Greenwich, Connecticut

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Greenwich is a town located in Fairfield County, Connecticut. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 61,101. The town is served by the Metro North Railroad (the four stations are called Greenwich, Cos Cob, Riverside and Old Greenwich) and is approximately a 50 minute train ride to Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. It is home to many hedge funds and other financial service companies that have left Manhattan. It is also the southernmost town in New England. The town is famous for its wealth: it is the second richest place in the country with a population of 20,000 or more.


General information

The Town of Greenwich has one political body, but consists of several distinct sections with their own mailing addresses and zip codes, such as Cos Cob, Riverside, Old Greenwich and Greenwich (sometimes referred to as central or downtown Greenwich). Byram, Glenville, Pemberwick and Rock Ridge are other neighborhoods that use the Greenwich name and zip code for their mailing addresses. There are many other neighborhoods within Greenwich such as Belle Haven, Banksville, Chickahominy, Milbank, Milbrook and Mianus to name a few.

The town has three Selectmen and a Representative Town Meeting (RTM). The RTM must approve all budgets, and consists of 230 elected representatives, which is more than the State Senate and State House combined. RTM members are not paid. The three selectmen are elected on a town-wide basis, although each person can only vote for two members. This assures that there will almost always be one Democrat and two Republicans or two Democrats and one Republican. While voter registration is skewed in the Republican's favor, they do not have a lock on the First Selectman's chair, and Democrats have held the seat recently. Many of the other town committees have equal representation between Democrats and Republicans, regardless of the vote breakdown, since each individual can only vote for half as many seats as are available.

The downtown area of Greenwich consists primarily of Greenwich Avenue, a one way street that has many restaurants, boutiques, and antique shops, all located on extraordinarily expensive retail space. Greenwich Avenue is also somewhat unique in that it does not have traffic lights, but instead has individual traffic officers at each intersection directing traffic. The sections of the town each have smaller shopping areas, but these are much smaller than Greenwich Avenue.

Interstate 95 goes through the southern end of town, and there are four exits from I-95 in Greenwich, exits 2 through 5. The Boston Post Road (also known as East or West Putnam Avenue or simply Route 1) also goes through town, as does the Merritt Parkway, although the Merritt Parkway is a considerable distance from the downtown area. In 1983, the Mianus River Bridge, which carries traffic on Interstate 95 over an estuary, collapsed, resulting in the death of three people. Highway traffic had to be diverted onto local streets. Later investigations revealed that two of the pin-and-hanger assemblies holding the support beams had failed. The safety of similarly constructed bridges such as the famous Harvard Bridge was brought into question and investigated.

Real estate in Greenwich is very expensive when compared to the national average, and is about on par with some nearby communities such as Darien, Westport and New Canaan. The high property values, however, cause property taxes to be very low, on a percentage basis. Greenwich is officially considered the wealthiest town in Connecticut, however New Canaan had higher median household and per capita incomes per the 2000 census.

The town has four beaches on Long Island Sound which are Greenwich Point, Byram Beach, Island Beach and Captain's Island. Originally, Greenwich Point (often referred to as Tod's Point), which is on a peninsula and also includes picnic areas, was open only to town residents and their guests. However, a lawyer from nearby Stamford, Connecticut sued, saying his rights to freedom of assembly were threatened because he was not allowed to go there. The lower courts disagreed, but the Supreme Court of Connecticut agreed, and Greenwich was forced to amend its beach access policy to all four beaches. A single-visit beach pass for non-residents is $10 per person and $20 per car and must be purchased at the town hall or the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center.

Historical populations

Greenwich was settled in 1640, and incorporated in 1665.

Sources: Interactive Connecticut State Register & Manual and U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 174.2 km² (67.2 mi²). 123.9 km² (47.8 mi²) of it is land and 50.3 km² (19.4 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 28.88% water. Greenwich is twice the size of Manhattan in terms of area.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 61,101 people, 23,230 households, and 16,237 families residing in the town. The population density is 493.2/km² (1,277.6/mi²). There are 24,511 housing units at an average density of 197.9/km² (512.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the town is 90.02% White, 1.66% African American, 0.09% Native American, 5.18% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.46% from other races, and 1.57% from two or more races. 6.29% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 23,230 households out of which 33.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.4% are married couples living together, 8.0% have a female householder with no husband present, and 30.1% are non-families. 24.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.9% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.60 and the average family size is 3.12.

In the town the population is spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 4.1% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.9% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 40 years. For every 100 females there are 90.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 85.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town is $99,086 USD, and the median income for a family is $122,719. Males have a median income of $95,085 versus $47,799 for females. The per capita income for the town is $74,346. 4.0% of the population and 2.5% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 4.1% of those under the age of 18 and 3.2% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Greenwich was the highest income place with a population of 60,000 or more in 2000.

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