Counties of Connecticut
LocationState of Connecticut
Populations116,418 (Windham) – 957,419 (Fairfield)
Areas369 square miles (960 km2) (Middlesex) – 920 square miles (2,400 km2) (Litchfield)
  • County government (abolished in 1960, except for County Sheriffs, which were abolished by an act of the state legislature effective in 2000)
Map of the counties of colonial Connecticut, 1766.

There are eight counties in the U.S. state of Connecticut.

Four of the counties – Fairfield, Hartford, New Haven and New London – were created in 1666, shortly after the Connecticut Colony and the New Haven Colony combined. Windham and Litchfield Counties were created later in the colonial era, while Middlesex and Tolland Counties were created after American independence (both in 1785). Six of the counties are named for locations in England, where many early Connecticut settlers originated; Fairfield County was named after the salt marshes that bordered the coast, while New Haven County was named for the New Haven Colony.[1]

Although Connecticut is divided into counties, there are no county-level governments, and local government in Connecticut exists solely on the municipality level.[2] Almost all functions of county government were abolished in Connecticut in 1960,[3] except for elected county sheriffs and their departments under them. Those offices and their departments were abolished by an act of the state legislature effective in December 2000. The functions the county sheriffs' departments played were assumed by the newly organized State Marshal Commission and the Connecticut Department of Corrections.[4]

These counties are used in legacy geography, such as identifying land, national statistics and firmly within personnel rostering and court jurisdictions in the state's judicial and state marshal system. However, the three most populous—Fairfield, Hartford and New Haven—are as to many types of jurisdiction subdivided.[5]

In 2019 the state recommended to the United States Census Bureau that the nine Councils of Governments replace its counties for statistical purposes. According to the Census Bureau, "Connecticut's COGs/Planning Regions have the authority to carry out administrative functions that are typically found among counties in other states."[6] This proposal was approved by the Census Bureau in 2022, and will be fully implemented by 2024.[7]

CT Counties by Population, with darker colors indicating a higher population, from the 2020 census

U.S. Census Bureau

Comparison of county boundaries to planning regions[8]

The United States Census Bureau formally recognized the planning regions/councils of government as county equivalents in the Federal Register on June 6, 2022. A draft notice of potential recognition would have adapted the existing FIPS codes for the eight "legacy counties", however in response to submitted comments, the bureau retired the codes and assigned new ones to more clearly illustrate the break in geographic continuity. The Census noted that there is substantial correlation between the historic county borders and planning regions, however planning regions may incorporate towns from several counties. The bureau notes that the recognition of planning regions as county equivalents was unique to the specific conditions in Connecticut, and would not constitute a binding precedent on similar conditions in other states.[9]

Alphabetical listing

FIPS code[10] Seat[b][12] Est.[12] Origin[1] Etymology[13] Population[14] Area[12] Map
Fairfield County 001 Bridgeport 1666 original county From the hundreds of acres of salt marsh that bordered the coast. 959,768 626 sq mi
(1,621 km2)
State map highlighting Fairfield County
Hartford County 003 Hartford 1666 original county After Hertford, England (still said Hartford) 896,854 736 sq mi
(1,906 km2)
State map highlighting Hartford County
Litchfield County 005 Litchfield 1751 From parts of Fairfield, Hartford and New Haven Counties City of Lichfield, Staffordshire, England 185,000 920 sq mi
(2,383 km2)
State map highlighting Litchfield County
Middlesex County 007 Middletown 1785 From parts of Hartford and New London Counties Former county of Middlesex, England 164,759 369 sq mi
(956 km2)
State map highlighting Middlesex County
New Haven County 009 New Haven 1666 original county After New Haven Colony, founded as a haven in which Puritans could be free from persecution. 863,700 606 sq mi
(1,570 km2)
State map highlighting New Haven County
New London County 011 New London 1666 original county After London, England 268,805 666 sq mi
(1,725 km2)
State map highlighting New London County
Tolland County 013 Rockville 1785 From parts of Hartford and Windham Counties Hamlet of Tolland, Somerset, England 150,293 410 sq mi
(1,062 km2)
State map highlighting Tolland County
Windham County 015 Willimantic 1726 From parts of Hartford and New London Counties Either after Windham (now Wineham) in Sussex or Windham (now Wymondham, still said Windham) in Norfolk, England 116,418 513 sq mi
(1,329 km2)
State map highlighting Windham County

Former counties

Both were extraterritorial:


  1. ^ All land in Connecticut is covered by an incorporated city or town. County borders match constituent city and town borders. See Local government in Connecticut
  2. ^ Officially, Connecticut has no county seats.[11] The listed communities are instead historical county seats.


  1. ^ a b Clark, George Larkin (1914). A History of Connecticut: Its People and Institutions. G. P. Putnam's Sons. p. 1. a history of Connecticut.
  2. ^ An Overview of County Government Archived July 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, National Association of Counties website, accessed January 5, 2008
  3. ^,a%20viable%20source%20of%20government. "Because the state and local governments had historically wielded substantial authority within Connecticut, county governments never achieved the authority needed to gain a stronghold as a viable source of government."
  4. ^ "State Marshals Directory - CT Judicial Branch".
  5. ^ "Connecticut Judicial District Map". Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  6. ^ "Proposed Change to County Equivalents in Connecticut" (PDF). US Census Bureau.
  7. ^ Governor Lamont Announces U.S. Census Bureau Approves Proposal for Connecticut's Planning Regions To Become County Equivalents
  8. ^ "Change to County-Equivalents in the State of Connecticut". Federal Register. June 6, 2022. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  9. ^ "Change to County-Equivalents in the State of Connecticut". Federal Register. June 6, 2022. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  10. ^ "EPA County FIPS Code Listing". Archived from the original on October 7, 2012. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
  11. ^ "Connecticut State Register and Manual, Section VI: Counties". Connecticut Official State Website (Office of Secretary of State).
  12. ^ a b c National Association of Counties. "NACo – Find a county". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved April 30, 2008.
  13. ^ Beatty, Michael (2001). County Name Origins of the United States. McFarland Press. ISBN 0-7864-1025-6.
  14. ^ "Connecticut QuickFacts". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved March 31, 2022.