By Ronni Newton
Niche.com released its rankings of the “Best Places to Live” Monday morning, and for the fifth straight year West Hartford has earned the top ranking on the list of the “2022 Best Places to Live in Connecticut.”
Niche gives West Hartford an overall grade of A-plus, a ranking which is a comprehensive assessment of the overall livability of an area based on analysis of multiple data sets, from the U.S. Census, FBI, BLS, and CDC, and considers “affordability, the local housing market, neighborhood diversity, area public schools, walkability, and more.”
The analysis, according to Niche, utilizes “advanced algorithms and statistical techniques to compare, normalize, and connect millions of data points to thoroughly analyze U.S. schools and neighborhoods.”
Individual reviews are also factored into the ranking, and West Hartford’s placement for 2022 incorporated 173 reviews.
“It is not by chance that West Hartford has received this recognition for the fifth year in a row,” Mayor Shari Cantor said. “We are a diverse and vibrant community that is highly engaged, cares about one another and is committed to investing in the pillars that have made West Hartford one of the best communities in the country.
“I am proud that West Hartford is recognized again by Niche as the top community to live in the state of Connecticut. We are dedicated to providing excellence in public education for each and every student, highly trained professional public safety services, and top-notch municipal services, all of which that make for a high quality of life and West Hartford a great place to live, work and play,” Cantor said.
Acting Town Manager Rick Ledwith also commented on the ranking. “Being named again by Niche.com as the Best Place to Live in Connecticut is a tremendous honor for our community,” he said. “This is a testament to our diversity, excellent public schools and public safety, and outstanding public services, all of which contribute to a great quality of life for our residents and success of our businesses in West Hartford.”
West Hartford’s description note the town has a “dense suburban feel,” with most residents owning their own homes, and a large selection of dining establishments and parks. “Many young professionals and retirees live in West Hartford and residents tend to be liberal. The public schools in West Hartford are highly rated,” the description included in the 2022 ranking states.
In addition to the overall grade, for 2021 West Hartford received an A-plus in the categories of schools, health and fitness, and “good for families.” Nightlife and outdoor activities received an A, diversity and commute received an A-minus, housing and jobs were rated B-plus, and cost of living as well as crime & safety were rated B-minus. The lowest grade assigned this year was a C-plus for West Hartford’s weather.
“Whether our users are young professionals, parents with young kids, or retirees, Niche’s Best Places to Live rankings serve as an excellent starting point for considering a move,” Luke Skurman, CEO and founder of Niche, said in a statement. “The pandemic triggered a new set of possibilities – suddenly, many individuals and families found themselves more mobile than ever before, and in the past two years they have continued to think hard about where they really want to live. Families wondering about an area’s school district, a major part of many relocation decisions, can also use our comprehensive school profiles and rankings to get a sense of what their child’s future school might be like.”
The No. 2 town in the 2022 ranking was Southport, while nearby communities of Weatogue, Avon, and Simsbury were No. 3, No. 4, and No. 5 respectively in the 2022 ranking. Rounding out the top 10, in order, were Old Greenwich, Greenwich, Glastonbury, Farmington, and Ridgefield.
Some towns are split into separate neighborhoods for consideration, and a total of 252 Connecticut communities were included in the 2022 ranking.
Niche has also once again rated West Hartford as No. 1 in the most recent rankings of the “Best Suburbs for Young Professionals in Connecticut” and “Best Suburbs to Live in Connecticut.”
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