For other uses, see Connecticut (disambiguation).

State of Connecticut
Flag of Connecticut State seal of Connecticut
Flag Seal
  • The Constitution State (official)
  • The Nutmeg State
  • The Provisions State
  • The Land of Steady Habits
State song(s): " Yankee Doodle"
Map of the United States with Connecticut highlighted
Official language None
Capital Hartford [5]
Largest city Bridgeport [6]
Largest metro Greater Hartford [7]
Area Ranked 48th
 • Total 5,543 sq mi
(14,357 km2)
 • Width 70 miles (113 km)
 • Length 110 miles (177 km)
 • % water 12.6
 • Latitude 40°98′ N to 42°04′ N
 • Longitude 71°08′ W to 73°72′ W
Population Ranked 29th
 • Total 3,590,886 (2015 est) [8]
 •  Density 739/sq mi  (285/km2)
Ranked 4th
 •  Median household income $72,889 [9] (4th)
 • Highest point Massachusetts border on south slope of Mount Frissell [10] [11]
2,379 ft (725 m)
 • Mean 500 ft  (150 m)
 • Lowest point Long Island Sound [10] [11]
sea level
Before statehood Connecticut Colony
Admission to Union January 9, 1788 (5th)
Governor Dannel P. Malloy ( D)
Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman ( D)
Legislature General Assembly
 •  Upper house Senate
 •  Lower house House of Representatives
U.S. Senators

Richard Blumenthal ( D)

Christopher S. Murphy ( D)
U.S. House delegation 5 Democrats ( list)
Time zone Eastern: UTC −5/ −4
ISO 3166 US-CT
Abbreviations CT, Conn.
Connecticut state symbols
Flag of Connecticut.svg
Seal of Connecticut.svg
Living insignia
Bird American robin
Fish American shad
Flower Mountain laurel
Insect Praying mantis
Tree White oak
Inanimate insignia
Gemstone Garnet
Motto Qui Transtulit Sustinet (He Who Transplanted Still Sustains.)
Song " Yankee Doodle Dandy"
State route marker
Connecticut state route marker
State quarter
Connecticut quarter dollar coin
Released in 1999
Lists of United States state symbols

Connecticut ( Listen i /kəˈnɛtkət/) [12] is the southernmost state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Connecticut is also often grouped along with New York and New Jersey as the Tri-State Area. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, New York to the west, and Long Island Sound to the south. Its capital city is Hartford, and its most populous city is Bridgeport. The state is named for the Connecticut River, a major U.S. river that approximately bisects the state. The word "Connecticut" is derived from various anglicized spellings of an Algonquian word for "long tidal river". [13]

Connecticut is the third smallest state by area, [14] the 29th most populous, [15] and the fourth most densely populated [14] of the 50 United States. It is known as the " Constitution State", the " Nutmeg State", the "Provisions State", and the "Land of Steady Habits". [1] It was influential in the development of the federal government of the United States. Much of southern and western Connecticut (along with the majority of the state's population) is part of the New York metropolitan area: three of Connecticut's eight counties are statistically included in the New York City combined statistical area, which is widely referred to as the Tri-State area. Connecticut's center of population is in Cheshire, New Haven County, [16] which is also located within the Tri-State area.

Connecticut's first European settlers were Dutch. They established a small, short-lived settlement in present-day Hartford at the confluence of the Park and Connecticut rivers, called Huys de Goede Hoop. Initially, half of Connecticut was a part of the Dutch colony, New Netherland, which included much of the land between the Connecticut and Delaware rivers. The first major settlements were established in the 1630s by England. Thomas Hooker led a band of followers overland from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and founded what would become the Connecticut Colony; other settlers from Massachusetts founded the Saybrook Colony and the New Haven Colony. The Connecticut and New Haven Colonies established documents of Fundamental Orders, considered the first constitutions in North America. In 1662, the three colonies were merged under a royal charter, making Connecticut a crown colony. This colony was one of the Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution.

The Connecticut River, Thames River, and ports along the Long Island Sound have given Connecticut a strong maritime tradition, which continues today. The state also has a long history of hosting the financial services industry, including insurance companies in Hartford and hedge funds in Fairfield County. As of the 2010 Census, Connecticut features the highest per-capita income, Human Development Index (0.962), and median household income in the United States. [17] [18] [19]


Connecticut is bordered on the south by Long Island Sound, on the west by New York, on the north by Massachusetts, and on the east by Rhode Island. The state capital and third largest city is Hartford, and other major cities and towns (by population) include Bridgeport, New Haven, Stamford, Waterbury, Norwalk, Danbury, New Britain, Greenwich, and Bristol. Connecticut is slightly larger than the country of Montenegro. There are 169 incorporated towns in Connecticut.

Map of Connecticut

The highest peak in Connecticut is Bear Mountain in Salisbury in the northwest corner of the state. The highest point is just east of where Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York meet (42° 3' N; 73° 29' W), on the southern slope of Mount Frissell, whose peak lies nearby in Massachusetts. [20] At the opposite extreme, many of the coastal towns have areas that are less than 20 feet above sea level.

Connecticut has a long maritime history and a reputation based on that history—yet the state has no direct oceanfront (technically speaking). The coast of Connecticut sits on Long Island Sound, which is an estuary. The state's access to the open Atlantic Ocean is both to the west (toward New York City) and to the east (toward the "race" near Rhode Island). This situation provides many safe harbors from ocean storms, and many transatlantic ships seek anchor inside Long Island Sound when tropical cyclones pass off the upper East Coast.[ citation needed]

The Connecticut River cuts through the center of the state, flowing into Long Island Sound. The most populous metropolitan region centered within the state lies in the Connecticut River Valley. Despite Connecticut's relatively small size, it features wide regional variations in its landscape; for example, in the northwestern Litchfield Hills, it features rolling mountains and horse farms, whereas in areas to the east of New Haven along the coast, the landscape features coastal marshes, beaches, and large scale maritime activities.

Further information: List of Connecticut rivers

Connecticut's rural areas and small towns in the northeast and northwest corners of the state contrast sharply with its industrial cities such as Stamford, Bridgeport, and New Haven, located along the coastal highways from the New York border to New London, then northward up the Connecticut River to Hartford. Many towns in northeastern and northwestern Connecticut center around a green, such as the Litchfield Green, Lebanon Green (the largest in the state), and Wethersfield Green (the oldest in the state). Near the green typically stand historical visual symbols of New England towns, such as a white church, a colonial meeting house, a colonial tavern or inn, several colonial houses, and so on, establishing a scenic historical appearance maintained for both historic preservation and tourism. Many of the areas in southern and coastal Connecticut have been built up and rebuilt over the years, and look less visually like traditional New England.

Connecticut consists of temperate broadleaf and mixed forests of various oaks, beech, hickories, and maple. In the northwest part of the state, these give way to New England-Acadian forests of the Taconic Mountains. [21]

The northern boundary of the state with Massachusetts is marked by the Southwick Jog or Granby Notch, an approximately 2.5 miles (4.0 km) square detour into Connecticut. The origin of this anomaly is clearly established in a long line of disputes and temporary agreements which were finally concluded in 1804, when southern Southwick's residents sought to leave Massachusetts, and the town was split in half. [22] [23]

The southwestern border of Connecticut where it abuts New York State is marked by a panhandle in Fairfield County, containing the towns of Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan, Darien, and parts of Norwalk and Wilton. This irregularity in the boundary is the result of territorial disputes in the late 17th century, culminating with New York giving up its claim to the area, whose residents considered themselves part of Connecticut, in exchange for an equivalent area extending northwards from Ridgefield to the Massachusetts border, as well as undisputed claim to Rye, New York. [24]

Further information: Connecticut panhandle

Areas maintained by the National Park Service include Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor, and Weir Farm National Historic Site. [25]


Köppen climate types in Connecticut
Scenery upon Barndoor Hills in Granby in autumn
Winter in East Haven

Much of Connecticut has a humid continental climate, with cold winters and warm humid summers. Far southern and coastal Connecticut has a more mild humid subtropical and oceanic climate with seasonal extremes tempered by proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, warmer winters, and a longer frost-free season. Most of Connecticut sees a fairly even precipitation pattern with rainfall/snowfall spread throughout the 12 months. Connecticut averages 56% of possible sunshine (higher than the USA average), averaging 2,400 hours of sunshine annually. [26]

Early spring (April) can range from cool to warm, while mid and late spring (May/early June) is warm to hot. Summer is hot and often humid throughout the state, with average highs in New London of 81 °F (27 °C) and 87 °F (31 °C) in Windsor Locks. Although summers are sunny in Connecticut, summer thunderstorms often bring quick downpours with thunder and lightning. Thunderstorms are most frequent during the summer, occurring on average 30 times annually. These storms can be severe, and the state usually averages one tornado per year. [27] During hurricane season, tropical cyclones occasionally affect the region. Fall months are mild and bring colorful foliage across northern parts of the state (the southern and coastal areas have more oak and hickory trees and fewer maples) in October and November.

Winters are generally moderately cold from south to north in Connecticut, with average January temperatures ranging from 38 °F (3 °C) in the coastal lowlands to 29 °F (−2 °C) in the inland and northern portions on the state. The average yearly snowfall ranges from about 50–60 inches (1,300–1,500 mm) in the higher elevations of the northern portion of the state to only 20–25 inches (510–640 mm) along the southeast coast of Connecticut. Generally, any locale north or west of Interstate 84 receives the most snow, during a storm, and throughout the season. Most of Connecticut has less than 60 days of snow cover. Snow usually falls from late November to late March, though snow has fallen from October to mid April in some years.

Connecticut's warmest temperature is 106 °F (41 °C) which occurred in Danbury on July 15, 1995; the coldest temperature is −32 °F (−36 °C) which occurred in Falls Village on February 16, 1943, and Coventry on January 22, 1961. [28]

Monthly Normal High and Low Temperatures for Various Connecticut Cities
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Bridgeport 37/23 39/25 47/32 57/41 67/51 76/60 82/66 81/65 74/58 63/46 53/38 42/28
Hartford 35/16 39/19 47/27 59/38 70/48 79/57 84/63 82/61 74/51 63/40 52/32 40/22
[29] [30]