Rating the Towns 2011: Population Over 50,000
After falling behind Fairfield in the 2009 rankings, Greenwich has regained what it probably believes to be its rightful place at No. 1. Its school test scores wavered a bit a couple of years ago but now have resumed the top spot. Still, you may wish to save over a million dollars on the median price of a house and consider Fairfield, where the schools, crime rate and local economy are exemplary, and the views of Long Island Sound can be just as sweet.
Elsewhere, Stamford and West Hartford have switched places at Nos. 3 and 4. Both cities continue to see interesting residential, retail and restaurant changes in their downtowns (both are well worth a trip). Meriden made slight improvements in this population group in school results, crime and its above-average library expenditures per capita to move from last place in 2009 up to No. 12 this time. Meanwhile, Stratford benefits from going over 50,000 in population, according to the 2010 census, and joining this larger group. Last time, it languished near the bottom of the 25,000-to-50,000 group, but here it cracks the Top 10.
As a group, the state’s most populous cities continued their struggle with poor schools, high crime and shaky local economies. However, as we’ve pointed out before, if you don’t have school-age children and aren’t particularly worried about crime, a few of the major cities offer rich cultural amenities and a lot of house, condo or apartment for your money. New Haven and Hartford finished well ahead in the number of cultural outlets available, from concerts and theater to good restaurants galore.
|4. W. Hartford||3||7||7||15||5||37|
|13. New Haven||15||19||17||6||1||58|
|17. West Haven||12||13||12||8||18||63|
|18. New Britain||17||16||16||3||12||64|
|19. E. Hartford||14||14||14||7||19||68|
HOW TO READ THE CHART
The chart at right shows the 26 Connecticut towns with populations between 25,000 and 50,000. The best possible rating in any category is 1 and the worst is 26. Remember: Low scores are good. Ties were broken in favor of the town with the higher voter turnout.
This article appeared in the November 2011 issue of Connecticut MagazineRating the Towns 2011: Population Over 50,000