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Updated November 30, 2023 | Infoplease Staff
state flag of Connecticut

Connecticut State Information

Capital: Hartford

Official Name: Connecticut

Organized as colony: 1636

Entered Union (rank): January 9, 1788 (5th state)

Present constitution adopted: 1965

State abbreviation/Postal code: Conn./CT

State Area Codes: 203, 475, 860, 959

Fun Facts About Connecticut

Nickname: The Constitution State (official, 1959), The Nutmeg State, The Provisions State, The Land of Steady Habits

Origin of name: From an Algonquian word (Quinnehtukqut) meaning "beside the long tidal river."

Motto: “Qui transtulit sustinet” (“He who transplanted still sustains”)

Slogan: "Make it Here"

State symbols

Flower: Mountain laurel (1907)

Tree: White oak (1947)

Animal: Sperm whale (1975)

Bird: American robin (1943)

Hero: Nathan Hale (1985)

Heroine: Prudence Crandall (1995)

Insect: Praying mantis (1977)

Gem: Garnet (1977)

Song: “Yankee Doodle” (1978)

Ship: USS Nautilus (1983)

Fish: American shad (2003)

Shellfish: Eastern oyster (1989)

Fossil: Eubrontes Giganteus (1991)

Dinosaur: Dilophosaurus wetherili (2017)

Folk Dance: Square Dance

Composer: Charles Edward Ives (1991)


Governor: Ned Lamont, D (to Jan. 2027)

Lieutenant Governor: Susan Bysiewicz, D (to Jan. 2027)

Secretary of State: Stephanie Thomas, D (to Jan. 2027)

Treasurer: Erick Russell, D (to Jan. 2027)

Atty. General: William Tong, D (to Jan. 2027)

U.S. Representatives: 5

Senators: Richard M. Blumenthal, D (to Jan. 2029); Christopher Murphy , D (to Jan. 2025)

Historical biographies of Congressional members

State website:


Residents: Connecticuters, Nutmeggers

Resident population: 3,626.205 (29th largest state, 2022)

10 largest cities (2023): Bridgeport, 148,457; Stamford, 137,566; New Haven, 137,339; Hartford, 119,817; Waterbury, 113,118; Norwalk, 91,634; Danbury, 87,571; New Britain, 73,401; Bristol, 60,653; Meriden, 60,653

Race/Ethnicity: White alone, not Hispanic or Latino (64.6%); Hispanic or Latino (17.7%); Black or African American (12.7%); Two or more races (2.6%); Asian alone (5.1%); Native American (0.1%); Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander (0.1%)

Religion: Catholic (33%); Evangelical Protestant (13%); Mainline Protestant (17%); Historically Black Protestant (5%); Mormon (1%); Orthodox Christian (1%); Jehovah’s Witness (<1%); Other Christian (1%); Jewish (3%); Muslim (1%); Buddhist (1%); Hindu (1%); No Religion (23%); Other Faiths (2%)

Sex: Male (49.1%); Female (50.9%)

Age: Under 18 (20.2%); 18–64 (61.8%); 65 and over (18%). Median Age: 40.6.


GDP: 321.8 billion dollars (23rd in U.S., 2022)

Unemployment: 3.8% (2023)


Land area: 4842.4 sq mi (13.023 sq km)

Geographic center: Berlin

Number of counties: 8

Largest county by population and area: Fairfield, 969,596 (2022); Litchfield, 356 sq mi. (922.04 sq. km.)

State parks/recreation areas: 110 state parks; 32 state forests

See additional census data

Tourism office


Map of Connecticut

Although it’s one of the smallest states, Connecticut has played a major role in the history of the United States. One of the original 13 colonies, the state supplied a variety of patriots in the fight for independence and was one of the first states to ratify the Constitution. The state was also the site of weapons manufacturers that kept American soldiers supplied during the two World Wars.

Connecticut Geography

The southernmost state of New England, Connecticut is the second smallest in the region with 4842.4 sq. miles (13.023 sq. km.). It shares a border with Rhode Island on the east, Massachusetts on the north, New York on the west, and Long Island Sound on the south. Although the state is densely populated, forests cover more than half of the state. Connecticut can be divided into three geographic regions. In the east, the Eastern Upland is hilly and forested, with multiple rivers. Ridges and valleys typify the Central Lowland. Volcanic eruptions millions of years ago created these distinct geographic features. As a result, the lowland consists of igneous rocks, such as basalt. The lowland also includes the state’s longest river—the Connecticut River. Other major rivers of the state include the Housatonic, the Farmington, the Quinnipiac, and the Naugatuck. The western third of the state is considered the Western Upland. Steep hills typify this region which is the New England section of the Appalachian Mountains that run from Georgia to Maine. Connecticut’s Western Upland is also home to the state’s highest peak — Mount Frissell — which rises to more than 2,380 feet (725.42 meters) in northwestern Connecticut, although its summit is in neighboring Massachusetts.[1]

As you would expect in such a heavily forested state, Connecticut's flora and fauna are diverse. Forests include mainly oaks and hickory, both considered hardwoods. Marsh marigolds, buttonbush, sweet pepperbush, mountain laurel (the state flower), white oak (the state tree), swamp buttercup, and swamp azalea are found throughout the state.[2]

The fauna in the state is also diverse and includes the American robin (the state bird), the European mantis (the state insect), the sperm whale (the state animal), the eastern oyster (the state shellfish), and the American shad (the state fish).[3]

Mention New England to most people, and they think of long, dark winters and short, cool summers. Connecticut, however, has a relatively mild climate. The state generally has only 12 days when the temperature soars above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32.22 degrees Celsius), and even fewer—six—when it is below zero. The growing season is also relatively long, with the last killing frost of spring in mid-April and the first one of autumn in mid-October. The state also receives moderate annual rainfall, with average annual precipitation totaling 40–50 inches (101.6–127 cm), making it ideal for agriculture.[4]

With its 250-mile (402.34-kilometer) Long Island Sound shoreline and many inland lakes, the state offers ample recreation opportunities. These include a variety of beaches for recreation, such as Hammonasset Beach, New London, Westport, West Haven, and Clinton.[5] The state also includes 110 state parks and 32 forests for Connecticut residents to enjoy.

The state capital is Hartford, which is the fourth largest city after Bridgeport, Stamford, and New Haven.

Connecticut People and Population

The state of Connecticut ranks as one of the most densely populated states, but with its small land area of 4842.4 sq. mi. (13.023 sq. km.), it is the 29th most populous state.

Demographically, the population of Connecticut is predominantly white alone, not Hispanic or Latino (64.6%); Hispanic or Latino (17.7%); Black or African American (12.7%); two or more races (2.6%); Asian alone (5.1%); Native American (0.1%); and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander (0.1%).[6]

Connecticut has a diverse age distribution, with the largest age group being those aged 18–64 (61.8%, 2022). Senior citizens aged 65 and over make up around 18% (2022) of the population with the median age being 41 years (2023).[7][8]

The state has relatively high levels of educational attainment. In 2020, approximately 40.6% of the population aged 25 and over had a bachelor's degree or higher. Around 91.1% of the population aged 25 and over had at least a high school diploma.

Christianity is the most common religion in Pennsylvania, with a significant proportion of the population identifying as Protestant (35%) and Roman Catholic (33%). There are also significant numbers of people who identify as non-religious (23%). Other religions represented in the state include Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism.[9] The state was also home to a unique Christian sect from the late 1700s through 1917. Known as the Enfield Shakers, they were a pious, nonmaterialistic sect that traced their origins to the Quakers.[10]

Connecticut also has a large immigrant population with the Census Bureau noting that in 2021 14.8% of the state's population was foreign-born. The largest number of immigrants in the state come from India, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Ecuador.[11]

Female Connecticuters outnumber their male counterparts by 50.9% to 49.1%.

Connecticut Government

Like all state governments, the Connecticut government consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The current constitution, that was adopted in 1965 is only the second constitution since Connecticut became a state. It consists of 14 articles and 31 amendments.

Currently (2023), Governor Lamont heads the executive branch. Unlike most states, Connecticut does not limit the number of terms a governor can serve, so Governor Lamont, who won a second term in 2022, is free to seek another term. State elections are held the same year as the national midterm elections, and all executive branch officials (Governor Ned Lamont, Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, Secretary of State Stephanie Thomas, Treasurer Erick Russell, Comptroller Sean Scanlon, and Attorney General William Tong) are up for election the same year.

Connecticut’s legislative branch, the Connecticut General Assembly, is bicameral with a Senate of 36 members serving two years and a House of Representatives of 151 members also serving two years. The General Assembly meets in the Capitol Building in Hartford.

The Connecticut judicial branch includes four types of courts, each with specific jurisdictions. Probate courts deal with cases involving children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities in addition to their roles in overseeing estates. Superior courts are trial courts that hear criminal and civil cases. The appellate court is the immediate appellate court, and the supreme court is the state’s highest court. For all courts, a judicial selection commission recommends qualified candidates to the governor. The governor, in turn, submits choices to the General Assembly, where both houses must approve the choice. Justices are appointed for 8-year terms and may serve more than one term.[12]

The Democratic Party holds what is called a trifecta in state government. A trifecta is when a single party controls the governorship and both houses of the legislature. As of 2023, the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives was 98 to 53.[13] In the Senate, it was 24 to 12.[14] Moreover, the entire delegation to the United States House of Representatives and Senate was Democratic as of the 117th Congress. These include Senators Richard Blumenthal and Christopher Murphy, as well as the following Representatives:

  • John B. Larson (D).

  • Joe Courtney (D).

  • Rosa L, DeLauro (D).

  • Jim Himes (D).

  • Jahana Hayes (D).

  • Andy Barr (D).

Local government organization in Connecticut tends to be more bipartisan. The state abolished all county government in 1960, but the state is governed at the local level by 169 municipalities. There is no unincorporated land in Connecticut unlike in many states. Every acre is under the jurisdiction of one of the municipalities. Municipal governments are also responsible for local school districts. The Connecticut State Library maintains all records of municipalities.[15] You can find more information on the government of Connecticut by visiting

Connecticut Economy

Since its colonial founding, Connecticut’s economy has been based on manufacturing. When still a British territory, Connecticuters were manufacturing metal buttons, so many that British merchants complained that the upstarts were cutting into their profits.[16] After independence, creative geniuses, such as Eli Whitney, Charles Goodyear, and Samuel Colt, continued the tradition of industrial innovation.

In the early years of settlement, some iron and copper mining contributed to the state’s economy, but these deposits decreased in importance as vast deposits were discovered further west. Agriculture, too, decreased in importance over the years as the state became increasingly urbanized. This decrease in farming led the General Assembly to enact a farm preservation program to stop the decline. Today, Connecticut leads New England in the production of eggs, pears, peaches, and mushrooms, and its oyster crop is the nation's second largest. Poultry and dairy products also account for a large portion of farm income.

Today, Connecticut factories produce weapons, sewing machines, jet engines, helicopters, motors, hardware and tools, cutlery, clocks, locks, silverware, and submarines. Hartford has the oldest U.S. newspaper still being published — the “Hartford Courant”, established in 1764 — and is the insurance capital of the nation. The state is also known for its work in technical fields, such as electronics, plastics, and metalworking, and is headquarters for 14 of the nation’s Fortune 500 companies, including Cigna, Otis Worldwide, Stanley Black and Decker, and Xerox.[17] The state is also home to several major insurance companies, including healthcare giants United Healthcare and Hartford. The state’s extremely educated workforce (ranking fourth in the U.S. for employees with advanced degrees) and highly ranked educational system (ranking third in the U.S. for quality of K-12 education) continue to draw employers.[18]

The large industrial base and educated workforce have helped the state’s economy grow. In 2022, after recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic public health emergency, the economy grew 2.4%, which was slightly higher than the national growth rate of 2.1%. This GDP growth rate as reported by the U.S. Department of Commerce placed Connecticut in 17th place among all states. The state’s per capita personal income reached $84,972 in 2022, which was the highest among all states.[19]

Another driver of the Connecticut economy is the small businesses that dot the state. In fact, more than 97% of businesses employ fewer than 500 people. Connecticut state government encourages these businesses through the Office of Small Business Affairs.[20]

Connecticut Interesting Facts

When people think of Connecticut, they often think of quaint villages surrounding historic greens or wealthy suburbs where commuters board trains to New York City. However, the state is so much more. Here, we detail a few of those cultural elements.

Literary Giants

Two giants of American literature called Connecticut home in the 1800s. Although born in Missouri, Mark Twain spent much of his adult life in Hartford, CT, writing his most famous books while living in the Nutmeg State, including “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court”, and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. One of the many things that attracted Twain to Hartford was the large community of intellectuals and writers with whom he had so much in common. Today, the house that Twain and his wife built in 1874 in Hartford is a museum dedicated to his memory.[21]

The other giant is Harriet Beecher Stowe, born in Litchfield in 1811. Although Stowe published more than 30 works, it was the publication of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” that secured her a place in literary history.

Stowe came from a family filled with activists seeking social justice. Her seven brothers all became ministers. Her oldest sister worked to secure education for women, and her youngest sister was one of the founders of the National Women’s Suffrage Association. It was therefore not at all surprising that Harriet worked to end slavery.

“Uncle Tom’s Cabin” tells the story of slaves having to deal with the painful separation of families and the cruelty of slaveholders. First published in 1852, the novel gained instant success. selling an unprecedented 300,000 copies. Northerners applauded the work; southerners vilified it (and most southern states banned it). It had such an impact that when President Abraham Lincoln met Stowe during the Civil War, he remarked: “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war.” It was surely an exaggeration, but not by much.[22]

And Connecticut’s literary tradition continues. The following writers are also proud Nutmeggers:

  • Annie Leibovitz of Waterbury; “Pilgrimage”.

  • Annie Proulx of Norwich; “Brokeback Mountain”.

  • Candace Bushnell of Roxbury; “Sex and the City”.

  • Stephanie Meyer of Hartford; “Twilight”.

  • Suzanne Collins of Hartford; “The Hunger Games”.[23]


Yale University, one of the world’s preeminent educational and research institutions, is located in New Haven, Originally chartered by the Connecticut legislature in 1701, the school was named Yale College in 1718 in honor of one of its benefactors. It became Yale University in 1824 with the establishment of the law school, which is consistently ranked as one of the best in the country. Other schools were later added to the university, including Yale’s Forestry School in 1900, the School of Drama in 1955, and the Jackson School of Global Affairs in 1976. The university’s museums and libraries provide resources for learners from all over Connecticut and the world.[24]

But Yale is not the only significant institution of higher learning in Connecticut. Housatonic Community College, Asnuntuck Community College, Manchester Community College, and Middlesex Community College provide students with affordable 2-year associate programs, while the University of Connecticut, Fairfield University, Sacred Heart University, Wesleyan University, Trinity College, and the United States Coast Guard Academy provide 4-year degrees and advanced degrees.

The Charter Oak

Centuries before Europeans ventured to the Americas, a huge white oak tree stood on what would become Wyllys Hill in Hartford, Connecticut. Scholars estimate that the tree sprouted sometime in the 12th or 13th century and stood until felled by a storm in 1856. Known as the Charter Oak, the tree’s history was intertwined with Connecticut’s colonial and early national history. Tradition holds that the Royal Charter of 1662 was concealed within the tree’s trunk (hence the name Charter Oak) to prevent the British governor from stealing and disavowing its provisions. At the time, the charter granted Connecticut an inordinate amount of self-government, and the king was eager to revoke it. But the colonists refused to give the document up, and the story became enshrined in the legend of Connecticut and in United States history. The tree became a symbol of American independence, and an illustration of it appeared on the Connecticut quarter. In 1935, it was depicted on a half-dollar to celebrate 300 years of Connecticut's history.[25]

Connecticut History

Although Connecticut ranks as the 48th largest state in size and the 29th largest in population, it has exerted an outsized influence on American history, From its colonial beginnings and adoption of the first constitution in the New World, to a modern multicultural and highly educated workforce, Nutmeggers have impacted the story of the United States, Let’s explore some of the ways they have done so throughout history.

Pre-Colonial History

Long before Europeans first set foot in what is now Connecticut, the verdant land was home to a variety of Native Americans, including the Schaghicoke, Paugusset, Mohegan, and Pequot. Just look at a map of Connecticut today to be reminded of this rich legacy. Quinnipiac, Noank, Quinnebaug, among others, were named by Native Americans who farmed the fertile land and developed widespread trade in beaver pelts, first with other Native Americans, and later with Europeans.

Colonial History

Dutch navigator, Adriaen Block, was the first European of record to explore the area, sailing up the Connecticut River in 1614. In 1633, Dutch colonists built a fort and trading post near what is today Hartford, CT, while the English claimed Saybrook Point as the base for a permanent colony. However, in the late 1630s, tensions developed between the Dutch and English. As so often happens in history, small tensions escalated into larger ones, which became known as the Pequot War. The English and their native allies claimed victory, which led to the Treaty of Hartford in 1638. Significantly, this led to the establishment of the first North American Indian reservations.[26][27]

The very next year, the English settlements established at Windsor, Wethersfield, and Hartford united to form the Connecticut Colony under the Fundamental Orders, the first modern constitution.

Connecticut played a prominent role in the Revolutionary War. Many Connecticuters fought at Bunker Hill and other battles, some winning fame as heroes of the war. General Israel Putnam led troops at Bunker Hill. Governor Jonathan Trumbull was the only colonial governor to join the Patriot cause. Nathan Hale was a notorious soldier-spy.

Connecticut supported the Revolution economically as well, serving as the Continental Army's major supplier. Sometimes called the “Arsenal of the Nation” and the “Provisions State,” Connecticut became one of the most industrialized in the nation.

Connecticuters also played pivotal roles in drafting the key documents of American democracy: the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution of the United States.

Pre-Civil War History

As political parties took hold in the young United States of the late 1700s and early 1800s, Connecticut became a stronghold of the Federalist Party of Alexander Hamilton against the Republicans of Thomas Jefferson. Throughout this time, the state’s busy seaports prospered, and the first textile mills were established. However, the second war with Britain—the War of 1812—effectively stopped all trade At the same time, Connecticut factories expanded to manufacture the textiles and machinery that could not be imported.[28]

Throughout the early 1800s, Connecticut, like most states, remained essentially an agricultural economy. But industry continued to expand. Already known for its clocks and tinware, the state developed other industries. New Haven boasted a hat factory, a nail factory, 17 boot and shoe factories, and two paper mills. New London was home to a thriving fishing and whaling industry. Norwich, Hartford, and Middletown had cotton mills.[29]

One of the most productive Connecticuters of the period was New Haven native Eli Whitney. Whitney is perhaps best known for his invention of the cotton gin, a revolutionary device to separate cotton lint from the seeds. In one hour, the gin accomplished what took workers a full day. The gin revolutionized plantation agriculture and, with it the importance of slave labor, making it one of the most significant inventions in history.[30]

As the Civil War engulfed the nation, Connecticut played a pivotal role for the Union cause. Manufacturers supplied rifles, cannons, and ammunition. Some 55,000 Connecticuters fought in 30 regiments, including two Black regiments.[31]

Post-Civil War History

After the Civil War, Connecticut continued to industrialize, with an expanding railroad system linking all parts of the state. The New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad was perhaps the most famous. Called the New Haven, it bought up smaller companies and linked all parts of New England. Its predominance, however, was relatively short-lived: the advent of automobiles, trucks, and buses cut into the railroad’s profits, and the line went bankrupt in 1935.[32]

The late nineteenth century was a period of increased immigration throughout the United States, and Connecticut industries attracted their fair share of new Americans. Significant numbers of Italian, Polish, and other eastern Europeans brought their Catholic faith with them to Protestant Connecticut. Moreover, many Jewish immigrants also settled in the state. By 1910, almost 30% of Connecticuters were foreign-born.[33]

The outbreak of World War I halted almost all immigration, and the immigrants already in Connecticut profited from the buildup in the state’s military industries to supply the war effort. When the United States entered the war in 1917, many of these immigrants returned to fight in their countries of origin, returning to their adopted homeland after the war and then taking part in the Roaring 1920s.

Connecticut basked in the prosperity of the boom times, then fell victim to the painful economic downturn of the Great Depression. To make matters even worse, Connecticut suffered two of the greatest natural disasters of its history during the depths of the Depression. In March 1936, heavy rains caused the Connecticut River to flood. Most of Hartford was underwater, and power was out for days. Then, two years later, in September 1938, a major hurricane devastated most of the state. The Connecticut River flooded Hartford and other towns on its shores. Downed power lines were the norm throughout the state.[34]

Once again, Connecticut recovered and rebuilt, but the Depression continued. Only an even more catastrophic war brought the state and nation back to prosperity, largely because the Allied Powers during World War II depended on Connecticut and the United States for arms. And when the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into the war, Connecticuters once again gave their all. Connecticut industries—Hamilton Propellers, Electric Boat, Pratt & Whitney, among others—filled more than $8 billion in war materials.[35] And once again, Connecticuters served in the armed forces in both the Pacific and in Europe. A total of 3,540 were killed in the war.

Modern History

Connecticut shared in the general American prosperity as suburbs mushroomed throughout the state in the 1950s. It was also during this time that the state secured lucrative defense contracts, among them the one to build the first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, which was built in Groton.[36] Other prominent companies, such as Sikorsky and Pratt & Whitney, also secured government contracts. Workers for all these companies were well-paid and highly skilled. However, the late 1900s saw a decrease in these jobs as the world moved beyond the Cold War and defense spending became less important.

Although modern Connecticut is heavily urbanized, the state has no large cities; the largest is Bridgeport with less than 150,000 residents. Thus, the state has no pockets of intense crowding, such as those found in New York or Massachusetts. However, even though the state has the highest per capita income in the country, stubborn pockets of poverty remain, particularly in the city centers of Hartford and Bridgeport. In a sense, there are today two Connecticuts: one rich, the other poor.

People Also Ask...

That’s everything you need to know about Connecticut, but how well do you know the other U.S. states and their geography? For the ultimate test, try out this challenge in which you identify states by their shapes: Infoplease's State Outlines Quiz.

People also ask the following three questions about life in Connecticut.

What Is Connecticut Known for?

Known as the Constitution State, leaders of colonial Connecticut developed the first written Constitution of the Americas, known as the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. Other colonies and states developed constitutions based on the Fundamental Orders, and they had a direct impact on the United States Constitution.

Is Connecticut a Good Place to Live?

Connecticut has many things going for it. One is the abundance of outdoor recreation year-round—even in winter. Just remember to bundle up! The small state has mountains, lakes, rivers, forests, and plenty of beaches. The state has the 3rd highest spending per pupil in K-12 public schools in the country and a high school graduation rate of 91.1%.[37][38] While not the first in the percentage of the population with college educations, 40.1% of Nutmeggers hold that coveted sheepskin.[39] The state also has the fifth-highest household income at more than $79,000.[40] The poverty rate is among the lowest in the nation. You also get all four seasons in Connecticut. Whether that is a big positive is up to you.

What Are Three Things Connecticut Is Famous for?

Besides being home to Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain, it is also home to the nation’s oldest newspaper (the “Hartford Courant”). Where was the first American dictionary written? Connecticut! We can credit Noah Webster for that one, and his legacy lives on in today’s Merriam-Webster Dictionary. And where was insurance first sold in the country? You guessed it: Connecticut. And there’s more:

  • The first PEZ factory was in Connecticut.

  • The lollipop was invented here.

  • In 1878, the first phone directory was published in Connecticut

  • ESPN started in Connecticut.

  • The first speed limit for motorized vehicles was in Connecticut.[41]

Famous Connecticut natives and residents:

    The 50 States of America | U.S. State Information
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    See also: