Rating the Towns 2010: Population Under 3,500

 

With just over 2,000 residents at large across its 34.5 square miles, Lyme is one of Connecticut’s most sparsely populated towns. It’s one of its most beautiful, too, with plenty of frontage on the Connecticut River, salt marshes galore, and the utterly charming Hamburg Cove right in its midst. It seems almost too good to be true that Lyme also has excellent schools, a very low crime rate and a solid local economy.

We move up to Litchfield County for the next four top finishers. Norfolk is the only town in this population group with above-average scores across the board. Bethlehem also offers some well-rounded numbers as well as a pretty good annual agricultural fair.

Way across the state in Windham County, No. 6 Eastford pre­sents a lovely prospect to young families looking to move: good schools (or at least good test scores), a low crime rate and relatively low real estate prices.
A brief word about crime statistics and these very small towns: The “safest” town is Hartland, which averages about five crimes a year, but even the town with the highest crime rate, Union, reports only one crime a month. Crime probably shouldn’t be a factor when comparing these towns.

It should be pointed out that a good score in the “Leisure” category among these smallest of towns generally indicates an active and well-supported library. Only a handful of towns, such as Cornwall and Kent, offer shopping, galleries and restaurants. For the most part these are towns in which historical societies hold sway and crickets provide the nightlife.

  Town Education Crime Economy Cost Leisure Total
 1. Lyme 1 8 2 26 4 41
 2. Norfolk 2 13 12 9 5 41
 3. Bridgewater 7.5 2 5 25 6 45.5
 4. Sharon 19 10 4 18 3 54
 5. Bethlehem 10 6 13 17 9 55
 6. Eastford 9 4 18 7 19 57
 7. Andover 3 7 20 12 16 58
 8. Warren 12.5 5 7 19 15 58.5
 9. Roxbury 7.5 21 1 27 8 64.5
 10. Goshen 12.5 11 8 23 10 64.5
 11. Hartland 18 1 15 8 24 66
 12. Kent 16 20 6 24 1 67
 13. Canaan 12.5 18 10 20 7 67.5
 14. Cornwall 17 24 3 22 2 68
 15. Colebrook 4 15 9 15 26 69
 16. Union 6 27 11 14 12 70
 17. Scotland 25 9 19 3 18 74
 18. Voluntown 24 12 23 2 14 75
 19. Morris 12.5 17 14 21 11 75.5
 20. Hampton 21 3 24 11 22 81
 21. North Canaan 20 22 22 5 13 82
 22. Barkhamsted 5 16 21 16 25 83
 23. Franklin 15 26 16 13 17 87
 24. Sterling 27 14 26 4 21 92
 25. Chaplin 26 19 25 6 20 96
 26. Sprague 23 25 27 1 23 99
 27. Bozrah 22 23 17 10 27 99

 

Ties broken by voter turnout in 2008 election

HOW TO READ THE CHART

The chart above represents the 27 Connecticut towns with populations below 3,500. The best possible rating in any category is 1 and the worst is 27. Remember: Low scores are best. 

Rating the Towns 2010: Population Under 3,500

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