Rating the Towns 2010: Population 6,500-10,000

 

Easton is part of the Fairfield County you don’t hear too much about—and that’s probably just the way they like it. It’s a bit off the beaten path, so crime is not a problem. Its public schools (it shares a high school, Joel Barlow, with No. 4 Redding) are very good, with test scores among the best in Connecticut. Joblessness is well below the state average. And support for the library, at over $80 per capita, is second-best in this population group. Of course, if you want to live in Easton, keep in mind that it takes over $500,000 to buy a typical house.


Less rural but finishing near the head of the list, Essex, Litchfield and Old Lyme are more like self-contained towns, offering residents and visitors a fair number of admirable diversions—including shopping, dining out and sightseeing—as well as solid public schools and relatively strong local economies. In addition, house prices, while not cheap, tend to be quite a bit lower than they are in Fairfield County.

Three towns in central Connecticut—Haddam, Durham and Hebron—also fared well in the rankings, as they did three years ago. Each offers better-than-average education and crime numbers along with reasonable housing costs. For a very low crime rate, inexpensive housing and genuine old Yankee charm, you might think about Lebanon, the No. 7 finisher. You may be a fair distance from the nearest piece of sushi, but the stars are bright and there’s a two-mile-long green to walk.

   Town  Education  Crime  Economy  Cost   Leisure  Total
 1.  Easton  1  1  3  22  10  37
 2.  Essex  8  9  4  19.5  1  41.5
 3.  Old Lyme  4  15  2  19.5  2  42.5
 4.  Redding  2  13  1  23  5  44
 5.  Litchfield  7  17  5  14  3  46
 6.  Hebron  6  4  13  11.5  15  49.5
 7.  Lebanon  16  2  12  8.5  16  54.5
 8.  Haddam  11  8  16  7  13  55
 9.  Durham  10  12  15  11.5  7  55.5
 10.  Woodbridge  3  19  7  21  6  56
 11.  Woodstock  14  3  11  5  23  56
 12.  Woodbury  12  10  14  16  4  56
 13.  East Haddam  15  5  9  6  22  57
 14.  Canton  5  21  8  15  8  57
 15.  Burlington  9  6  6  18  18  57
 16.  Thompson  22.5  7  17  2  14  62.5
 17.  Portland  13  18  19  10  9  69
 18.  Thomaston  17  20  21  4  11  73
 19.  Prospect  18  16  18  8.5  17  77.5
 20.  Putnam  22.5  22  20  1  12  77.5
 21.  Oxford  19  11  10  17  21  78
 22.  Brooklyn  20  14  23  3  20  80
 23.  East Windsor  21  23  22  13  19  98

 Ties broken by voter turnout in 2008 election

HOW TO READ THE CHART
The chart above represents the 23 Connecticut towns with populations between 6,500 and 10,000. The best possible rating in any category is 1 and the worst is 23. Remember: Low scores are best. 

Rating the Towns 2010: Population 6,500-10,000

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