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CT Has Some of the Best & Worst Cities to Live, According to Separate Reports

Connecticut cities have recently topped two separate lists — one listing the best places to live in the nation, and the other ranking the worst. 

To start with the good news, Livability — a marketing and content resource to help cities attract and retain residents and businesses — recently included Norwalk and Danbury on the 2023 version of its “Top 100 Best Places to Live in the U.S.” report. Each city was given a ‘LivScore’ that measures a city’s economy, housing and cost of living, amenities, transportation, environment, safety, education and health. Norwalk scored 761 and Danbury 722.  

For context, the highest-ranking cities were Johns Creek, Ga. (877), Flower Mound, Texas (872) and Carmel, Ind., (866). The lowest, meanwhile, was Fall River, Mass., at 716.  

The outlet only considered cities with populations between 75,000 and 500,000, to recognize the “unsung (or at least, less-sung) awesomeness of the many places outside of our largest metros — the cities where most Americans create dream careers, build families, launch businesses and lead meaningful lives.”  

“At Livability, we love small and mid-sized cities — the crowd-pleasing, best places to live that leave you with money left over after paying your rent or mortgage,” the outlet states on its website.  

The inclusion of two Connecticut cities is noteworthy as none from the Nutmeg State appeared on Livability’s 2022 list 

But now the bad news.  

On June 20, WalletHub — a personal finance website — published its “2023 Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America” study that featured 149 cities across the country, including several Connecticut cities.  

Hartford ranked toward the bottom at 142, while Bridgeport and New Haven were 42 and 126, respectively. Conversely, the top three were Nampa, Idaho, Lexington-Fayetteville, Ky., and Nashua, N.H. 

WalletHub examined each city’s graduation rate, quality of roads, air pollution, infant mortality rate (of which Bridgeport had the 4th lowest), median annual household income and unemployment rate (both of which Hartford ranked among the worst).  

Broken down, the criteria measured for each city was also based on financial stability, education, health, safety, economy and infrastructure & pollution. Below is a ranking of how Bridgeport, Hartford and New Haven fared in each category: 

City  Financial Stability  Education  Health  Safety  Economy  Infrastructure & Pollution 
Bridgeport  138  117  3  17  146  62 
Hartford  147  132  49  106  149  5 
New Haven  144  126  58  103  136  13 


As for free-market solutions to improve our cities, Yankee Institute published the 2023 “Charter for Change” that offers numerous ideas to invite and retain businesses like reducing (or repealing) the corporation business tax, eliminating wasteful taxes and fees, capping the growth of property tax among others. 

Andrew Fowler

Andrew Fowler joined Yankee Institute in July 2022 after four years in the communications department for the Knights of Columbus international headquarters in New Haven. In that span, he managed the organization’s social media accounts and wrote for the company’s various publications, including COLUMBIA magazine, which is delivered to nearly two million members. Additionally, he is the curator of the Blessed Michael McGivney Pilgrimage Center’s online exhibit “K of C Baseball: An American Story,” that explores the intricate ties between the organization and the growth of the national pastime. He was also a production assistant for MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and the 2016 Dinesh D’Souza film, “Hillary’s America.” Andrew currently serves on the Milford Board of Education. He is an avid runner and basketball fan, cinephile, and an aspiring musician and author. He graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2015.

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