Rating the Towns 2012: Under 3,500

 

As we begin our analysis of these smallest of Connecticut towns, a word of caution regarding the “Cost of Living” category. The results in this category are based upon the median price of houses sold during the past 18 months. However, the housing market has been so weak lately that barely any houses have sold in some of these towns. In Eastford, for example, since there were no sales at all, we had to go back to the previous two years. There was only a small handful of sales in Union, Cornwall and some of the others, so the number may not be truly reflective of the market as a whole. As always, use a little caution as you make comparisons.

Meanwhile, three of the new entries into the Top 5 here can boast of that much sought-after combination of good school results and low house prices. Hartland, Union and Eastford may be fairly distant from city lights, but for young families they may be just what the doctor ordered. The real estate in the three other top finishers—Lyme, Bridgewater and Roxbury—is far pricier, but each in its own way is an exemplar of the affluent, sophisticated little Connecticut town often depicted in books and movies.

A brief word about crime statistics and these very small towns: The “safest” town is Eastford, which averages fewer than six crimes a year, but even the town with the highest crime rate, Franklin, reports only about one offense every two weeks. Crime probably shouldn’t be much of a factor when comparing these towns.

It should also be pointed out that a good score in the “Leisure” category among these smallest of towns generally indicates an active and well-supported library and high voter turnout. Only a few, such as Cornwall and Kent, offer shopping, galleries and restaurants in significant number.

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

Town
Education
Crime
Economy
Cost
Leisure
Total
1. Lyme
1
8
3
23
4
39
2. Hartland
2
2
12
2
22
40
3. Union
6
5
19
3
9
42
4. Eastford
7
1
14
4
16
42
5. Bridgewater
8.5
6
5
22
5
46.5
6. Roxbury
8.5
15
1
24
3
51.5
7. Colebrook
3
7
9
10
23
52
8. Warren
14
4
6
17
12
53
9. Norfolk
4.5
17
10
18
6
55.5
10. Cornwall
11
23
4
19
1
58
11. Morris
14
9
11
15
11
60
12. Goshen
14
13
8
16
10
61
13. Kent
12
20
7
21
2
62
14. Sharon
18
14
2
20
8
62
15. Canaan
10
18
15
14
7
64
16. Andover
4.5
10
18
13
19.5
65
17. Hampton
21
3
22
5
18
69
18. North Canaan
17
19
20
1
17
74
19. Scotland
22
12
16
12
14.5
76.5
20. Franklin
16
24
13
11
14.5
78.5
21. Voluntown
20
16
21
9
13
79
22. Chaplin
24
11
23
6
21
85
23. Bozrah
19
21
17
8
24
89
24. Sprague
23
22
24
7
19.5
95.5

HOW TO READ THE CHART
The chart at right shows the 24 Connecticut towns with populations between under 3,500. 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: Under 3,500

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