Connecticut Magazine Rates State Cities and Towns (Part 4)

CT Magazine Rates State Cities and Towns

ConnecticutCities4

This is the fourth in a four part series highlighting the rating of  Connecticut cities and towns by Connecticut Magazine. In our first post, we focused on the largest cities in our state, those with populations of 50,000 or more; in our second post, we highlighted cities between 25,000 and 50,000 residents; and in our third post, we spoke about the locales with a population between 15,000 and 25,000 people. To recap, the publication set the following criteria for the rankings:

They first sorted the localities into four groups based on population:

  • 10,000 – 15,000
  • 15,000 – 25,000
  • 25,000 – 50,000
  • 50,000+ (Towns with populations below 10,000 will be featured in their own rankings in the March 2010 issue; see here for the 2007 rankings)

Then, information was collected in the quality-of-life criteria that are most important to residents:

  • Schools
  • Crime Rate
  • Cost of Living
  • Local Economy
  • Leisure/Cultural Outlets

Then the numbers were crunched and rankings were awarded based on how the towns scored in those criteria, with a “1” being the best score possible. In this last part of the series, we’ll be taking a look at the next population segment, between 10,000 and 15,000 residents, and specifically those in our market area:

10,000 – 15,000: Cromwell, North Branford Solidly in Mid-pack

Cromwell was solid in the #11 spot, mostly because of its leisure activities and relatively low cost of living. Meanwhile, North Branford was 2 places lower at #13, helped along by a low crime rate and stable economy, and actually fared better in those categories than Cromwell, but it wasn’t enough to move it any higher in the rankings. An interesting note is that the #2 town in this segment, Weston, would likely have been #1 if it wasn’t for a median home price of $830,000 which placed it dead last in that category. And that was still $135,000 LESS than the last time this survey was conducted!

Here are the full results for this population segment:

Town Education Crime Economy Cost Leisure Total
Old Saybrook 6 5 2 19 1 33
Weston 1 1 1 23 8 34
Granby 2 6 6 18 6 38
Tolland 9 4 10 14 10 47
New Fairfield 5 2 3 21 17 48
Orange 3 18 4 22 3 50
Suffield 4 17 5 13 13 52
Ledyard 13.5 7 16 10 7 53.5
Somers 8 9 9 20 9 55
Clinton 13.5 16 7 17 2 55.5
Cromwell 12 19 12 9 5 57
Colchester 15 10 13 11 11 60
N.Branford 16 8 11 15 12 62
E.Hampton 10 3 18 12 20 63
Ellington 7 11 15 16 14 63
Stafford 11 12 19 5 19 66
Coventry 17 13 14 8 16 68
Windsor Locks 21 21 8 3 15 68
Derby 23 23 22 6 4 78
Plainfield 22 14 20 1 23 80
Griswold 20 15 17 7 22 81
Plymouth 19 20 23 4 18 84
Winchester 18 22 21 2 21 84

So, that ends this four part series ranking the larger towns and cities of Connecticut. One thing we noticed while doing these posts is an almost perfectly inverse relationship between Cost of Living and the other four categories. If a town has a low cost of living, it invariably did poorly in Education, Crime Rate and Economy; in higher cost of living areas, the schools, crime rate and economy (and, to some extent, leisure activities) were all corresponding better. For the purposes of this survey, the cost of living took into account the median price of a single family home sold between January 2008 and June 2009 and the local property tax burden based on the 2007 equalized mill rate. Since there are more factors that influence an area’s cost of living, the observed disparity may be irrelevant in this case. But, we’re not economists nor do we play one on TV!

Remember, these rankings are not to be considered the last word in what the quality of life is in a particular city/town; however, they are a starting point and can be used as a point of comparison when making a decision about where to live in the state. There are many reasons for liking – or not liking – a specific city or town that transcend any statistical ranking or report, and only you can decide if a place is right for you and your family.

Be sure to come back in March when we cover the rankings of places in Connecticut with populations under 10,000 people!

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Comments

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  2. Pingback: Connecticut Magazine Rates the State’s Small Towns (Part 1) | Wallingford Wired

  3. Pingback: Connecticut Magazine Rates State Cities and Towns (Part 3) | Wallingford Wired

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