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.
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