Connecticut, also known officially as the “Constitution State,” boasts of a rich historical background that stems from the New England region of the northeastern United States. The name Connecticut was derived from the word “Mohegan-Pequot” which translates to “long tidal river” and consequently refers to the “Connecticut River” which bisects the state.
Bordered by Long Island Sound (on the south), New York (on the west), Massachusetts (on the north) and by Rhode Island (on the east), Connecticut is the third smallest state (by area) and the fourth, most densely populated in the United States. Apart from the Connecticut River, which gives the state a robust maritime tradition, the Thames River and other ports along the Long Island Sound have also contributed to Connecticut’s long maritime history.
Connecticut is also famous for its bountiful beauty, finance industries, the oldest public library and newspaper, the popular song “Yankee Doodle” and notable people like George W. Bush, Charles Dow, Katharine Hepburn, Jackie Robinson, Igor Sikorsky, Mark Twain, the Gilmore Girls and a host of others.
Here are some of the nicknames and the reasons behind them:
- The Constitution State. Connecticut is officially known by this name due to its early adoption of the Fundamental Orders in 1639 and also being significant in the development of the federal government of the US.
- The Nutmeg State. This nickname was coined for Connecticut due to the ability of some of its early traders to make fake wooden nutmegs and also put them up for sale alongside the batches of real ones.
- The Provisions State. Connecticut became known by this name because of its huge contributions to the Continental Army during the American Revolution.
- The Land of Steady Habits. This nickname was associated with the state’s ancient tradition of ensuring political stability by continuously electing the same officials to high political offices. This nickname was also applied to the strict morals of the inhabitants of Connecticut.
Reasons to move
- Beautiful landscapes
- Well-educated people
- Low unemployment rate
- Several tourist spots (the Mark Twain’s Neo-Gothic Mansion, Lake Compounce Amusement Park, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mystic Aquarium, Mohegan Sun, Bear Mountain, Zaffis Museum of the Paranormal, and the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center)
- Great homemade food and drinks
- Awesome events like the New Haven Cherry Blossom Festival
- The high cost of living
- High property taxes
- Cold winters and humid summers
- Slow traffic, particularly on I-84 and I-95, which runs from New Haven to New York.
Connecticut falls in the rough transition zone between the humid continental climate and the humid subtropical climate. The northern part of Connecticut usually has a climate with cold winters, moderate snowfall, and hot summers. For the far southern and coastal Connecticut, they experience a climate with cool winters, a mix of rain and infrequent snow, alongside the long hot and humid summers which are typical of the lower and Middle East coast.
The precipitation pattern of the state is fairly even as it rains/snows through the twelve months. Connecticut also averages almost 56% of likely sunshine, averaging 2,400 hours of annual sunshine, which is higher than the US national average. Occasionally, high heat waves occur across the state, and there may be quick summer thunderstorms, which can lead to brief downpours accompanied by thunder and lightning.
Connecticut’s fall season usually begins in October and lasts till the first days of December. From December through mid-March (winter period), it is generally cold from southern to northern Connecticut with the coldest month being January. Also, a larger part of Connecticut reports around less than 60 days of snow cover per year, with most snow usually falling from early December to mid-March in the southern/coastal parts of the state and then from late November to late March in the northern parts.
Education in Connecticut
The Connecticut State Board of Education manages the public school system for children in grades K-12, and the state ranked third in the nation for educational performance in 2018 with a total score of 83.5 out of 100. Connecticut was home to Litchfield Law School – the nation’s first law school in Litchfield (which operated from 1773-1833), Hartford Public High School, and the Boston Latin School. The University of Connecticut is the state’s main public university. Other public universities include the Central Connecticut State University, the Eastern Connecticut State University, the Southern Connecticut State University, the Western Connecticut State University, and the Charter Oak State College. The oldest private institutions are the Yale University (founded in 1701), Trinity College (1823), Wesleyan University (1831), University of Hartford (1877), and the Post University (1890). Some of its oldest public community colleges include the Capital Community College (1946), Norwalk Community College (1961), and the Manchester Community College (1963). There are also many notable private day schools in Connecticut, and its boarding schools draw in students from around the world.
Connecticut’s capital is Hartford, and Bridgeport is its most populous city with close to 145,000 people. Other cities include New Haven, Stamford, Waterbury, Norwalk, Danbury, New Britain, Bristol, Meriden, West Haven, and Milford.
Transportation in Connecticut is a dedicated network of roads and railways. It also has an active bicycling community (particularly in New Haven), airports, and ferry services. The interstate highways in the state are intestates’ I-95, I-84, I-91, and I-395. The bus route opened to the public on the 28th of March, 2015. These bus networks serve urban areas like Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, Norwalk, and Stamford and are overseen by the Connecticut Department of Transportation. A variety of BRT services run by CTtransit are also available.
The existing rail networks include the Metro-North Railroad’s New Haven Line, Shore Line East commuter line, Hartford Line, and the New Haven-Springfield Line. The state’s biggest ferry service is the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Ferry, with other small ones like the Chester-Hadlyme Ferry, and the Rocky Hill-Glastonbury Ferry travels.
Commercial airports in Connecticut:
- Bradley International Airport (the state’s largest)
- Tweed New Haven Regional Airport
- Danbury Municipal Airport
- Waterbury-Oxford Airport
- Hartford-Brainard Airport
- Groton-New London Airport
- Sikorsky Memorial Airport
Cost of Living in Connecticut
Connecticut has a high cost of living – higher than the national average, and the minimum wage currently stands at $10.10 per hour, which is significantly higher than the federal minimum of $7.25. The state’s per capita personal income was averaged a little above $79,000 salary, and the quality of life matches the high cost of living alongside pricey housing, with education and health ranking well above the average mark.
Taxes in Connecticut
Connecticut levies taxes at these rates:
For income tax on individuals:
- 3% on income up to $ 10,000.
- 5% on income within $10,000 – $50,000.
- 5.5% on income within $50,000 – $100,000.
- 6% on income within $100,000 – $200,000.
- 6.5% on income within $200,000 – $250,000.
- 6.9% on income within $250,000 – $500,000.
- 6.99% on income above $500,000.
For retail sale, lease, and rental of goods or use of services:
- 6.35% state sales tax on the retail sale, lease, and rental of most goods.
- Some items and services are not taxable unless enumerated as “sales and use taxable” by a statue.
- No additional sales taxes are imposed by local jurisdictions.
- The State law also permits municipalities to tax properties (vehicles, real estate, and other personal properties) with state statute provisions for abatements, credits, and exemptions. All assessments are made at 70% of fair market value.
Here are some foods that would make you drool when you go to Connecticut:
- Hot Lobster Rolls
- Steamed Cheeseburgers
- Deep River Snacks
- Apple Cider
- Homemade Ice Cream
- New Haven Style Clam Pie
- Foxon Park Soda
The state’s most populous ethnic group is White. Connecticut’s population consists of:
- 77.6% of White Americans
- 10.1 Black Americans
- 5.6% Other race
- 2.6% Two or more races
- 3.8% Asian
- 0.3% Native Americans
The largest European ancestry groups in Connecticut are 19.3% Italian, 17.9% Irish, 10.7% English, 10.4% German, 8.6% Polish, 6.6% French, 3.0% French Canadian, 2.7% American, 2.05% Scottish and 1.4% Scots-Irish.
Connecticut boasts of many professional sports teams:
- Bridgeport Sound Tigers – Ice hockey
- Hartford Wolf Pack – Ice Hockey
- Connecticut Whale – Ice Hockey
- Hartford Yard Goats – Baseball
- Norwich Sea Unicorns – Baseball
- New Britain Bees – Baseball
- Connecticut Sun – Basketball
- Hartford City FC – Soccer
- Hartford Athletic – Soccer
- AC Connecticut – Soccer
- New England Black Wolves – Lacrosse
College sports are also quite popular in the state, with the usual competition – the “Constitution State Rivalry” between the Sacred Heart University and Central Connecticut State University. Every year since 1998, thousands of fans gather to witness the game as both teams compete at the NCAA Division 1 Championship (Northeast Conference).
“The Game” – the state’s second-oldest college football rivalry is hosted by New Haven and holds between the Harvard Crimson and the Yale bulldogs. The Connecticut Huskies (UConn Huskies team) represent the University of Connecticut and have played in the Football Bowl Subdivision since 2002, winning several national championships.
Other Connecticut universities that feature NCAA Division 1 sports teams are the Central Connecticut State University, Fairfield University, Quinnipiac University, and the University of Hartford.
Before moving to Connecticut
- Be aware of the latest weather reports before moving. The best time to move in is from May to October based on average temperature and relative humidity.
- If you are after dry weather, then the best time to move is in January, August, and September, when the chance of significant precipitation (i.e., rain or snow occurring) is at its lowest.
- Whenever you decide to move, ensure you take all the necessary security precautions and follow the CDC’s COVID-19 Travel Recommendations alongside other public health considerations.
- Get ready for dramatic seasonal changes.
- Apply for your Connecticut Driver’s license as soon as you arrive or once you’ve secured employment after moving in.
- Register your vehicle and conduct an emissions test.
- Establish a CT mailing address.
- Register to vote as soon as possible using the license or any identification certificate.
- Ensure you have a waste disposal and recycling plan in place.
- Apply for a dog license if you have one and stay up-to-date with rabies vaccination.