Rating the Towns 2012: 3,500-6,500

 

Look at a map of Connecticut and you’ll see that Marlborough, geographically speaking, looks like the Florida of Hartford County—a peninsula extending out to the southeast, sur­rounded on three sides not by salt water, but by Middlesex, New London and Tolland counties. Whatever its shape or location, Marlborough’s leap from No. 16 two years ago to No. 1 this time is remarkable. The town enjoyed improvements in all categories except Education, but even that remains solid.     

As for No. 2 Harwinton, it rose from No. 11 last time around without extreme highs or lows in any category, but decent-to-good numbers across the board. With moderate housing prices and above-average schools, it would seem to be a good place to raise a family.

The next two finishers—Washington and Sherman—offer a lot of what Litchfield County is good at: pastoral views, winding lanes, distant hills and a slight New York accent. Next in line, No. 5 Ashford, offers those things, too, at a deep discount, although the local accent tends to be more Rhode Island than New York.

Among the movers this time around are Connecticut River Valley cousins Chester and Deep River, both of which rode worsening crime numbers down from No. 1 to No. 7 (Chester) and No. 3 to No. 8 (Deep River). Conversely, Bolton and Pomfret showed great improvement in the Crime category and rose, with Bolton going from No. 19 to No. 6 and Pomfret from No. 17 to No. 11.

Click Here to see the stats for the Top 10 Towns.

Town
Education
Crime
Economy
Cost
Leisure
Total
1. Marlborough
7
9
13
9
4
42
2. Harwinton
9
13
6
6
10
44
3. Washington
14
7
2
24
1
48
4. Sherman
10
5
3
22
9
49
5. Ashford
13
2
22
1
11
49
6. Bolton
3
4
20
17
8
52
7. Chester
5
17
4
21
7
54
8. Deep River
6
12
8
18
12
56
9. East Granby
8
19
11
14
5
57
10. Bethany
1
10
9
20
17
57
11. Pomfret
15
1
15
8
18
57
12. Columbia
23
11
10
12
2
58
13. Bethlehem
18
3
5
19
13
58
14. Salem
2
6
17
15
19
59
15. Willington
11
15
12
10
15.5
63.5
16. Salisbury
16
20.5
1
23
6
66.5
17. Middlefield
12
18
18
16
3
67
18. Canterbury
21
8
21
2
24
76
19. Barkhamsted
4
20.5
19
13
20.5
77
20. North Stonington
17
22
7
11
20.5
77.5
21. Preston
19
23
16
4
15.5
77.5
22. Beacon Falls
22
16
23
7
14
82
23. Lisbon
20
24
14
3
23
84
24. Sterling
24
14
24
5
22
89

HOW TO READ THE CHART
The chart at right shows the 24 Connecticut towns with populations between 3,500 and 6,500. The best possible rating in any category is 1 and the worst is 24. Remember: Low scores are good. Ties were broken in favor of the town with the higher voter turnout.

For the Towns with Population 10,000 and up, click here

This article appeared in the March 2012 issue of Connecticut Magazine

Rating the Towns 2012: 3,500-6,500

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