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State of Connecticut
State flag of Connecticut State seal of Connecticut
(Flag of Connecticut) (Seal of Connecticut)
State nickname: The Constitution State
Map of the U.S. with Connecticut highlighted
Other U.S. States
Capital Hartford
Largest city Bridgeport
Governor M. Jodi Rell (R)
Senators Chris Dodd (D)

Joe Lieberman (D)

Official language(s) English
Area 14,371 km² (48th)
 - Land 12,559 km²
 - Water 1,809 km² (12.6%)
Population (2000)
 - Population 3,405,565 (29th)
 - Density 271.40 /km² (4th)
Admission into Union
 - Date January 9, 1788
 - Order 5th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Latitude 40°58'N to 42°3'N
Longitude 71°47'W to 73°44'W
Width 113 km
Length 177 km
 - Highest point 725 m
 - Mean 152 m
 - Lowest point 0 m
 - ISO 3166-2 US-CT
Web site

Connecticut (pronounced /kəˈnɛtɪkət/) is a state of the United States, part of the New England region, as well as the southernmost state in New England and the wealthiest state in the country. Connecticut was one of the thirteen colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution.

USS Connecticut was named in honor of this state.



Main article: History of Connecticut

The name "Connecticut" comes from an Algonquin Indian word meaning "on the long tidal river." Connecticut is one of the original 13 states. The first Europeans to settle permanently in Connecticut were English Puritans from Massachusetts in 1633. Its first constitution, the "Fundamental Orders," was adopted on January 14, 1639, while its current constitution, the third for Connecticut, was adopted in 1965. The traditional abbreviation of the state's name is "Conn." Connecticut is nicknamed the "nutmeg state," and a resident of Connecticut is a "Nutmegger."

The western boundaries of Connecticut have been subject to dramatic changes over time. According to a 1650 agreement with the Dutch, the western boundary of Connecticut ran north from the west side of Greenwich Bay "provided the said line come not within 10 miles of Hudson River." On the other hand, Connecticut's original Charter in 1662 granted it all the land to the "South Sea," i.e. the Pacific Ocean. Agreements with New York, a war with Pennsylvania, Congressional intervention, and the sale of the Western Reserve lands brought the state to its present boundaries.

Law and government

- Hartford has been the sole capital of Connecticut since 1875. Prior to that, New Haven and Hartford alternated as capital. Unlike most other states, Connecticut does not have county governments or county seats; rather, there is only the state government and the governments of the local municipalities, which makes living in the state even more expensive. The associated state marshal system, however, is still divided by county, the judicial system being divided, at the trial court level, into judicial districts, and, within those, geographical areas, and the eight counties are still widely used for purely geographical purposes, e.g. in weather reports. There are 169 incorporated cities and towns across the state. Most cities are coterminal with their namesake towns and have a merged city-town government. The sole exception is the City of Groton, which is a subsection of the Town of Groton. There are also 9 incorporated boroughs, eight of which provide additional services to a section of town. One, Naugatuck, is a merged town-borough. - - The two U.S. senators representing Connecticut are Christopher J. Dodd (Democrat) and Joseph I. Lieberman (Democrat). Connecticut currently has five representatives in the U.S. House. - - Once considered one of the most conservative states in the Northeast, the state now tends to vote Democratic for presidential and congressional elections. Connecticut has given its electoral votes to Democratic presidential candidates in the past four presidential elections. In 2004 election, John Kerry had a comfortable margin of 10 percentage points with 54.3% of Connecticut's popular vote. George W. Bush had only won Litchfield County at a small margin. Connecticut Republicans tend to be more liberal than their counterparts in many other states. The majority of Republican senators voted in favor of the civil unions bill, which passed the General Assembly, and was signed into law in 2005. Christopher Shays, a Republican representing Connecticut in the U.S. House of Representatives, has sided with the Democrats on a range of issues including gun control, abortion, and the environment. Governor Jodi Rell and former governors John Rowland and Lowell Weicker have all been considered more liberal than most Republicans. Conversely, some state Democrats tend to be conservative or moderate, Senators Joe Lieberman and Christopher Dodd being the most notable cases. - - The supreme executive power is vested in the Governor, who heads the executive branch. The current Governor of Connecticut is Her Excellency, M. Jodi Rell (Republican). There are several executive departments responsible for administering the laws of Connecticut, they are: Administrative Services, Agriculture, Children and Families, Correction, Education, Environmental Protection, Higher Education, Information Technology, Insurance, Labor, Military, Motor Vehicles, Public Health, Public Utility, Revenue Services, Social Services, Transportation, Veterans Affairs. In addition to these departments, there are many other independent bureaus, offices and commissions [1]. Historically, from 1639 until the adoption of the 1818 constitution, the Governor presided over the General Assembly. -


Connecticut is bordered on the south by Long Island Sound, on the west by New York State, on the north by Massachusetts, and on the east by Rhode Island. The state capital is Hartford, and the other major cities include New Haven, New London, Norwich, Stamford, Waterbury, Torrington and Bridgeport. In all, there are a total of 169 incorporated towns in Connecticut. There is an ongoing civic pride and economic competition between Hartford and New Haven, which stems back to the days when the two cities shared the state's capital, and even back to when New Haven and Hartford were two separate colonies.

Bear Mountain, highest peak in Connecticut
Bear Mountain, highest peak in Connecticut
Highest point in Connecticut on slope of Mount Frissell, as seen from Bear Mountain
Highest point in Connecticut on slope of Mount Frissell, as seen from Bear Mountain

The highest peak in Connecticut is Bear Mountain in Salisbury in the northwest corner of the state. Once the location of a stone tower, currently a stone plaque alongside the Appalachian Trail identifies the point as as "the highest ground in Connecticut, 2354 feet above the sea"; however, this is wrong on both counts. The current estimate of the height of the summit is only 2,316 feet; and although it is the highest peak in Connecticut, it is not actually the highest point in the state. That distinction belongs to an anonymous location a mile to the northwest and a quarter-mile east of the point where Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York meet (42° 3' N; 73° 29' W), on the southern slope of 2,453 foot high Mount Frissell whose peak lies 740 feet north in Massachusetts. Only a green metal stake set into a rock ledge marks this, the 2,372 foot (723 meters) high top of Connecticut. According to, this makes Connecticut the only state whose highest point is not also its highest peak.

The Connecticut River cuts through the center of the state, flowing into Long Island Sound, Connecticut's outlet to the Atlantic Ocean. See: List of Connecticut rivers

Erroneous inscription at summit of Bear Mountain
Erroneous inscription at summit of Bear Mountain

The state, although small, has regional variations in its landscape and culture from the wealthy estates of Fairfield County's "Gold Coast" to the rolling mountains and farms of the Litchfield Hills and the casinos of Southeastern Connecticut. Connecticut's rural areas and small towns in the northeast and northwest corners of the state contrast sharply with its industrial cities, located along the coastal highways from the New York border to New Haven, then northwards to Hartford, as well as further up the coast near New London. Many towns center around a small park, known as a "green," e.g. New Haven Green. Near the green may stand a small white church, a town meeting hall, a tavern and several colonial houses. Forests, rivers, lakes, waterfalls and a sandy shore add to the state's beauty.

The northern boundary of the state with Massachusetts is marked by the distinctive Southwick Jog, an approximately 2.5 mile square detour into Connecticut slightly west of the center of the border. Somewhat surprisingly, the actual origin of this anomaly is not absolutely certain, with stories ranging from surveyors who were drunk, attempting to avoid hostile Native Americans, or taking a shortcut up the Connecticut River; Massachusetts residents attempting to avoid Massachusetts' (even then) high taxes for the (even then) low taxes of Connecticut; Massachusetts' interest in the resources represented by the Congamond Lakes which lie on the border of the jog; and the need to compensate Massachusetts for an amount of land given to Connecticut due to inaccurate survey work.[2] [3] [4] Perhaps the only suggested reason which can be safely ruled out is that the jog is necessary to prevent Massachusetts from sliding out into the Atlantic Ocean. In any event, the dispute over the border retarded the development of the region, since neither state would invest in even such basic amenities as schools for the area until the dispute had been settled.

The southwestern border of Connecticut, where it abuts New York State, is marked by a panhandle in Fairfield County, containing Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan, and Darien, housing some of the wealthiest residents in the world. This irregularity in the boundary is the result of territorial disputes in the late 1600s, culminating with New York giving up its claim to this area, whose residents considered themselves part of Connecticut, in exchange for an equivalent area extending northwards from Ridgefield, Connecticut to the Massachusetts border as well as undisputed claim to Rye, New York.[5]

See also: Geology of Connecticut

Regions of Connecticut


The state of Connecticut can be said to be sub-divided into eight general regions which generally correspond with the eight counties of the state, though there are differences in the boundaries. Each region boasts varied qualities which distinguish it within the state, and at times there are minor cultural frictions between the regions and their major cultural centers as each competes for tourists, new residents, and internal state pride. Fairfield County's "Gold Coast," for example, is often derided by residents of the rest of the state as being more similar to New York than to New England, and many of the residents go for years or even decades without ever traveling to other regions of the state, considering themselves more attached to New York City and its suburbs in eastern New York State.

The eight regions of Connecticut are:


Transportation in Connecticut is predominantly via highway. There is railway service along the coastline from New York City to Boston, including commuter rail service between New Haven and New York and a new commuter service along the river north of New Haven, with spur service running northwards to cities such as Hartford. (In an episode of the American television show Miracles, the protagonist took a train from Boston directly to Hartford, causing Connecticut residents to joke that that would really have been a miracle.) Bus service is supplied by Connecticut Transit, owned by the Connecticut Department of Transportation. In practice, most Connecticut residents find public transportation not fully adequate for all their needs and either own a private vehicle or have access to one.

The glaciers carved valleys in Connecticut running north to south; as a result, many more roadways in the state run north to south than do east to west, mimicking the previous use of the many north-south rivers as transportation. The Interstate highways in the state are I-95 (the Connecticut Turnpike) running southwest to northeast along the coast, I-84 running southwest to northeast in the center of the state, I-91 running north to south in the center of the state, and I-395 running north to south near the eastern border of the state. The other major interstate traffic arteries in Connecticut are the Merritt Parkway and Wilbur Cross Parkway, which together form Connecticut State Route 15, running from the Hutchinson River Parkway in New York State parallel to I-95 before turning north of New Haven and running parallel to I-91, finally becoming a surface road in Berlin, Connecticut. This road and I-95 were originally toll roads; they relied on a system of toll plazas at which all traffic would stop and pay an incremental fare, rather than the alternative system of providing drivers a ticket where they entered the highway and charging them when they exited. A series of terrible crashes at these plazas eventually led to abandonment of the whole toll system in 1988. Other major arteries in the state include State Routes 8 and 25 and U.S. Route 7.

I-95 from south of New Haven to the New York border is one of the most congested highways in the United States due to increasing population density, increasing business in the New York area, and a general increase in American driving, and the congestion spills over to clog the parallel Merritt Parkway. At rush hours, multiple backups tens of miles long are common, and the daily radio broadcasts of where crashes have completely blocked traffic are a fact of life for commuters in this area. As a result, commuter rail is also heavily crowded, along with parking facilities and traffic at the stations. Funds to relieve the situation, either by enhancing commuter rail, increasing highway capacity, or both, are lacking, and the problem is noted as one hindering further economic development for the state.

See [6] for a very complete and in-depth discussion of Connecticut roadways, current, past, and future.


The total gross state product for 2004 was $187 billion. The per capita income for 2004 was $55,398, ranking 1st among the states [7]. There is, however, a great disparity in incomes through the state; although New Canaan has the highest per capita income in America, Hartford, is one of the ten cities with the lowest per capita incomes in America. This is due to Fairfield County having become a bedroom community for higher paid New York City workers seeking a less urban lifestyle, as well as the spread of businesses outwards from New York City having reached into southwestern Connecticut, most notably to Stamford. The state did not have an income tax until 1991, making it an attractive haven for high earners fleeing the heavy taxes of New York State, but putting an enormous burden on Connecticut property tax payers, particularly in the cities with their more extensive municipal services. As a result, the middle class largely fled the urban areas for the suburbs, taking stores and other tax-paying businesses with them, and leaving only the urban poor in the now impoverished Connecticut cities. As evident from the dichotomy in income figures described above, this problem has yet to be successfully solved. Exacerbating this problem, the state has a very high cost of living, due to a combination of expensive real estate, expensive heating for the winters, the need to import much food from warmer states, and the dependence on private automobiles for mobility.

While Connecticut is home to four poor cities (Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven and Waterbury), the state in general is extremely wealthy. Surrounding these four cities are some of the wealthiest areas on the globe, and many visitors of the state note the lack of middle class. This is due to the exodus of the middle class, as homes in the suburbs start around $450,000, and the further south in the state, the more expensive. In southern Connecticut, a three bedroom home on 1/4 acre will run about $1 million. Connecticut has the highest amount of million-dollar plus homes than any other state in the country.

Connecticut is an important center of the insurance and financial industries, largely in Hartford and in Fairfield county. The recent establishment of two very large and lucrative Indian casinos in the southeastern region of the state has led to a large influx of money in that area, as well as statewide in general.

The agricultural output for the state is nursery stock, eggs, dairy products, cattle, and tobacco. Its industrial outputs are transportation equipment (especially helicopters, aircraft parts, and nuclear submarines), heavy industrial machinery and electrical equipment, fabricated metal products, chemical and pharmaceutical products, and scientific instruments.


Historical populations

1790 237,946
1800 251,002
1810 261,942
1820 275,248
1830 297,675
1840 309,978
1850 370,792
1860 460,147
1870 537,454
1880 622,700
1890 746,258
1900 908,420
1910 1,114,756
1920 1,380,631
1930 1,606,903
1940 1,709,242
1950 2,007,280
1960 2,535,234
1970 3,031,709
1980 3,107,576
1990 3,287,116
2000 3,405,565

As of 2004, the population of Connecticut was 3,503,604. Between 1990 and 2004 the state's population grew by 217,000, or 6.6%. As of 2004, 11.4% of the population (400,000) was foreign-born, and 10% of the foreign-born in the state were illegal aliens (about 1.1% of the population).


The racial makeup of Connecticut:


As of 2000, 81.7% of Connecticut residents age 5 and older speak English at home and 8.4% speak Spanish. Italian is the third most spoken language at 1.6%, followed by French at 1.6% and Polish at 1.2%.


The five largest reported ancestries in the state are: Italian (18.6%), Irish (16.6%), English (10.3%), German (9.9%), African American (9.1%).

Connecticut has a large Italian-American population, although residents of British, Irish, German, and other ancestries are also present, with old-stock Americans being the largest percentage of the population in the eastern part of the state. Italian is the largest ancestry group in five of the state's counties, while the Irish are the largest group in Tolland county, French-Canadians the largest group in Windham county, and old stock New England Yankees being present throughout. Connecticut is the second most Italian-American state percentage-wise, after Rhode Island. Blacks and Hispanics (mostly Puerto Ricans) are numerous in the urban areas of the state.

6.6% of its population was reported as being under 5 years old, 24.7% under 18 years old, and 13.8% were 65 years of age or older. Females made up approximately 51.6% of the population, with 48.4% male.


The religious affiliations of the people of Connecticut are:

There is a significant Jewish population in the state, mostly concentrated in the "Gold Coast" towns between Greenwich and New Haven and in the Hartford suburb of West Hartford. New Haven once had a significant Jewish population, but it has mostly moved elsewhere, although there is still a large concentration in the suburban towns west of New Haven. Recent immigration has brought other non-Christian religions to the state, but the numbers of adherents of other religions are still low.

Important cities and towns

Population > 100,000 (urbanized area)

Population > 10,000 (urbanized area)

Important Suburbs

25 richest places in Connecticut

Ranked by per capita income:

  1. New Canaan, Connecticut $82,049
  2. Darien, Connecticut $77,519
  3. Weston, Connecticut $74,817
  4. Greenwich, Connecticut $74,346
  5. Westport, Connecticut $73,664
  6. Deep River Center, Connecticut $72,261
  7. Wilton, Connecticut $65,806
  8. Fenwick, Connecticut $60,625
  9. Roxbury, Connecticut $56,769
  10. Georgetown, Connecticut $55,029
  11. Easton, Connecticut $53,885
  12. Essex Village, Connecticut $51,928
  13. Ridgefield, Connecticut $51,795
  14. Avon, Connecticut $51,706
  15. Groton Long Point, Connecticut $51,066
  16. Redding, Connecticut $50,687
  17. Woodbridge, Connecticut $49,049
  18. Sharon, Connecticut $45,418
  19. Fairfield, Connecticut $43,670
  20. Oxford, Connecticut $43,347
  21. Essex, Connecticut $42,806
  22. Bridgewater, Connecticut $42,505
  23. Cornwall, Connecticut $42,484
  24. Madison Center, Connecticut $42,046
  25. Old Lyme, Connecticut $41,386
See Richest Places in Connecticut for full list, by county and by municipality.


Colleges and universities

Sports teams

Minor League Hockey Teams:

Minor League Baseball Teams:

Connecticut in the mass media

See List of television shows set in Connecticut


Connecticut is the only state with two verbs of opposite meanings in its name—connect and cut.

External links

Flag of Connecticut

State of Connecticut




Greater New Haven | Greater Hartford | Litchfield Hills | Lower Connecticut River Valley | Naugatuck River Valley | New York metropolitan area/Gold Coast | Quiet Corner | Southeastern Connecticut

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