The 12 Fastest Growing Towns in Connecticut Everyone Is Talking About

Written by Micky Moran
Published: November 11, 2023
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As the home of Yale University and ESPN, Connecticut’s rise in growth offers profound insight into the changing world. It has a rich history since the start of the United States, and the natural colors of autumn paint a beautiful backdrop for any stroll. This state is a leader in many industries with new advances in bioscience and green energy, and more people come to live there every year. Let’s take a look at the fastest-growing towns in Connecticut.

Connecticut’s Thriving Cities of 2023

Fastest Growing Town in Connecticut: Stamford

Stamford. Connecticut. USA on a geography map

With three branches of the state’s college campuses, it is one of the country’s most educated cities, with almost half of all adults holding a bachelor’s degree or higher.

©SevenMaps/Shutterstock.com

Stamford, located in Fairfield County, is a city in constant motion. The industrial sector is always busy, requiring more workers to monitor production. With each new launch of businesses and corporate locations to support new workers, construction companies continually build new homes to accommodate them. Since the last census in 2020, Stamford’s population has risen by 1.39%. The only city with a higher population in Stamford is Bridgeport.

One of the biggest points of interest in Stamford is the Stamford Museum & Nature Center, a 118-acre museum with a working farm, gallery, outdoor trails, and a planetarium. Cove Island Park offers another way for locals to enjoy this city’s landscape with recreational facilities and plenty of room to run.

Danbury

Danbury. Connecticut. USA on a geography map

Downtown Danbury constantly changes with private investments and new businesses, showing that Hat City thrives after hundreds of years.

©SevenMaps/Shutterstock.com

Fairfield County is the home to the next growing town in Connecticut on this list – Danbury. The 2023 population is 87,571, increasing by 1.41% since the last census in 2020. It ranks #7 of the largest cities in Connecticut. With the expansion plans, officials hope to increase the local population to 95,000, which would surpass the current population of Norwalk. This year’s construction industry has plans to increase for multiple apartment buildings and retail properties.

If you have the time to stroll through Danbury, the Danbury Railway Museum offers an assortment of artifacts of the city’s history. However, most locals say that some of the best sunrises in the city are over Lake Kenosia Park and Rogers Park.

Norwalk

Norwalk. Connecticut. USA on a geography map

Each year, Norwalk hosts an annual oyster festival after Labor Day.

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Norwalk is the third city on this list in Fairfield County, showing the thriving changes the local officials are making. Though the total population in 2020 was 90,975, that number rose to 91,634 in 2023. At the last census, Norwalk’s growth reflected a 7% increase.

Situated on the Long Island Sound, the most popular local tourist destination is the Norwalk Islands, offering plenty of places to fish. If you want to dive into the city’s history, it boasts multiple historical sites (like the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum).

Manchester

Manchester, USA.

Manchester offers many relaxing parks where you can enjoy the green landscape and moderate climate.

©Tudoran Andrei/Shutterstock.com

Since the 2010 Census, Manchester has continued to experience substantial growth. As of 2023, the total population is 36,832. While the population is stable, local plans to expand housing and the local economy indicate that changes are coming soon. The 10-year plan – called Manchester NEXT – is updated every decade, but this year’s plan focuses on dealing with property rehabilitation for real estate growth. They also plan to expand the industrial sector, adding to over 1,200 businesses in the city.

One of the biggest stimuli for the local economy is the downtown area, but the Buckland Hills mall and shopping area are just as popular. As more people move to Manchester, the plans also hope to introduce new jobs in education and eco-friendly development.

Bridgeport

Bridgeport pinned on a map of USA

Bridgeport earned the nickname “Park City” for the 35 public parks that cover over 1,000 acres of the city.

©Dmitrijs Kaminskis/Shutterstock.com

As of 2023, Bridgeport’s population is 148,457, which is a growth of 0.13% since the 2020 Census. On average, this city in Connecticut continues to grow at a steady pace of 0.04% each year, and it was recently named one of the top “booming” cities in the United States by TODAY. With advanced schools and beautiful landscapes for outdoor activities, it appeals to locals and tourists alike. However, the low cost of living with plentiful job opportunities (and security) keeps them here.

Locals have many options, but Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is one of the main attractions of this city. It also is the home of a lush recreational space called Seaside Park.

New Haven

New Haven. Connecticut. USA on a geography map

Nicknamed the “Elm City,” New Haven earned this moniker after deciding to plant the first public tree planting program in the country.

©SevenMaps/Shutterstock.com

New Haven has a population of 137,339, growing 3.6% from 2020 to 2022. Due to its proximity to both Boston (MA) and New York, it offers a small-town feel without sacrificing size. New people move there every year for the plentiful job opportunities and beautiful homes.

The biggest reason that so many people are familiar with New Haven is because it is the location of Yale University. Offering incredible vibrance and culture, this city constantly has new restaurants and activities for locals to join, which is part of the reason it is one of the fastest-growing towns in Connecticut. With places like East Rock Park and College Street Music Hall, this city has something for everyone.

Waterbury

Waterbury. Connecticut. USA

Waterbury originally enticed early American citizens by making itself the center of the brass industry.

©SevenMaps/Shutterstock.com

While Waterbury rose to fame because of the brass industry, they continue to thrive with their pro-business environment. It is one of the best cities to launch a new business, even in ambitious industries. Local authorities expect to see a surge in real estate purchases as new people move to the thriving town in Connecticut. In June, the state’s House of Representatives approved a substantial investment to reduce proper taxes and retain teachers in urban schools.

Taking a journey to Waterbury allows you to check out one of the local parks or enjoy the Mattatuck Museum. They also offer several theaters for live performances or motion pictures.

Shelton

Shelton. Connecticut. USA on a geography map

With a small-town vibe and a thriving restaurant industry, Shelton has grown more than 5% since the 2020 Census.

©SevenMaps/Shutterstock.com

The population of Shelton is 42,916 as of 2023, marking 5.26% growth in the last 3 years. With the average salary surpassing $100,000 annually, this town’s constant advancements are well-funded by local taxes. Though downtown Shelton was previously a display of empty commercial spaces, officials have plans to revive it in 2023. With upgrades to local housing, more space is available for the new hires added by manufacturers and corporations.

Storrs

Storrs. Connecticut. USA

The University of Connecticut established its campus in Storrs in 1881.

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While the population of Storrs remains steady, it is primarily the home of the University of Connecticut. Most of the new citizens in the town come from the new freshmen who enter in the fall. As students arrive, local businesses see a boost in their profits as they meet the annual surge in demand. The city has a rich assortment of cafes and small restaurants. Many people also travel there for the Celebrate Mansfield Festival.

West Haven

West Haven. Connecticut. USA on a geography map

Established in 1961, West Haven is Connecticut’s youngest city.

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West Haven’s total population in 2020 was 55,584, which is over a third of the population of Connecticut, according to the Census Bureau. As new students enter the state every fall semester, they introduce new life to the local budget. The 2023 city budget includes work to resurface local roads, regulate shoreline development, and restore empty retail property.

Bristol

Bristol. Connecticut. USA on a geography map

©SevenMaps/Shutterstock.com

From 2020 to 2022, Bristol saw a growth in its population from 60,845 to 61,330 citizens. By 2023, the local population dropped to 60,653, but home values are rising substantially. The millennial generation thrives in this town with the superior school system and the opening of new local businesses downtown. To help younger generations enter the workforce, a local entrepreneurs group – Professional Young Visionaries of Tomorrow – is working to establish more opportunities for their skill set. By supporting newcomers to the economy, the city grows with the changing demands of technology and commerce.

New Britain

New Britain. Connecticut. USA on a geography map

The Latin motto of New Britain means “industry fills the hive and enjoys the honey,” referring to their thriving industrial sector.

©SevenMaps/Shutterstock.com

New Britain’s population is gradually increasing by less than 1,000 people in the last 3 years. City officials published a lengthy plan of 2023’s changes, showing improvements for several parks and trails. This year brings substantial improvements in New Britain’s downtown area as they restore historical buildings. As they convert older buildings into apartments, they pave the way for a boost in their population in the coming years.

Fast-Growing Towns in Connecticut

CityPopulation
Stamford137,600
Danbury87,571
Norwalk91,634
Manchester36,832
Bridgeport148,457
New Haven137,339
Waterbury113,118
Shelton42,916
Storrs16,784
West Haven54,973
Bristol60,653
New Britain74,112

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Micky Moran is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering mammals, travel, marine life, and geography. He has been writing and researching animals and nature for over 5 years. A resident of Arizona, he enjoys spending time with family, going on adventures across the United States with his wife and kids by his side.

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