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10 Most Dangerous Cities In Connecticut (2024 Update)

Downtown New Haven, CT

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

Connecticut is the 29th largest state with a population of 3.5 million people. Its capital, Hartford, is only its fourth most populous city with Bridgeport, Stamford, and New Haven all having a higher population.

With the highest per-capita income of all states, Connecticut is considered one of the wealthiest states as well as being one of the safest. It has the fourth-lowest violent crime rate, with a low 184.6 violent crimes per 100,000 people, which is considerably lower than the country’s 379 violent crimes per 100,000. Although Stamford is just outside the top 10 cities with the highest violent crime rates, the top three are made up of the state’s other most populous cities.

Read on for more information on the 10 most dangerous cities in The Constitution State, including crime details taken from the FBI’s recent statistics.

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The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Connecticut: A Quick Look

1. New Haven

Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut
Image Credit: neelshankar_Pixabay
Population 130,494
Violent crimes per 100,000 895
Homicides 13

New Haven is the state’s third-largest city by population, although it has almost exactly the same population as the second-largest city, Stamford. However, while Stamford’s violent crime rate sits at a reasonable 202 per 100,000, New Haven’s is more than four times that at 895 violent crimes per 100,000. In particular, it has a high robbery rate of 246 per 100,000 and it also has the highest property crime rate in the state: 3,799 incidents of property crime occur for every 100,000 people.

New Haven was first incorporated in 1784 and it quickly became known as The Arsenal Of America. Samuel Colt invented the automatic revolver here, and other gun manufacturing companies in the city have included Oliver Winchester and O.F. Mossberg & Sons. New Haven was also known for its manufacture of brass and silver goods.

Following World War II, middle-class workers started to leave the city in their droves, and despite urban renewal efforts in the 1950s, the city continued to decline. Further efforts have been made since 2000, but as yet, they have not helped improve New Haven’s fortunes or crime levels.

2. Hartford

Hartford, Connecticut State Capitol Building
Image Credit: 12019, Pixabay
Population 122,245
Violent crimes per 100,000 858
Homicides 21

Hartford is Connecticut’s fourth most populous city, with a total of 122,245 people. It is also the state’s second most dangerous city, with 858 violent crimes per 100,000 people, more than double the national average. In particular, the city has the highest homicide rate, with 17 homicides for every 100,000 residents. Property crime rates are also high, with 2,801 such crimes per 100,000 population.

Hartford is one of the oldest cities in the U.S. Although it was once the richest city in the U.S., 30% of its families now live in poverty despite earning the nickname of The Insurance Capital Of The World for the large number of insurance companies that reside here. In 1909, the city endured a massive flood as the Connecticut River rose well above its banks. In 1944, Hartford also saw a major fire that killed 168 people. During the 1990s, the population declined massively, although this has started to rebound in the last 20 years or so.

3. Bridgeport

Barnum museum Bridgeport CT
Image Credit: Aubrey Gough, Shutterstock
Population 144,908
Violent crimes per 100,000 582
Homicides 17

With a population of nearly 150,000, Bridgeport is Connecticut’s most populous city and is also the third most dangerous city in the state, with a violent crime rate of 582 per 100,000, although its property crime rate of 1,701 per 100,000 does not rank that high. Although New Haven and Hartford have higher violent crime rates, Bridgeport has the highest robbery rates of any city in the state, with 271 incidents for every 100,000 people.  It also has the second-highest homicide rate in the state, with 12 homicides per 100,000 people.

Bridgeport was once a thriving city. P.T. Barnum served as mayor in the 19th Century and built large properties here. The first Subway opened its doors in Bridgeport, and it was a major trading hub in the 19th Century. However, after World War II, affluent citizens left the city, and it has struggled with high crime rates and poverty rates since. Some redevelopment has begun, but this has yet to really show in the violent crime rates of the city.

4. New Britain

Civil War memorial, New Britain, Connecticut
Civil War memorial, New Britain, Connecticut (Image Credit: Kenneth C. Zirkel, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)
Population 72,354
Violent crimes per 100,000 423
Homicides 13

New Britain has a population of 72,354 and sees a violent crime rate of 423 per 100,000, but it does have a lower-than-typical 1,652 incidents of property crime for every 100,000 people. No homicides were committed in 2019.

New Britain has long been considered a manufacturing town and retains this reputation today. Stanley and Black and Decker have their headquarters in the city. The wire coat hanger was invented in New Britain, and the city’s nickname is Hardware City, although locals sometimes refer to it as New Britski. 25% of New Britain’s population is considered to live in poverty, which is considerably higher than the state average of 10%.

5. Norwich

Norwich. Connecticut City Hall
Image Credit: 12019, Pixabay
Population 38,964
Violent crimes per 100,000 382
Homicides 0

Norwich is one of only five Connecticut cities with a violent crime rate higher than the national average. 382 crimes are committed for every 100,000 population, and no homicides were committed in 2019. Although 68% of the violent crimes committed were aggravated assaults, Norwich has an unfortunately high rape incident, with the offense accounting for 17% of all violent crimes. 1,368 property crime incidents are committed for every 100,000 residents, which is the lowest on the list of the 10 most dangerous cities in Connecticut.

Although initially a farming community, Norwich’s position meant that shipping soon overtook farming as the city’s primary function. 15% of the population lives in poverty, which is much higher than the state average and may account for the higher-than-average crime rate.

6. Hamden

Hamden, CT TownHall
Hamden, CT TownHall (Image Credit: Magicpiano, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)
Population 60,855
Violent crimes per 100,000 327
Homicides 2

Hamden, with a population of just over 60,000, has a violent crime rate of 327 per 100,000 people and saw two homicides in 2019. 72%, or 143 of the 199 violent crimes, were aggravated assaults with robbery being the next most common type of crime. Hamden has a high incidence of property crime, with 2,182 incidents for every 100,000 population.

The Land Of The Sleeping Giant is an industrial city, and in the 19th and 20th centuries, it saw a large number of Italian and Irish immigrants flock to the area. The city still has a high ratio of Italian Americans living within its borders. Northern Hambden is primarily rural, with more urban centers located in the South of the city.

Although the city is locally known for providing business services, more Hamden residents commute to New Haven than work in Hamden itself. Only 7% of the population lives below the poverty line, which is lower than the state’s 10% figure.

7. Waterbury

Downtown Waterbury, CT
Downtown Waterbury, CT (Image Credit: Daniel Case, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)
Population 107,812
Violent crimes per 100,000 301
Homicides 5

Waterbury is the first city on the list with a population of more than 100,000 and the first to reach a violent crime rate of over 300, but only at 301 per 100,000. With five homicides per 100,000, this is roughly the same as the U.S. national average. Robberies accounted for 124 of the 325 reported violent crimes, and Waterbury also has a property crime rate of 3,027 per 100,000, which is the second-highest of any city in Connecticut.

Waterbury is an educational hub, home to Post University and regional campuses for three universities and Naugatuck Community College. Historically, it has been known as Brass City for the large number of companies producing brass goods. The city’s motto is Quid Aere Perennius which means What Is More Lasting Than Brass?

A major tornado struck Waterbury in 1962, causing millions of dollars of damage, killing one resident, and leaving 50 injured. 24% of the population lives below the poverty line and in 2008, Forbes Magazine rated it as one of the worst places for businesses and careers.

8. New London

New London Connecticut Historic District
New London Connecticut Historic District (Image Credit: Kenneth C. Zirkel, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)
Population 26,856
Violent crimes per 100,000 294
Homicides 0

New London’s population of 26,856 recorded no homicides in 2019, but the modestly sized city does have a violent crime rate of 294 incidents for every 100,000 population, and approximately one-quarter of these violent crimes are rapes. The city has a very low rate of aggravated assault, accounting for only one-third of its violent crimes. New London’s property crime rate is almost identical to that of Meriden at 1,717 crimes per 100,000.

New London is a port city of the River Thames, and during the 19th Century, it took advantage of its position to become one of the world’s three main whaling ports. The city took advantage of the money this brought and constructed many of the buildings that are still present today.

9. Meriden

Meriden,CT City Hall
Meriden,CT City Hall (Image Credit: Joe Mabel, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)
Population 59,378
Violent crimes per 100,000 264
Homicides 3

Meriden is the 9th most dangerous city, and its population sees a violent crime rate of 264 per 100,000. With three murders reported in 2019, only three cities in Connecticut saw more homicides during the year. Property crime rates are a modest 1,718 incidents for every 100,000 people. It has a population of 59,378, which by state standards makes it a roughly average size city.

Meriden only officially became a city in 1867, having split from Wallingford in 1806. The city became a manufacturing hub, and companies in the area produced products ranging from glassware to guns, but it became known as The Silver City for its concentration of silver manufacturers in the area. AGC, which was formerly known as Asahi Glass Co, is still one of the biggest manufacturers and employers in the city.

10. Norwalk

norwalk connecticut light house
Image Credit: Piqsels
Population 89,440
Violent crimes per 100,000 205
Homicides 1

The 10th most dangerous city in Connecticut, Norwalk, registered 205 crimes per 100,000 people with 80% of those crimes being aggravated assaults. It also registered 1,394 property crimes, which is the lowest of the cities in the top 10 list. A single homicide occurred in 2019.

Historically, the city of Norwalk was settled in 1640 by Roger Ludlow, and its position within the New York metropolitan area meant that in the 19th and part of the 20th Century, it became a popular railroad stop for New York. Approximately 8% of the city’s population is considered to live under the poverty line. Norwalk enjoys an annual oyster festival, boat show, and film festival. It was used as one of the filming locations for both the 1975 and 2004 versions of The Stepford Wives films.



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What Is The Safest City In Connecticut?

The safest city in Connecticut is Weston. It has a population of just over 10,000, a violent crime rate of 0 per 100,000 residents, and the lowest property crime rate equivalent to 146 per 100,000. It also has the highest median income in Connecticut, at nearly $220,000. One in five residents commutes to New York City, which is nearly 50 miles away, to work. The town has remained small because it has never had a railroad built through it, and property development is severely restricted.

How To Stay Safe In Connecticut

The majority of all crimes committed in Connecticut are property crimes, and larceny/theft leads the way and accounts for more than half of all crimes committed. Shoplifting, pickpocketing, and the theft of bicycles and motor vehicles are included in these categories. Although Connecticut is a generally safe state, with some very safe cities, there are still some guidelines you can follow to help stay safe.

  • Research The Area – Wherever you’re planning on visiting, do your research before you arrive. This enables you to find your hotel or wherever you’re staying and not have to ask for directions. Asking directions advertises the fact that you’re a visitor and can increase the chances of falling victim to a crime.
  • Don’t Advertise Valuables – It is very easy to sit on public transport with your eyes glued to your cell phone, but you should try to keep items like cell phones, as well as vital property like passports and bags, out of sight. Leave them in the safe in your hotel room or, at the very least, ensure that they are securely packed away in your bag or pocket.
  • Avoid Secluded Spots At Night – Almost every town and city has potentially dangerous spots, and most locals avoid these areas. So, too, do visitors that have done their research. Avoid parks and other secluded areas at night and opt for streets and main thoroughfares.

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Most Dangerous Cities In CT

Although Connecticut is considered a safe state, with crime rates below the national average, there are still some dangerous cities. Typically, the most dangerous towns are the ones with the greatest population, which has been proven in Connecticut too. New Haven, Hartford, and Bridgeport are three of the four most populous cities in the state and are the three most dangerous, respectively.

Featured Image Credit: Downtown, New Haven, CT, USA, Roman Eugeniusz, Wikimwedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)


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