Hartford's role as a focal point for the American insurance industry is known nationally. The vibrant music and arts scene defines the region's culture. Greater Hartford is also home to the Travelers Championship golf tournament (formerly known as the Greater Hartford Open/Buick Championship).
This area of Connecticut is different from other parts of the state in that it is not dependent on out-of-state metropolitan areas such as New York City or Boston. It is on the fairly level land of the Connecticut River valley with soil less rocky than that of other areas in the state.
The region's economy is closely tied with Springfield, Massachusetts, as Hartford and Springfield are twin cities, only 25 miles apart. The area is served by Bradley International Airport, shared with Springfield. Although contiguous to Springfield's northern border, Westover Metropolitan Airport was briefly marketed as an alternative for Hartford-bound flyers. Hartford is also served by Hartford-Brainard Airport.
The population of Greater Hartford (metropolitan area as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau), had a total population of 1,212,381 (2010 census).
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New England City and Town Area
54 towns, including 25 in Hartford County, 5 in Litchfield County, 6 in Middlesex County, 2 in New London County, 12 in Tolland County, and 4 in Windham County, are grouped together to form the Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford NECTA.
Metropolitan Statistical Area
The United States Census Bureau also defines the Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) based on counties as building blocks. The area contains the 57 towns of Hartford County, Tolland County, and Middlesex County. The 2005 population estimate for the MSA is 1,188,241 and is ranked as the 44th largest metropolitan area by population in the United States. While the MSA definition is consistent with national definitions of metropolitan areas, the area contains a significant portion of the Lower Connecticut River Valley, which is not commonly considered as part of Greater Hartford.
A region very similar to the MSA is covered by the combination of the Hartford Service Delivery Area and the Mid-Connecticut Service Delivery Area, covering 56 towns.
Combined Statistical Area
The region of Northeastern Connecticut is included with the Hartford Metropolitan Statistical Area in a larger entity known as the Hartford-West Hartford Combined Statistical Area.
The transportation in Metropolitan Hartford is primarily run by Interstate 84 and Interstate 91. There were several plans to expand the old highway system to be run by 7 interstates (I-91, I-84, I-284, I-291 (full beltway), I-384, I-484, I-491). The existing highway system, due to high population of suburbs and downtown jobs, becomes very heavily congested during rush hours. Other state highways include Connecticut Route 2, Connecticut Route 3, Connecticut Route 9, and Connecticut Route 15.
Public transportation, primarily bus service, is operated by CTTransit. The Connecticut Department of Transportation is located in Newington, Connecticut. The airport is Bradley International Airport, located in Windsor Locks, approximately 10 miles from Hartford via I-91. Additional flights are available from Newark International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport.
Amtrak runs a daily shuttle between New Haven and Springfield, stopping at Berlin, Windsor, and Windsor Locks, as well as Union Station in Hartford. Commuter rail on the same line is proposed, with rush-hour service centered on Hartford and a shuttle to Bradley International Airport from the Windsor Locks station.
- CT Dept. of Economic and Community Development Service Delivery Areas