The Constitution State

Where is it?

State Flag




New England, Northeast.
Geographic coordinates:
40°58'N to 42°3'N
71°47'W to 73°44'W
total: 5,544 sq mi
land: 4,845 sq mi
water: 698 sq mi
coastline: NA
shoreline: 618 miles
Bordering States:
Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: 0 ft
highest point: Mount Frissell 2,380 ft
Connecticut is bordered on the south by Long Island Sound, on the west by New York State, on the north by Massachusetts, and on the east by Rhode Island. The state capital is Hartford, and the other major cities include New Haven, New London, Norwich, Stamford, Waterbury, Danbury and Bridgeport. In all, there are a total of 169 incorporated towns in Connecticut. There is an ongoing civic pride and economic competition between Hartford and New Haven, which stems back to the days when the two cities shared the state's capital, and even back to when New Haven and Hartford were two separate colonies. The highest peak in Connecticut is Bear Mountain in Salisbury in the northwest corner of the state. Once the location of a stone tower, currently a stone plaque alongside the Appalachian Trail identifies the point as "the highest ground in Connecticut, 2,354 feet above the sea"; however, this is wrong on both counts. The current estimate of the height of the summit is only 2,316 feet 706 m); and although it is the highest peak in Connecticut, it is not actually the highest point in the state. That distinction belongs to an anonymous location just east of the point where Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York meet (42° 3' N; 73° 29' W), on the southern slope of 2,453 foot (747 m) high Mount Frissell, whose peak lies 740 feet (225 m) north in Massachusetts. Only a green metal stake set into a rock ledge marks this, the 2,372 foot (723 m) high top of Connecticut. Connecticut is the only state whose highest point is not also its highest peak.




3,596,677 (2014)
Largest City:
Bridgeport: 144,229 (2010)
Age structure:
0-5 years old: 3.6%
<18 years old: 23.9%
65 years and over: 13.5%
Male: 48.5% Female: 51.5%
Population growth rate:
3.1% (2000-2005)
Population density:
702.9 per sq mi
Race(2000 Census):
White non-Hispanic: 75.9%
Hispanic: 10.6%
Black: 10.1%
Asian: 3.1%
Native American: 0.3%
Multi-Race: 1.3%
Christian: 83%
Jewish: 3%
Other: 1%
Non-Religious: 13%
Christian: 92%
Other: 1%
Non-Religious: 7%




The name "Connecticut" comes from the Mohegan Indian word "Quinnehtukqut" meaning "Long River Place" or "Beside the Long Tidal River." Connecticut is the fifth of the original thirteen states. The first Europeans to settle permanently in Connecticut were English Puritans from Massachusetts in 1633. Historically important colonial settlements included Windsor (1633), Westhersfield (1634), Saybrook (1635), Hartford (1636), New Haven (1638), and New London (1646). Its first constitution, the "Fundamental Orders," was adopted on January 14, 1639, while its current constitution, the third for Connecticut, was adopted in 1965. The traditional abbreviation of the state's name is "Conn." Connecticut's official nickname, adopted in 1959, is "The Constitution State." According to Webster's New International Dictionary, 1993, a person who is a native or resident of Connecticut is a "Connecticuter". There are numerous other terms coined in print, but not in use, such as: "Connecticotian" - Cotton Mather in 1702. "Connecticutensian" - Samuel Peters in 1781. "Nutmegger" is sometimes used. It is derived from the nickname, the Nutmeg State, based on the practice of the Connecticut peddlers who traveled about selling nutmegs. There is not, however, any nickname that has been officially adopted by the State for its residents. The western boundaries of Connecticut have been subject to dramatic changes over time. According to a 1650 agreement with the Dutch, the western boundary of Connecticut ran north from the west side of Greenwich Bay "provided the said line come not within 10 miles of Hudson River." On the other hand, Connecticut's original Charter in 1662 granted it all the land to the "South Sea," i.e. the Pacific Ocean. This probably added confusion to the early forefathers because the Pacific Ocean is located on the west coast of the United States. Agreements with New York, the "Pennamite Wars" with Pennsylvania over Westmoreland County, followed by Congressional intervention, and the relinquishment and sale of the Western Reserve lands brought the state to its present boundaries.




January 9, 1788 (5th State)
State Tree:
White Oak
State Bird:
State Flower:
Mountain laurel
Hartford has been the sole capital of Connecticut since 1875. Prior to that, New Haven and Hartford alternated as capitals. Unlike most other states, Connecticut does not have county governments or county seats; rather, there is only the state government and the governments of the local municipalities. The associated state marshal system, however, is still divided by county. The judicial system is divided, at the trial court level, into judicial districts. The boundaries of the judicial districts largely track county lines, though in some instances a county may have more than one judicial district within it. For example, the Litchfield, Middlesex, New London, Tolland, and Windham judicial districts are co-terminus with the old county lines. On the other hand, there are three judicial districts each within Fairfield County and New Haven County. Hartford County contains two judicial districts. The eight counties are still widely used for purely geographical purposes, such as weather reports. There are 169 incorporated cities and towns across the state. Most cities are coterminous with their namesake towns and have a merged city-town government. The three exceptions are the City of Groton, which is a subsection of the Town of Groton, the City of Winsted in the Town of Winchester, and the City of Milford, which is most, but not all, of the Town of Milford. There are also nine incorporated boroughs, eight of which provide additional services to a section of town. One, Naugatuck, is a consolidated town and borough.




The total gross state product for 2004 was $187 billion. The per capita income for 2005 was $47,819, ranking first among the states. There is, however, a great disparity in incomes through the state; although New Canaan has one of the highest per capita incomes in America, Hartford is one of the ten cities with the lowest per capita incomes in America. This is due to Fairfield County having become a bedroom community for higher-paid New York City workers seeking a less urban lifestyle, as well as the spread of businesses outwards from New York City having reached into southwestern Connecticut, most notably to Stamford. The state did not have an income tax until 1991, making it an attractive haven for high earners fleeing the heavy taxes of New York State, but putting an enormous burden on Connecticut property tax payers, particularly in the cities with their more extensive municipal services. As a result, the middle class largely fled the urban areas for the suburbs, taking stores and other tax-paying businesses with them, and leaving only the urban poor in the now impoverished Connecticut cities. As evident from the dichotomy in income figures described above, this problem has yet to be successfully solved. Exacerbating this problem, the state has a very high cost of living, due to a combination of expensive real estate, expensive heating for the winters, the need to import much food from warmer states, and the dependence on private automobiles for mobility.