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Most Affordable Cities in Connecticut

Want to live affordably in Connecticut? While the cost of living in Connecticut is above the U.S. average with an average home price of $364,082, there are many great, budget-friendly cities with affordable housing and top-notch amenities. Check out these top nine most affordable Connecticut cities to live in!

  • Bridgeport

    • Population: 147,022
    • Home Price: $168,200 median purchase price; $1,111 median monthly rent
    • Crime Rate: Safer than 4% of Connecticut cities
    • Unemployment Rate: 10.5%

    Bridgeport is the fifth-most populous city in New England and also one of the most affordable places to live in Connecticut! This coastal city attracts young professionals and families alike, thanks to the University of Bridgeport and major employers like Trefz Corporation, Bridgeport Hospital, and People’s United Bank. Known as Park City due to its abundance of beautiful public parks to explore, there’s also the lively Bridgeport Harbor and great entertainment and dining spots to explore, so the city is sure to satisfy people of all lifestyles. Plus, if you plan on commuting to other nearby Connecticut cities for work or pleasure, you can take advantage of the convenient Greater Bridgeport Transit (GBT).

    Things to Do in Bridgeport

    Take a trip to the indoor rainforest, grab lunch at the cafe, or ride the carousel with the kids at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo. Enjoy popular shows like Mamma Mia or Matilda at Downtown Cabaret Theatre. Explore hands-on exhibits like The Universe and You and Earth and Us to learn about science, the solar system, and more at Discovery Science Center & Planetarium. Attend a concert or a Bridgeport Islanders (AHL) game at Total Mortgage Arena. Dine on American tapas like Pulled Pork Arepas, Maryland Crab Cakes, or Cauliflower Tempura at Hub and Spoke. Feast on delectable dishes like Artichoke Crab Cake, Crisp Green Salad, and Broiled Scallops at Ralph-n-Rich’s. Get your Peruvian fare fix with authentic dishes like Chicharron de Pescado, Tacu Tacu a lo Macho, Chupe de Mariscos, and more at Ceviche Palace. Or listen to live music while dining on seafood classics like Blue Point Oysters, Lobster Bisque, or Fresh Fried Calamari at BRYAC Restaurant & Raw Bar.

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    Bristol

    Small amusement park on Lake Compounce in Bristol. Photo by Instagram user @lakecompounce.

    Photo via @lakecompounce

    • Population: 60,437
    • Home Price: $192,500 median purchase price; $895 median monthly rent
    • Crime Rate: Safer than 59% of Connecticut cities
    • Unemployment Rate: 5.3%

    If you’re looking for a quiet place to live close to Hartford, Bristol is an ideal choice! Once a clock-making city in the 1800s and now home of ESPN headquarters, Bristol has always been a hub for job opportunities. There are also endless things to do in this Connecticut city! From exploring hot spots like The Carousel Museum and beautiful parks like Seymour Park and Rockwell Park, to gathering at community events like The Bristol Mum Festival—Bristol has something fun for everyone. Mum City is a fantastic place to raise a family, in particular, thanks to its low crime rates, kid-friendly activities, and highly-rated Bristol Public Schools.

    Things to Do in Bristol

    Explore the 332 acres of rides, water features, and rollercoasters like the top-rated Boulder Dash at Lake Compounce, the oldest amusement park in the U.S. Learn more about the history behind American-made watches and browse unique watch collections at the American Clock & Watch Museum. Tee off on all 18 holes or sign the kids up for the Junior Golf Program at the Chippanee Golf Club. Spend an afternoon outdoors on a scenic bike ride or let your dog roam off the leash in the dog park at Rockwell Park. Enjoy a Mexican Burger, Fried Clam Strips, or a Chicken Florentine Melt for lunch at Riverside Restaurant. Grab a Greek Pizza, BLT Grinder, or Roasted Beef Sandwich at Amano’s Pizza. Order a hearty meal like a Grilled Flat Iron Steak, Fried Cod, or Pasta Primavera at One Fifty Central. Or dig into sweet treats like Carrot Cake Cupcakes, Chocolate Cream Pies, or Handmade Donuts at Harvest Bakery Inc.

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    Hartford

    Drone view of the Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford, CT. Photo by Instagram user @roofwalker1.

    Photo via @roofwalker1

    • Population: 124,320
    • Home Price: $159,100 median purchase price; $914 median monthly rent
    • Crime Rate: Safer than 0% of Connecticut cities
    • Unemployment Rate: 10.8%

    Looking for an affordable place to live in Connecticut with history and museums, job opportunities, and fun things to do? Consider living in Hartford! The capital of Connecticut is known for its variety of historical landmarks, such as Connecticut’s Old State House and the gold-domed State Capitol & Legislative Office Building. Public transportation can take you anywhere downtown, with jobs for top employers in the insurance, healthcare, and retail industries, in addition to government employment opportunities. To top it off, Hartford is also home to high-quality schools like the University of Hartford, where students and young professionals can earn their degrees.

    Things to Do in Hartford

    Learn about the home and history of the famous author of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn with exhibits like Twain’s World, LEGO Mark Twain, and more at The Mark Twain House & Museum. Study over 50,000 pieces of European and Contemporary works of art at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. Embark on a guided tour of author and abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe’s home and view historic collections at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. Explore over 165 interactive exhibits like Science Alley, Butterfly Encounter, and Exploring Space, which cover topics like gravity, energy, life, and more at the Connecticut Science Center. Stroll through the first public rose garden in the U.S. or play a game of tennis on the court at Elizabeth Park. Get a Specialty Hot Sandwich like the Take Five Meatloaf, Tucson Chicken, or Thanksgiving at Take Five Cookery. Enjoy a Grilled Filet Mignon, Sausage Carbonara, or Bacon Cheddar Burger at J Restaurant | Bar. Treat your tastebuds to Chicken Pad Thai, Chipotle Garlic Shrimp, or a Black Jack Burger at Trumbull Kitchen. Or grab a Greek Salad, Chicken Gnocchi, or Shrimp Piccata with a glass of Pinot Grigio at trendy Salute Restaurant.

    Manchester

    Side view of a cobblestone bridge with trees in the Fall.

    Photo via @mikel.photoz

    • Population: 30,364
    • Home Price: $167,700 median purchase price; $1,087 median monthly rent
    • Crime Rate: Safer than 12% of Connecticut cities
    • Unemployment Rate: 6.9%

    If you want an affordable city in Connecticut, consider moving to Manchester, one of the best places to live on the East Coast! Silk City offers a small-town feel without sacrificing fun. Here, you’ll find quiet neighborhoods and tree-lined streets along with a strong sense of community, locally-owned shops, and great restaurants. Get to know your neighbors at annual events like Peach Festival, or support them during small-business events like Shop Small Saturday. Living in Manchester also provides access to top-rated education in Connecticut. Manchester Public Schools provides families with fantastic K-12 schools in Connecticut, while Manchester Community College is noted as one of the best community colleges in the U.S. thanks to its low cost, quality education, and career outcomes!

    Things to do in Manchester

    Stroll through the Sensory Garden, view peacocks in the Aviary, or play on the Disc Golf Course at Wickham Park. Appreciate Connecticut’s beautiful scenery and wildlife as you hike to the top of Case Mountain. Spend time practicing archery at Hall’s Arrow Indoor Archery Range, the largest archery range in New England! Visit with chinchillas, milk a cow, and explore Manchester’s past at Lutz Children’s Museum. Fuel up for the day with an Espresso Tonic, Matcha Latte, or Cortado paired with a slice of Avocado Toast at Silk City Coffee. Enjoy American fare like Honey Chipotle BBQ Wings, a Breakfast Burger, and French Dip sandwich at The Main Pub. Share a plate of Ranch Chips, Baked Stuffed Mushrooms, Quesadillas, and more at The Hungry Tiger. Or order a Pineapple Sundae, Maplenut Sundae, or Banana Split at Shady Glen Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor.

    Middletown

    • Population: 46,933
    • Home Price: $228,500 median purchase price; $1,062 median monthly rent
    • Crime Rate: Safer than 65% of Connecticut cities
    • Unemployment Rate: 4.2%

    Middletown is an excellent place to live in Connecticut if you want to spend most of your time outdoors! Forest City is located along the Connecticut River, so you can take advantage of all kinds of activities near the water. In addition, Highlawn Forest, and its Scovill Loop Trail, are only ten minutes away—and there are plenty of parks to check out, including Butternut Hollow Park and Smith Park. And with Wesleyan University found in the middle of all the action, you and your family can have access to top-quality jobs and education in Connecticut. You’ll also find a variety of restaurants and breweries, local entertainment, and exciting things to do for all ages in this Connecticut city!

    Things to Do in Middletown

    Venture out to Wadsworth Falls State Park to go hiking or for a scenic bike ride. Take a river cruise, have a picnic, or watch the gorgeous sunset at Harbor Park. Explore the Greater Middletown Military Museum, which pays tribute to local veterans and honors the rich military history in Middletown. Attend an open mic night, check out art exhibits, or listen to live music at The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts Center. Order Tuscan-inspired meals like Italian Sweet Sausage Rigatoni or Oven Roasted King Salmon at Luce. Satisfy your hunger with Italian dishes like Mushroom Ravioli, Lobster & Crab Fettuccine, or Linguine & Clams at Esca Restaurant & Wine Bar. Or treat yourself to tap beers like Happy Treez or Porter Justice at Stubborn Beauty Brewing Company.

    New Britain

    • Population: 72,876
    • Home Price: $157,300 median purchase price; $925 median monthly rent
    • Crime Rate: Safer than 6% of Connecticut cities
    • Unemployment Rate: 6.8%
  • Just south of Hartford sits New Britain, a quiet city with a lot to offer. Nicknamed the Hardware City, this affordable Connecticut city has a deep history of manufacturing and is home to renowned companies like Stanley Black & Decker. Residents can find higher education opportunities at the many schools in the area, including Central Connecticut State University and Charter Oak State College. On top of that, living in this affordable Connecticut city puts you in the center of a vibrant community. New Britain has tons of museums, parks, restaurants, and shops for you to discover! Enjoy live music during the annual summer concert series, shop for fresh produce at the New Britain Farmers Market, and celebrate the city’s history with lively events like the annual Little Poland Festival.

    Things to Do in New Britain

    See over 8,000 sculptures and paintings from American artists, including famous illustrators like Norman Rockwell and Howard Pyle, at New Britain Museum of American Art. Spend an afternoon jogging the trail, fishing, or ice skating when the pond freezes over at Stanley Quarter Park. Catch a concert, take the dog for a long walk, or sprawl out for a picnic at Walnut Hill Park—which was designed by Central Park architect, Frederick Law Olmsted! Sharpen your skills on the driving range or play a round of golf on the 27-hole course at Stanley Golf Course. Order Crispy Duck, Coconut Shrimp, or Tangerine Prawns at Great Taste Chinese Restaurant. Feast on authentic Polish dishes like Hunter’s Stew, Cheese Blintzes, or Polish Kielbasa at Staropolska Restaurant. Snag a Hard Salami Sandwich or Ed’s Special with a Blueberry Twister to drink at Borinquen Bakery. Don’t forget to treat yourself to a scoop of Blue Devil Cookie Monster or Coconut Almond Ice Cream at Frisbie’s Dairy Barn.

    Torrington

    • Population: 35,227
    • Home Price: $162,300 median purchase price; $885 median monthly rent
    • Crime Rate: Safer than 69% of Connecticut cities
    • Unemployment Rate: 5.8%

    Located about 20 minutes north of Waterbury, Torrington is a beautiful place to live in Connecticut, especially considering its historic architecture, monuments, and fountains in the 56-acre Downtown Torrington Historic District. This Connecticut city not only has historic charm, but also boasts a thriving present-day business community with top employers like O&G Industries and the Charlotte Hungerford Hospital. With plenty of tasty food, outdoor recreation at nearby state parks, and the Mohawk Mountain Ski Area just a short drive from the city, Torrington has it all for those on the hunt for affordable Connecticut living!

    Things to Do in Torrington

    Attend an opera like Verdi’s La Traviata or see a classic production like A Christmas Carol at the Art Deco Warner Theatre. Set up a picnic next to the pond, take a dip in the water, and go hiking at Burr Pond State Park—or spend an afternoon boating or fishing at Stillwater Pond State Park. Bring the kids to sock skate on the Polar Pond, attempt the climbing wall, or learn about different occupations in the Town Center at KidsPlay Children’s Museum. Learn how this Connecticut city evolved through industry, immigration, and innovation with exhibits at the Torrington History Museum. Start your day with a Western Omelet or Texas French Toast while sipping on a Bottomless Cup of Coffee at Angie’s. Try the Coal Fired Smoked Wings, Meatball Ricotta, or Sweet Cecilia Pizza at Sasso’s Coal Fired Pizza. Grab a Greek Salad, Dolmades, or a Lamb Gyro Platter to share at YiaYia’s Greek Kitchen. Or spend the evening playing darts with friends over bar eats like Truffle Fries, Sawyer’s Wings, or Fresh Made to Order Nachos at Sawyer’s Restaurant & Bar.

    Waterbury

    • Population: 109,211
    • Home Price: $129,500 median purchase price; $912 median monthly rent
    • Crime Rate: Safer than 8% of Connecticut cities
    • Unemployment Rate: 8.1%

    Searching for an affordable city with strong employment opportunities? Waterbury is an ideal locale! The area has strong roots in the manufacturing and healthcare industries—not to mention, great higher education and work opportunities available at Naugatuck Valley Community College. Located in the southwestern portion of the state, Brass City is diverse and features a low cost of living that’s attractive for families. Plus, it’s just 30 minutes outside of Hartford, making for easy commutes. If you want to find affordable housing in Connecticut and a quiet place to raise your kids or retire, Waterbury may be the place for you.

    Things to Do in Waterbury

    Go back in time to explore Connecticut’s heritage through rotating art and history exhibitions at the Mattatuck Museum. Listen to the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra—which features over 100 musicians from across New England—at the Naugatuck Valley Community College Fine Arts Center. Get your ballet fix or sing along to Broadway musicals, plays, and concerts at Palace Theater. Spend a day soaking up the sun at the pool or playing a game of soccer at Hamilton Park—or head over to enjoy a round of golf at Western Hills Golf Course. Start the day with a Full Stack of Pancakes, a Deluxe Egg Sandwich, or the Southern Biscuit Special at Paba’s Diner. Dive into a bowl of French Onion Soup, Home Style Macaroni, or Gnocchi at The Grotto Restaurant. Share a plate of Bavarian Pretzels and order a Beef Quesadilla or Chicken Teriyaki at Turf Restaurant. Or spend date night nibbling on Veal Parmigiana, Calamari Arrabiata, Stuffed Pork Chops, and other traditional Italian eats at D’Amelio’s Italian Eatery.

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City statistics from AreaVibes