New Haven County
|Named for||New Haven Colony|
|Seat||none (since 1960)|
New Haven (before 1960)
|Largest municipality||New Haven (population)|
|• Total||862 sq mi (2,230 km2)|
|• Land||605 sq mi (1,570 km2)|
|• Water||258 sq mi (670 km2) 29.9%|
|• Density||1,429.5/sq mi (551.9/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Congressional districts||2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th|
New Haven County is a county in the south central part of the U.S. state of Connecticut. As of the 2020 census, the population was 864,835, making it the third-most populous county in Connecticut. Two of the state's top 5 largest cities, New Haven (3rd) and Waterbury (5th), are part of New Haven County.
New Haven County is part of the New Haven-Milford, CT Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the New York metropolitan Combined Statistical Area.
County governments were abolished in Connecticut in 1960. Thus, as is the case with all eight of Connecticut's counties, there is no county government, and no county seat. Until 1960, the city of New Haven was the county seat. In Connecticut, towns are responsible for all local government activities, including fire and rescue, snow removal and schools. In some cases, neighboring towns will share certain activities, e.g. schools, health, etc. New Haven County is merely a group of towns on a map, and has no specific government authority. The county Sheriff system was abolished by voters and replaced by State Judicial Marshals in 2000. As a result, the state judicial system in New Haven County has three judicial districts: New Haven, Ansonia-Milford, and Waterbury. On June 6, 2022, the U.S. Census Bureau formally recognized Connecticut's nine councils of governments as county equivalents instead of the state's eight counties. Connecticut's eight historical counties continue to exist in name only, and are no longer considered for statistical purposes.
Following the process of unification of New Haven Colony with Connecticut Colony in 1664–65, cohesion could be improved. New Haven County was constituted by an act of the Connecticut General Court on May 10, 1666, along with Hartford County, Fairfield County, and New London County. The act establishing the county states:
As established in 1666, New Haven County consisted of the towns of Milford, New Haven, and Guilford. The town of Wallingford was established in 1670 in unincorporated area north of New Haven and formally added to New Haven County in 1671. In 1675, the town of Derby was established north of Milford. In 1686, the town of Waterbury was established, but was assigned as part of Hartford County. Waterbury was transferred to New Haven County in 1728. In 1722, most of northwestern Connecticut (except for the town of Litchfield) was placed under the jurisdiction of New Haven County. Eight years later, in 1730, the eastern half of northwestern Connecticut was transferred to the jurisdiction of Hartford County. By mid-1738, with the exception of the towns of New Milford, Sharon, and Salisbury, the entire territory of northwestern Connecticut was under Hartford County. In 1751, Litchfield County was constituted consisting of all the towns in northwestern Connecticut. Between 1780 and 1807, several more towns were established along the northern boundary of New Haven County, resulting in the alteration of the limits of the county. The final boundary alteration leading to the modern boundary resulted from the establishment of the town of Middlebury on October 8, 1807.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 862 square miles (2,230 km2), of which 605 square miles (1,570 km2) is land and 258 square miles (670 km2) (29.9%) is water. It is the second-largest county in Connecticut by total area.
The terrain is mostly flat near the coast, with low hills defining the rest of the area, rising significantly only in the north of the county. The highest elevation is close to the northernmost point in the county, found at two areas of approximately 1,050 feet (320 m) above sea level in the town of Wolcott. The lowest point is sea level.
Notable geographic landmarks include Mount Carmel ("Sleeping Giant"), West Rock and East Rock.
New Haven county is bounded on the south by Long Island Sound.
As of 1960, counties in Connecticut do not have any associated county government structure. All municipal services are provided by the towns. In order to address issues concerning more than one town, several regional agencies that help coordinate the towns for infrastructure, land use, and economic development concerns have been established. Within the geographical area of New Haven County, the regional agencies are:
The geographic area of the county is served by the three separate judicial districts: Ansonia-Milford, Waterbury, and New Haven. The Ansonia-Milford jurisdiction has two superior courthouses, one in Derby, the other in Milford. The Waterbury and New Haven judicial districts have superior courthouses located, respectively, in Waterbury, and New Haven.
Law enforcement within the geographic area of the county is provided by the respective town police departments. Prior to 2000, a County Sheriff's Department existed for the purpose of executing judicial warrants, prisoner transport, and court security. These responsibilities have now been taken over by the Connecticut State Marshal System.
Fire protection in the county is provided by the towns. Several towns also have fire districts that provide services to a section of the town.
Founded in 1937, New Haven County has a county-wide fire-protection agency called "New Haven County Fire Emergency Plan" based in Hamden to "Coordinate Mutual Aid - Radio Problems, assist members of county at major incidents if requested, provide training".
Water service is provided by a regional non-profit public corporation known as the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority. The Regional Water Authority supplies water to most of the towns within New Haven County, excluding the Waterbury area and the towns of Guilford and Madison. The Regional Water Authority is one of only two such county-wide public water service providers in the state.
As with nearly all other Connecticut counties, New Haven County is a Democratic stronghold. The last Republican victory in New Haven County was George Bush in 1988. Since the 1990s, the county has trended increasingly Democratic.
U.S. 1 is the oldest east–west route in the county, running through all of its shoreline cities and towns. Known by various names along its length, most commonly "Boston Post Road" or simply "Post Road", it gradually gains latitude from west to east. Thus U.S. 1 west is officially designated "South" and east is "North".
The start of Interstate 91 begins at the interchange in New Haven with I-95. It runs parallel to U.S. Route 5 as it heads towards Hartford and Vermont.
The western portions of Interstate 95 in Connecticut are known as the Connecticut Turnpike or the Governor John Davis Lodge Turnpike in New Haven County and it crosses the state approximately parallel to U.S. Route 1. The road is most commonly referred to as "I-95". The highway is six lanes (sometimes eight lanes) throughout the county. It was completed in 1958 and is often clogged with traffic particularly during morning and evening rush hours.
With the cost of land so high along the Gold Coast, state lawmakers say they do not consider widening the highway to be fiscally feasible, although occasional stretches between entrances and nearby exits are now sometimes connected with a fourth "operational improvement" lane (for instance, westbound between the Exit 10 interchange in Darien and Exit 8 in Stamford). Expect similar added lanes in Darien and elsewhere in the Fairfield County portion of the highway in the future, lawmakers and state Department of Transportation officials say.
The Wilbur Cross Parkway or Connecticut Route 15, is a truck-free scenic parkway that runs through the county parallel and generally several miles north of Interstate 95. It begins at the Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Bridge and terminates at the Berlin turnpike. The parkway goes through Heroes Tunnel in New Haven.
The parkway is a National Scenic Byway and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Interstate 84, which runs through Danbury, is scheduled to be widened to a six-lane highway at all points between Danbury and Waterbury. State officials say they hope the widening will not only benefit drivers regularly on the route but also entice some cars from the more crowded Interstate 95, which is roughly parallel to it. Heavier trucks are unlikely to use Interstate 84 more often, however, because the route is much hillier than I-95 according to a state Department of Transportation official.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
At the 2000 census, there were 824,008 people, 319,040 households, and 210,566 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,361 inhabitants per square mile (525/km2). There were 340,732 housing units at an average density of 563 per square mile (217/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 79.40% White, 11.32% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 2.33% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 4.51% from other races, and 2.16% from two or more races. 10.09% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 24.5% were of Italian, 12.3% Irish, 6.0% Polish, 5.7% English and 5.6% German ancestry according to Census 2000. 8.73% of the population reported speaking Spanish at home, while 2.05% speak Italian.
There were 319,040 households, of which 31.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.60% were married couples living together, 13.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.00% were non-families. 28.20% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.08.
The age distribution was 24.50% under the age of 18, 8.70% from 18 to 24, 30.00% from 25 to 44, 22.40% from 45 to 64, and 14.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.70 males.
The median household income was $48,834, and the median family income was $60,549. Males had a median income of $43,643 versus $32,001 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,439. About 7.00% of families and 9.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.00% of those under age 18 and 7.70% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 United States census, there were 862,477 people, 334,502 households, and 215,749 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,426.7 inhabitants per square mile (550.9/km2). There were 362,004 housing units at an average density of 598.8 per square mile (231.2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 74.8% white, 12.7% black or African American, 3.5% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 6.0% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 15.0% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 24.0% were Italian, 17.5% were Irish, 9.3% were German, 8.5% were English, 7.6% were Polish, and 2.0% were American.
Of the 334,502 households, 31.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.5% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 35.5% were non-families, and 28.9% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.09. The median age was 39.3 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $61,114 and the median income for a family was $77,379. Males had a median income of $56,697 versus $43,941 for females. The per capita income for the county was $31,720. About 7.9% of families and 10.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.7% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.
The following income data is from the 2010 United States Census and the 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates:
The United States Office of Management and Budget has designated New Haven County as the New Haven-Milford, CT Metropolitan Statistical Area. The United States Census Bureau ranked the New Haven-Milford, CT Metropolitan Statistical Area as the 62nd most populous metropolitan statistical area of the United States as of July 1, 2012.
The Office of Management and Budget has further designated the New Haven-Milford, CT Metropolitan Statistical Area as a component of the more extensive New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area, the most populous combined statistical area and primary statistical area of the United States as of July 1, 2012.
Education in the county area is usually provided by the individual town governments. Several less populated towns have joined to form regional school districts. Bethany, Orange, and Woodbridge are part of Region 5; Middlebury and Southbury are part of Region 15; and Beacon Falls and Prospect are part of Region 16.
School districts include:
New Haven county serves as a center of advanced learning, with several noted educational institutions located within its borders centered on the city of New Haven. These include:
Villages are named localities within towns but have no separate corporate existence from the towns they are in.