Each year, the Connecticut Magazine releases its “Best Connecticut Towns” issue, profiling the rankings of our bucolic towns in the Nutmeg State. These towns are ranked based upon the the quality of public schools, the state of the local economy, the cost of living, the crime rate and local leisure and cultural resources.
While there certainly will be a bit of personal choice in your own ranking of towns, if you’re considering a move to this part of the country, this is a good place to start your search.
Here are the March 2012 results of towns with under 10,000 residents.
3. Old Lyme
The magazine’s ranking of towns above 10,000 (in which Fairfield County towns ranked consistently at the top) were released in October 2011. The link is below.
Here’s the nitty gritty on how these rankings were achieved, according to the Connecticut Magazine.
EDUCATION: This category combines five elements: the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Mastery Test results for 4th, 6th and 8th grades; results of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT); local SAT scores for 2008, 2009 and 2010 and the percentage of 2010 public high school graduates who went on to two- and four-year colleges. Test scores are weighted more heavily.
ECONOMY: The strength of the local economy was determined by the 2012 Public Investment Community score, compiled by the Office of Policy and Management, which rates all Connecticut towns under a formula based on population, per capita income, the adjusted equalized grand list per capita, the unemployment rate, the equalized mill rate and per capita aid to children.
COST OF LIVING: This category includes the median price of a house purchased from January 2010 through June 2011, a figure that predicts many other local expenses.
CRIME: This category is based on major crimes (murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor-vehicle theft) committed in 2007, 2008 and 2009—the most recent statistics available—per 1,000 population.
LEISURE/CULTURE: This category includes local library expenditures per capita in 2010 (an important factor in small towns), the number of theaters, museums, festivals, concert venues, historic sites, colleges and universities, golf courses, local newspapers, radio stations, state parks and forests, voter turnout in the 2008 election and good local restaurants.
Lisa M. Bender, Lisa@CTClassicHomes.com