Cost Of Living In Connecticut (Taxes, Housing & More)

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante

One of the many jewels of New England, Connecticut is home to some of the most beautiful sights in America. Connecticut is historic, and its prevailing New England charm is enough to keep the 3,565,287 residents happy. While Connecticut has so many natural beauties and rich cultural charms, it also boasts a high cost of living.

The median home value in Connecticut is $272,700, and the average owner spends $1,219 per month in ownership fees. Connecticut is a high tax state, and the average effective property tax rate is 2.07%, and payments of $3,628 or more are commonplace. Renting is the most affordable housing option, and the median gross rent in Connecticut is $1,156 per month.

If you want the most bang for your buck, Meriden is your best option as rent averages $1,000 per month. There are affordable housing options in many of the great cities in Connecticut, but costs are generally above the national average. Let’s take a close look at the cost of living in Connecticut and all it has to offer.

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Connecticut Housing Prices

Housing prices in Connecticut are slightly above the national average, and the median home value is $272,700. Even still, Connecticut’s homeownership rate is higher than the national average in America and is currently 66.3%. The cheapest city in Connecticut, Meriden, has a $172,200 median home value, and 58.8% of its residents own their homes.

Owning a home comes with monthly bills such as utilities, repairs, and mortgage payments, and Connecticut is no exception. Connecticut homeowners spend an average of $2,096 per month, and $877 of that goes to bills. Roughly $1,219 of ownership costs in Connecticut go to mortgage payments, on average, but it varies based on your rate.

LocationMedian Home ValueHomeownership Rate
Hartford CT$162,80023.8%
Stamford CT$526,70053.0%
Norwalk CT$427,30059.0%
Meriden CT$172,20058.8%
United States$204,90063.8%

There are countless builder-owners in Connecticut, and while it is pricey, it’s a worthy investment for many. If you choose to build your own home in the Constitution State, you’ll spend $250 per square foot on average. You could spend as little as $150 per square foot, but customization can cost up to $350 per square foot.

Connecticut Property Tax Rates

Property taxes are somewhat high in Connecticut, and the average effective rate is 2.07%, and the national average is 1.08%. The property tax rate in Connecticut is ranked at the fourth highest in the country, and payments are often high. Cities like Fairfield have a lower rate of 1.73%, but payments still average more than $7,000 due to home values.

New Haven, Connecticut has the highest property tax rate at 2.29%, but Hartford is right behind it at 2.22%. Property tax payments can be more affordable if you are able to apply and qualify for exemptions. Disabled, elderly, veteran, and homestead exemptions are available to residents in Connecticut that qualify.

Connecticut CountiesProperty Tax RateAverage Property Tax Payment
New London1.80%$4,290

Average Cost of Rent In Connecticut

Renting is an affordable alternative to owning a home in Connecticut, and it costs $1,156 per month, on average. The $2,096 monthly ownership costs are almost double the cost of rent in Connecticut, and roughly 34% of residents rent. Rent costs vary greatly depending on which city you choose to live in, and Darien has the highest rent at $2,801.

You won’t find rent much cheaper than in Meriden, CT, and it costs as low as $1,000 per month. Renting costs are above the national average in Connecticut by a small margin of $133 per month. High mortgage payments and housing costs make renting the best option for many of Connecticut’s residents.

Connecticut CitiesMedian Gross Rent
New Haven$1,179 Per Month
Hartford$959 Per Month
Stamford$1,761 Per Month
Danbury$1,451 Per Month
Meriden$1,000 Per Month
Greenwich$1,713 Per Month
New London$958 Per Month

Average Utility Bill In Connecticut

Utility bills in Connecticut are much higher than most of the United States and averages $496 per month. That number represents basic utilities such as electricity, natural gas, and water, as well as cable and internet. Electrical bills alone cost $187 per month, on average, and only two other states have higher electrical costs.

Cable bills generally cost between $40 and $50 per month, but some provides cost up to $70 or more. Internet plans can be paired with cable in Connecticut, but if not, it will cost you another $38-$45 each month. Total utility bills in Connecticut come in at the 6th most expensive in the United States.

Water bills cost an average of $70 per month in Connecticut, but large households can cost more. Luckily, natural gas is mostly inexpensive in Connecticut and averages $44 per month. Having your trash picked up each week costs between $12 and $25 in Connecticut, but some municipalities are more expensive.

State Income Tax Connecticut

Connecticut splits their income tax rates amongst tax brackets, and the highest rate is 6.99% for the top tier. If you make below $10,000 per year, your income will be subject to a 3% tax. Income tax rates shoot up to 5% if you make between $10,000 and $50,000 per year. Once you get to $100,000 per year, your income tax will cost more than 6%, and the highest 6.99% is reserved for $500,00 and up.

Married couples can save on income taxes, and $1,000,000 or more will get you the top 6.99% bracket. Unfortunately, Connecticut is not the friendliest place to retire because they tax everything from pensions and Social Security to IRAs. Even if you worked for Connecticut, your pension is still subject to income tax and exemptions are not available.

If you make a profit from investments in Connecticut, the dividends and interest will be taxed at 7%. Taxes on dividends can soar as high as 14% and can be as little as 1%. Income taxes may be high in Connecticut, but the high quality of life in the historical state makes it worth it.

Connecticut Sales Tax Rate

Connecticut has a high sales tax rate of 6.35%, but municipalities cannot increase it on their own. The sales tax rate applies to almost all purchases, but products such as tobacco and alcohol have their own rates. Alcohol vendors have an excise tax of $5.40 per gallon of liquor, and it generates a lot of state income.

Tobacco sales are quite expensive due to the combination of a $4.35 per pack tax plus the sales tax rate. Connecticut is also home to one of the highest gasoline tax rates, and you pay an extra $0.49 per gallon at the pump. The state is not considered to be a tax-friendly state, and that’s due to the property, sales, and state income tax.

Connecticut TaxesAverage Rate & Cost
Property Tax Rate2.07%
Income Tax Rate3%-6.99%
Sales Tax Rate6.35%
Alcohol Tax$5.40 Per Gallon (Vendors)
Tobacco Tax$4.35 Per Pack + 6.35% Sales Tax
Gasoline Tax$0.49 Per Gallon

Professional services are also subject to the 6.35% sales tax rate in Connecticut and include maintenance and lawn care. Connecticut does reward residents with “tax-free weeks” once per year where clothing items are not taxable.

Cost of Education In Connecticut

The average cost of private tuition in Connecticut costs a yearly $26,057, but it depends on the level of education. Your cheapest private education option in Connecticut is $2,150 per year, but it will generally run you more. Private elementary school costs an average of $17,579 per year, and high school averages $34,479 in yearly tuition.

There are 1,148 primary schools to choose between in Connecticut, and there are currently 200 school districts in the state. You can choose between several colleges in Connecticut as well, such as Wesleyan University. Wesleyan costs $57,334 per year, but options like the University of Connecticut only cost $17,226 for state residents.

Connecticut EducationAverage Tuition Cost
Average Private Tuition$26,057
Private Elementary School$17,579
Private High School$34,479
Connecticut College$56,890
University of Connecticut$17,226 (Residents) $39,894 (Non-Residents)
Wesleyan University$57,334

Connecticut College is another prestigious school, and it costs $56,890 whether you are in-state or out of state. Childcare programs in Connecticut cost between $960 and $1,200 or more per month. You could spend well over $12,000 per year on daycare for your children as a parent in Connecticut.

Connecticut Food Costs

Food is expensive in Connecticut, and that goes right down to grocery costs. Connecticut residents must budget themselves $787 per month for food, or more, for families, and that is mostly from groceries. Dining out in a city like Hartford can cost as much as $50 on dinner for two, and that adds up when it comes to families.

GroceriesNew Haven, CTHartford, CTWest Hartford, CT
Gallon of Milk$3.35$3.25$3.06
Dozen Eggs$1.87$3.12$2.75
Pound of Beef$4.16$5.95$6.00
Pound of Chicken$3.40$5.65$5.00
Head of Lettuce$1.65$5.67$1.50

Cities like West Hartford are also expensive and meals at a restaurant average $20 per person. If you dine out occasionally and mostly stick to groceries, you’ll spend $9,444 per year on food in Connecticut. It could cost nearly double that if you live in a household with between 1-3 children.

Driving Costs In Connecticut

Unfortunately, Connecticut was recently ranked the third-worst state for drivers, and that is mostly due to costs. High car insurance premiums in Connecticut have a lot to do with the amount of uninsured drivers as well as traffic incidents. With that said, gasoline costs are quite low in Connecticut, and that helps soften the blow.

The average cost of gasoline in Connecticut is $2.16 per gallon, and that’s only one cent above the national average. Connecticut is known for long commute times, and the state average is 26 minutes each way on the road. That adds up to heavy gas consumption, and frequent commuters spend up to $1,416 per year at the gas station.

The average cost of car insurance premiums in Connecticut is $1,544 per year, and males pay more than females generally. Male drivers in Connecticut average $1,500 or more per year, and females typically pay $1,475 for car insurance coverage. Car insurance is the cheapest for residents in their 50s, and they spend an average of $1,382 per year.

Entertainment In Connecticut

Connecticut is a laid back, but it is also exciting and full of entertainment. A lot of the entertainment available to Connecticut residents comes in the way of museums and historic tours. Famous museums such as the Bruce Museum only costs $10 for adults, and kids that are 5 or under get in for free.

Perhaps the most famous museum in Connecticut is the Mark Twain Museum and house in Hannibal, CT. Admission to the Mark Twain Museum costs between $13 and $21, and it is worth soaking up the history. Spooky fun in Connecticut includes the New Haven’s Ghost Walk tour for $25.98 per person, and it’s fun for groups.

Connecticut EntertainmentAverage Price
Bruce Museum$10 (Kids Free)
Florence Griswold Museum$5
New Haven’s Ghost Walk$25.98
Wadsworth Atheneum$15 (Adults) $12 (Seniors) $5 (Students)
Mark Twain Museum$21 (Adults) $19 (Seniors) $13 (Children)

New Milford, East Haddam, and Killingworth, Connecticut are all home to gorgeous parks free of admission. The Chatfield Hollow State Park is one of the most gorgeous and unique parks in the state, and it’s worth the drive. Otherwise, put on your hiking shoes and explore the Lover’s Leap State Park in New Milford where there’s unforgettable scenery.

Cheapest Place To Live In Connecticut: Meriden

  • Median Home Value: $172,200
  • Average Monthly Rent Cost: $1,000 Per Month
  • Property Tax Rate: 2.29%
  • Median Household Income: $57,886
  • Monthly Homeownership Costs: $1,541
  • Population: 59,395

Connecticut’s cheapest city, Meriden, is located in New Haven County, and it is home to 59,395 residents. Meriden has the lowest housing costs in the state, and the median value is $172,200 with $1,541 in monthly costs. Housing, grocery, utilities, and gas costs are lower, on average, than the rest of Connecticut in Meriden.

The average property tax payment in Meriden is $5,594 per year, and that’s due to the 2.29% property tax rate. Meriden is the cheapest city in New Haven County, so yearly property tax payments may be considerably more affordable. The homeownership rate in Meriden is 58.8%, and the rest of the residents pay $1,000 each month on rent.

You can find car insurance premiums in Meriden for between $100 and $217 per month, depending on the carrier. Gasoline costs are lower than the rest of Connecticut in Meriden and goes for as low as $1.85 per gallon. Meriden is the cheapest city in Connecticut, and it’s worth the housing costs for the comfortably living it provides.

Related Questions

Is Connecticut a good place to live?

Connecticut is a great place to live, but the cost of living is high compared to the rest of the country. Crime rates are low in Connecticut and there are amazing options for public education that can save money for parents. The median household income is $76,106 per year, and Connecticut is known for being quite affluent compared to other states.

Is Connecticut safe?

Yes, Connecticut is quite safe, and there are only 8 other U.S. states considered to be safer to live in. The safest cities to live in Connecticut currently are Voluntown, North Stonington, Lyme, Colchester, Lebanon, and Killingworth. Dangerous places worth avoiding in Connecticut include Bridgewater, Orange, Hartford, New Haven, and East Windsor.Related Guide: Safest Neighborhoods in Hartford, Connecticut

What is the weather like in Connecticut year-round?

Connecticut experiences all four seasons like the rest of New England with hot summers and cold winters. It hits average lows of 21 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter, and snowfall is common during the winter in inland Connecticut. The northern part of Connecticut gets 45” of snow each year, and the rest of the state averages 25”.

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What Did We Learn?

Connecticut is a great place to live, but the cost of living is much higher than most U.S. states. Property tax payments alone can cost up to $7,229 per year in Connecticut, and that’s due to high home values. The median home value in Connecticut is $272,700, and monthly homeownership costs generally cost $1,219 per month.

Single residents spend an average of $787 per month on food between dining out and buying groceries. Food budgets can nearly double for family households in Connecticut, and it is a big part of your budget. Be sure to tuck away money for car insurance premiums, which average $1,544 per year in Connecticut.

There are amazing opportunities for public education in Connecticut, but private school costs an average of $26,057 per year. Connecticut is not considered a great state to retire in because all forms of retirement income are taxable. You can live a great life in Connecticut, and the high cost of living is worth it for the lifestyle and surroundings.

Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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