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West Hartford Repeats as No. 1 Best Place to Live in Connecticut

Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

Niche.com has released its 2021 list of the best places to live in Connecticut, and West Hartford has once again earned the top spot.

By Ronni Newton

Niche.com released its rankings of the “Best Places to Live” Monday morning, and for the fourth year in a row, West Hartford has earned the top ranking on the list of the “2021 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 multiple data sets. 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 incorporated 166 reviews.

“With the pandemic changing the way we live and work, many people are thinking hard about where they want to live if they no longer have a daily commute. Our Best Places to Live rankings are designed to help users find the next place they want to call home. We consider factors such as Cost of Living, Higher Education Rate, Public Schools, and more,” a Niche.com spokesperson said.

“Niche generates the Best Places to Live rankings by using data from the U.S. Census, FBI, BLS, and CDC combined with millions of resident reviews. The company considers factors such as affordability, the local housing market, neighborhood diversity, area public schools, walkability, and more,” Niche.com states about their ranking of the Best Places to Live.

“I’m proud that Niche has designated West Hartford as No. 1 on its best places to live in Connecticut for the fourth year in a row,” Town Manager Matt Hart said. “We work hard at the local government level to provide the services and programs that contribute significantly to our quality of life. We have many fabulous partners in our business and nonprofit community, and this relationship makes our community special. This award is particularly meaningful this year as we emerge from the pandemic in a place to build upon our diversity and other strengths to attract new residents and new businesses to help keep West Hartford flourishing in the future.”

Mayor Shari Cantor also commented on the ranking. “I am very proud and pleased that West Hartford was recognized by Niche as the top place to live in Connecticut. It means even more in this very challenging year,” she said.

“Our community values a top public education for each and every student, highest quality, fair and just public safety services, and a town rich in accessible amenities including libraries and parks. We also have multiple vibrant centers offering a wide variety of businesses throughout our community,” Cantor said.

Quality of the public schools, ethnic and economic diversity, whether a place is good for families, housing, cost of living, crime, health and fitness, jobs, availability of nightlife as well as family and outdoor activities, weather, and commute are all factors incorporated through quantitative and qualitative methods from multiple public data sets as well as reviews.

“West Hartford is a town in Connecticut with a population of 63,063. West Hartford is in Hartford County and is one of the best places to live in Connecticut. Living in West Hartford offers residents a dense suburban feel and most residents own their homes. In West Hartford there are a lot of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, 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 2021 Niche.com write-up 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 crime & safety was rated B-minus. West Hartford’s weather and cost of living received C-plus grades.

“In the past year, many people have become more mobile than ever before. Especially if they’re able to work remotely, people are asking themselves where they really want to live,” Luke Skurman, CEO and founder of Niche, said in a news release. “Our rankings are designed to help our users find the next place they want to call home based on their unique priorities. For families, we know schools are an important factor. In addition to the Best Places to Live rankings, our comprehensive school profiles and school rankings are very valuable for families looking to make a move.”

The nearby communities of Weatogue, Avon, and Simsbury were No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4 respectively in the 2021 ranking. The top 10 also included (in order) Westport, Southport, Old Greenwich, Ridgefield, Farmington, and Glastonbury.

There were a total of 252 Connecticut communities included in the ranking.

Niche also rates 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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