The 10 Fastest-Growing Cities in Connecticut
From its rich history to beautiful nature, Connecticut has it all. It’s no wonder that roughly 3.6 million people choose to call the state home. Maybe you’re considering making a move to “The Constitution State.” But with many wonderful cities to choose from like Hartford, Milford, and Manchester, it can be a challenge figuring out what city you should call your next home. Not to worry. We compiled a list of the fastest-growing cities in Connecticut, which saw the largest population increase from 2017 to 2021. From Waterbury to New Haven, see what cities made the list.
#1: Waterbury, CT
First on our list is Waterbury, CT, which is best known for its brass industry – in fact, the city is nicknamed the “Brass Capital of the World.” Waterbury currently has a population of around 113,800, which is an increase of 5% from 2017.
If you are planning on living in Waterbury, there are a lot of unique activities you can try out, from parks including Fulton Park, Hamilton Park, and Bucks Hill Park to a bustling arts and entertainment scene with museums like the Mattatuck Museum and entertainment venues such as Palace Theater and Seven Angels Theatre. There are also a handful of restaurants that are sure to please, including Signatures, La Tavola, and Brass City Bistro.
#2: Stamford, CT
Known for being a suburb of New York City and for being home to many financial and insurance companies, Stamford, CT takes the number two spot on our list of the fastest-growing cities in Connecticut. The city saw a 5% increase in population to its current population of around 136,300.
There are a handful of fun things to do in Stamford, such as enjoying a picnic at Scalzi Park,, grabbing a bite to eat at Brasitas, Fish Restaurant + Bar, and Bartaco, exploring museums like the Stamford Museum & Nature Center, or catching a show at the Stamford Center for the Arts. There is no shortage of excitement while living in Stamford.
#3: New Haven, CT
New Haven, CT is the home of Yale University and is known for its vibrant and diverse food scene. If you are considering moving to New Haven, there are plenty of things you can do. If you want to if you are itching to try a local restaurant, check out Prime 16, Pacifico, or Barracuda Bistro & Bar. After a delicious bite, you can visit parks like East Rock Park, Edgewood Park, and Edgerton Park. Lastly, be sure to get tickets to a show at College Street Music Hall, Toad’s Place, or Westville Music Bowl.
The population of New Haven, CT is nearly 135,100, a 3% increase since 2017.
#4: Norwalk, CT
Norwalk, CT is located on the Long Island Sound and is a popular destination for boating and fishing. The city is also home to several historical sites, including the Norwalk Islands, which are popular tourist destinations. Norwalk is the fourth fastest-growing city in Connecticut. Its population is at around 91,200, accounting for a 3% increase.
There are many fun activities to do while living in Norwalk, from venturing through Cranbury Park, Shady Beach Park, and Mathews Park to grabbing a bite to eat at Tablao SoNo, Oak and Almond, and Osteria Romana. If you love the arts and entertainment, be sure to check out the Stepping Stones Museum for Children, Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, and Wall Street Theater.
#5: Danbury, CT
If you’re looking for a new place to call home, look no further than Danbury, CT. The city is home to Western Connecticut State University. It is known for its charm and arts and culture opportunities. Danbury’s population increased by 3% to nearly 86,800 residents.
Want to know what it’s like living in Danbury? Try one of these activities: watching the sunrise at Lake Kenosia Park and Rogers Park, checking out artifacts at Danbury Railway Museum and Hammon Museum & Japanese Stroll Garden, watching a show at the Ives Concert Park, or eating delicious food at Rosy Tomorrow’s, The Cue Restaurant, or Edo. Regardless of your interests, you’re guaranteed to find something to love about Danbury.
#6: Bridgeport, CT
The sixth fastest-growing city in Connecticut is Bridgeport which is best known for being a charming, easy-going city on the New England shore. There are many great places to explore in Bridgeport, such as trying delicious food at Ralph ‘n’ Rich’s, Hub and Spoke, and Joseph’s Steakhouse, checking out a museum such as The Barnum Museum, reading a book at Seaside Park and Ellsworth Park, or catching a show at The Bijou Theatre and Park City Music Hall.
The city grew 2% since 2017 to its current population of around 148,350.
#7: New Britain, CT
Considering moving to New Britain, CT? Known as the “Hardware Capital of the World, New Britain is the international headquarters of the tool manufacturer Stanley Black & Decker. The city currently has a population of about 73,850, a 2% increase since 2017.
There are a lot of fun activities to explore throughout the city, such as museums like the New Britain Museum of American Art and parks like Stanley Quarter Park and Walnut Hill Park. Be sure to grab a bite to eat at Mofongo Restaurant, Criollisimo Restaurant, and Starpolska Restaurant, and afterward catch a show at Trinity-On-Main and Hole In the Wall Theater.
#8: Meriden, CT
Meriden, CT comes in at eighth on our list and is best known for being the home of the Silver City Galleria and the largest mall in Central Connecticut. It saw an increase of 1% to its current population of 60,517. If you’re curious about what there is to do in Meriden, CT, look no further as there are a lot of great parks such as Hubbard Park and venues like NULL. Be sure to grab a bite to eat at Banana Brazil, Lido’s Pizza Restaurant, and Olympos Diner for a taste of what the city has to offer.
#9: Bristol, CT
Bristol, CT is known for its close proximity to New York City and its diverse population. The city is also home to several businesses and cultural institutions, including the Bristol Museum of Art, the Bristol Public Library, and the Bristol Symphony Orchestra. The city comes in at ninth with around 60,700 residents calling it home, a 0.88% increase.
Curious about what it’s like living in Bristol? Well, there are many fun things you can check out. You can play sports at Page Park and Rockwell Park. If you love food, be sure to pay a visit to Latin Cravings, Uncle Sam’s Restaurant, and Rodd’s Restaurant. If you admire the arts and entertainment scene, make sure you pay a visit to Bleachers, New England Carousel Museum, and American Clock & Watch Museum.
#10: West Haven, CT
Rounding off our list at number ten is West Haven, CT. The city is best known for its beaches, including West Haven Beach and Sandy Point Beach. The city is also home to the University of New Haven and the West Haven Veterans Memorial. There was a 0.83% increase in population to its current population of around 55,300.
If you are considering moving to West Haven, there are a lot of activities that are sure to please. From parks like Savin Rock Park, Bradley Point Park, and Painter Park to restaurants like Saray Turkish Restaurant, Lorenzo’s Ristorante Italiano, and 744 West Bar & Grill, there is so much to explore.
Methodology: Population growth was calculated over a 5-year span (2017 vs. 2021). Only cities with a population of over 50,000 were used, as anything smaller is considered a town. Population data sourced from United States Census Bureau. Median home sale price data from the Redfin Data Center during August 2022. Average rental data from Rent.com during August 2022.
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