterbury

Waterbury
  • Population (2023) – 115,016
  • Violent Crime Per 1,000 Persons – 21.07

Waterbury is among Connecticut's largest cities and faces some serious threats of crime for those who live and work there. In addition, Waterbury takes top honors for having the highest unemployment rate in October 2023 at 5.2 percent - more than 50 percent higher than the state average. Waterbury's overall crime rate of 127/square mile is about seven times the state average. In addition, the average home value for a property in Waterbury is $232,478 – which is about 40 percent below the state average.

4. Meriden

Meriden
  • Population (2023) – 60,242
  • Violent Crime Per 1,000 Persons – 22.48

Meriden is a town in Connecticut with about 60,000 residents. Meriden's public schools are below average, and the housing options are less than ideal. However, it is the lack of safety that is the bigger issue, as it is the 4th-most dangerous place to live in the state. Unemployment rates of 10/2023 were 3.6 percent – exceeding the state average. Violent crime in Meriden is more than twice Connecticut's state average, with an exceptionally high rate of murder and rape for its size.

3. Norwich

Norwich
  • Population (2023) – 40,009
  • Violent Crime Per 1,000 Persons – 24.51

Norwich is a town in Connecticut with approximately 40,000 residents. Although the cost of living in Norwich is reasonable and the community is diverse, there are various problems and issues in this town that make it an undesirable place to live. Unemployment in Norwich was 3.7 percent in October 2023, a bit higher than the state average. Another indicator of the depressed area of Norwich is the home values, which average $243,000 – below the average for all of Connecticut's real estate. Violent crime rates far exceed the average for the rest of the state.

2. New Britain

New Britain
  • Population (2023) – 74,396
  • Violent Crime Per 1,000 Persons – 26.08

There are several issues in New Britain that rank it among the top two worst places to live in Connecticut. Among the largest issues in the city is the economy, with an unemployment rate of 4.3 percent for October 2023. A further issue is the commute times because New Britain residents have the 20th worst commute times (on average) in the state, which indicates a lack of employment opportunities for the region.

1. New Haven

New Haven
  • Population (2023) – 138,915
  • Violent Crime Per 1,000 Persons – 33.70

Home Snacks lists New Haven, home of Yale University, as the most dangerous city in Connecticut based on FBI data. New Haven's unemployment for October 2023 was 3.7 percent – which exceeds the state average. New Haven's violent crime per square mile (6.03)is nearly four times the state average. Property crime is roughly twice the state and national levels – with dozens of murders and rapes reported each year. Home values are also impacted by the high crime, with the average New Haven home price at $279,195.

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Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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