Connecticut

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Connecticut

Connecticut is the southernmost state in the New England region of the United States. As of the 2010 census, it has the highest per-capita income, second-highest level of human development behind Massachusetts, and highest median household income in the United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, New York to the west, and the Long Island Sound to the south. Its capital is Hartford and its most populous city is Bridgeport. Historically the state is part of New England as well as the tri-state area with New York and New Jersey, which together make up metropolitan New York City. The state is named for the Connecticut River which approximately bisects the state. The word “Connecticut” is derived from various anglicized spellings of “Quononoquett” (Conanicut), a Mohegan-Pequot word for “long tidal river”.

Etymology

The name “Connecticut” originated with the Mohegan word quonehtacut, meaning “place of long tidal river”. Connecticut’s official nickname is “The Constitution State”, adopted in 1959 and based on its colonial constitution of 1638–1639 which was the first in America and, arguably, the world. Connecticut is also unofficially known as “The Nutmeg State” whose origin is unknown. It may have come from its sailors returning from voyages with nutmeg, which was a very valuable spice in the 18th and 19th centuries. It may have originated in the early machined sheet tin nutmeg grinders sold by early Connecticut peddlers. It is also facetiously said to come from Yankee peddlers from Connecticut who would sell small carved nobs of wood shaped to look like nutmeg to unsuspecting customers. George Washington gave Connecticut the title of “The Provisions State” because of the material aid that the state rendered to the American Revolutionary War effort. Connecticut is also known as “The Land of Steady Habits”.

Geography

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 fourth 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. There are 169 incorporated towns in Connecticut, with cities and villages included within some towns.

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 fourth 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. There are 169 incorporated towns in Connecticut, with cities and villages included within some towns.

Climate

Connecticut has 4 well defined seasons, though major changes in temperature from day to day are common. Early spring can range from slightly cool (40s to low 50s F) to warm (65 to 70 F), while mid and late spring (late April/May) is warm. By late May, the building Bermuda High creates a southerly flow of warm and humid tropical air, bringing hot weather conditions throughout the state. Average highs are 81 °F (27 °C) in New London and 85 °F (29 °C) in Windsor Locks at the peak of summer in late July. On occasion, heat waves with highs from 90 to 100 °F (38 °C) occur across Connecticut. Connecticut’s record high temperature is 106 °F (41 °C) which occurred in Danbury on July 15, 1995. Although summers are sunny in Connecticut, quick moving summer thunderstorms can bring brief downpours with thunder and lightning.

Demographics

As of the 2020 United States census, Connecticut has a population of 3,605,944, an increase of 31,847 people (0.9%) from the 2010 United States census. Among the census records, 20.4% of the population was under 18.

In 1790, 97% of the population in Connecticut was classified as “rural”. The first census in which less than half the population was classified as rural was 1890. In the 2000 census, only 12.3% was considered rural. Most of western and southern Connecticut (particularly the Gold Coast) is strongly associated with New York City; this area is the most affluent and populous region of the state and has high property costs and high incomes. The center of population of Connecticut is located in the town of Cheshire.

Religion

A Pew survey of Connecticut residents’ religious self-identification showed the following distribution of affiliations: Protestant 35%, Mormonism 1%, Jewish 3%, Roman Catholic 33%, Orthodox 1%, Non-religious 28%, Jehovah’s Witness 1%, Hinduism 1%, Buddhism 1% and Islam 1%. Jewish congregations had 108,280 (3.2%) members in 2000. The Jewish population is concentrated in the towns near Long Island Sound between Greenwich and New Haven, in Greater New Haven and in Greater Hartford, especially the suburb of West Hartford. According to the Association of Religion Data Archives, the largest Christian denominations, by number of adherents, in 2010 were: the Catholic Church, with 1,252,936; the United Church of Christ, with 96,506; and non-denominational Evangelical Protestants, with 72,863.

Economy

Connecticut’s economic output in 2019 as measured by gross domestic product was $289 billion, up from $277.9 billion in 2018. Connecticut’s per capita personal income in 2019 was estimated at $79,087, the highest of any state. There is, however, a great disparity in incomes throughout the state; after New York, Connecticut had the second largest gap nationwide between the average incomes of the top 1% and the average incomes of the bottom 99%. According to a 2018 study by Phoenix Marketing International, Connecticut had the third-largest number of millionaires

per capita in the United States, with a ratio of 7.75%. New Canaan is the wealthiest town in Connecticut, with a per capita income of $85,459. Hartford is the poorest municipality in Connecticut, with a per capita income of $13,428 in 2000.

As of December 2019, Connecticut’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.8%, with U.S. unemployment at 3.5% that month. Dating back to 1982, Connecticut recorded its lowest unemployment in 2000 between August and October, at 2.2%. The highest unemployment rate during that period occurred in November and December 2010 at 9.3%, but economists expect record new levels of layoffs as a result of business closures in the spring of 2020 as the result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Industries

Finance, insurance and real estate was Connecticut's largest industry in 2018 as ranked by gross domestic product, generating $75.7 billion in GDP that year. Major financial industry employers include The Hartford, Travelers, Cigna, the Aetna subsidiary of CVS Health, Mass Mutual, People's United Financial, Bank of America, Realogy, Bridgewater Associates, GE Capital, William Raveis Real Estate, and Berkshire Hathaway through reinsurance and residential real estate subsidiaries. The combined educational, health and social services sector was the largest single industry as ranked by employment, with a combined workforce of 342,600 people at the end of 2019, ranking fourth the year before in GDP at $28.3 billion.

Energy

Connecticut's economy uses less energy to produce each dollar of GDP than all other states except California, Massachusetts, and New York. It uses less energy on a per-capita basis than all but six other states. It has no fossil-fuel resources, but does have renewable resources. Average retail electricity prices are the highest among the 48 contiguous states. While the vast majority of state's overall energy consumption is fossil fuels, nuclear power delivered over 40% of state's electricity generation in 2019. Refuse-derived fuels and other biomass provided the largest share of renewable electricity at about a 3% share. Solar and wind generation have grown in recent years. More than three-quarters of solar generation came from distributed small-scale installations such as rooftop solar in 2019, and there is planning underway to significantly increase renewable generation with the state's offshore wind resource.

Transportation

The Interstate highways in the state are Interstate 95 (I-95) traveling southwest to northeast along the coast, I-84 traveling southwest to northeast in the center of the state, I-91 traveling north to south in the center of the state, and I-395 traveling north to south near the eastern border of the state. The other major highways in Connecticut are the Merritt Parkway and Wilbur Cross Parkway, which together form Connecticut Route 15 (Route 15), traveling from the Hutchinson River Parkway in New York parallel to I-95 before turning north of New Haven and traveling parallel to I-91, finally becoming a surface road in Berlin. I-95 and Route 15 were originally toll roads; they relied on a system of toll plazas at which all traffic stopped and paid fixed tolls. A series of major crashes at these plazas eventually contributed to the decision to remove the tolls in 1988. Other major arteries in the state include U.S. Route 7 (US 7) in the west traveling parallel to the New York state line, Route 8 farther east near the industrial city of Waterbury and traveling north–south along the Naugatuck River Valley nearly parallel with US 7, and Route 9 in the east.

Rail

Rail is a popular travel mode between New Haven and New York City's Grand Central Terminal. Southwestern Connecticut is served by the Metro-North Railroad's New Haven Line, operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Metro-North provides commuter service between New York City and New Haven, with branches to New Canaan, Danbury, and Waterbury. Connecticut lies along Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, which features frequent Northeast Regional and Acela Express service from New Haven south to New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC, and Norfolk, VA, as well as north to New London, Providence and Boston. Since 1990, coastal cities and towns between New Haven and New London are also served by the Shore Line East commuter line.

Air

Connecticut's largest airport is Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, 15 miles (24 km) north of Hartford. Many residents of central and southern Connecticut also make heavy use of JFK International Airport and Newark International Airports, especially for international travel. Smaller regional air service is provided at Tweed New Haven Regional Airport. Larger civil airports include Danbury Municipal Airport and Waterbury-Oxford Airport in western Connecticut, Hartford–Brainard Airport in central Connecticut, and Groton-New London Airport in eastern Connecticut. Sikorsky Memorial Airport is located in Stratford and mostly services cargo, helicopter and private aviation.

Ferry

Several ferry services cross Long Island Sound and connect the state to Long Island. The Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Ferry travels between Bridgeport, Connecticut and Port Jefferson, New York. Ferry service also operates out of New London to Orient, New York; Fishers Island, New York; and Block Island, Rhode Island, which are popular tourist destinations. Two ferries cross the Connecticut River: the Rocky Hill–Glastonbury ferry and the Chester–Hadlyme ferry, the former of which is the oldest continuously operating ferry in the United States, operating since 1655.

Sports

There are two Connecticut teams in the American Hockey League. The Bridgeport Islanders is a farm team for the New York Islanders which competes at the Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport. The Hartford Wolf Pack is the affiliate of the New York Rangers; they play in the XL Center in Hartford.

The Hartford Yard Goats of the Double-A Northeast are a AA affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. Also, the Norwich Sea Unicorns play in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League. The New Britain Bees play in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. The Connecticut Sun of the WNBA currently play at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville. In soccer, Hartford Athletic began play in the USL Championship in 2019.

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