Historical United States Census totals for New London County, Connecticut

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Like most areas of New England, New London County is (and has been at all times since well before the 20th century) entirely divided into incorporated municipalities. There is no unincorporated territory.

There are three types of municipalities in Connecticut: towns, boroughs and cities. As in the other New England states, towns are the basic unit of municipal government.

Boroughs overlay towns and assume responsibility for some municipal services within their boundaries. Boroughs are not found in any of the other New England states, and are not very common in Connecticut today, although they were somewhat more numerous in the past. A number of boroughs have disincorporated over the years, choosing to revert to full town control.

Cities also overlay towns. This is different from the other New England states, where cities are a different type of municipality equivalent to a town (this difference is related to cities having originally developed in Connecticut from the borough model). Most current cities are coextensive with their parent town, however, such that the entire municipality functions as a city. In practice, these cities are really no different from cities in the other New England states.

It is also possible for a city in Connecticut to overlay part, but not all, of a town. There are currently only one or two examples, but it was a more common arrangement in the past. Many of today’s coextensive cities were non-coextensive at one time. As with boroughs, a number of non-coextensive cities have also disincorporated over the years, choosing to revert to full town control.

The main tables below show municipalities at the town level. For any census, adding up the totals for each town should yield the county total. In cases where a community encompassed a coextensive city, the tables in the New England Historical U.S. Census Totals series mark the community as a city. In cases where a town included a non-coextensive city, the total shown below represents the entire town, including but not limited to the city. A separate section follows with population totals for boroughs and non-coextensive cities.

For more information on the New England municipal system, see New England town.

Corporate changes since 1900[edit]

  • 1952 - Norwich became a coextensive city (Note: before this time, there had long been a city of Norwich within, but not coextensive with, the town of Norwich)

1900[edit]

County Total: 82,758

  • Norwich (*) 24,637
  • New London (city) 17,548
  • Stonington 8,540
  • Groton 5,962
  • Griswold 3,490
  • Waterford 2,904
  • Preston 2,807
  • Montville 2,395
  • Colchester 1,991
  • East Lyme 1,836
  • Lebanon 1,521
  • Sprague 1,339
  • Ledyard 1,236
  • North Stonington 1,240
  • Old Lyme 1,180
  • Voluntown 872
  • Bozrah 799
  • Lyme 750
  • Lisbon 697
  • Franklin 546
  • Salem 468

(*) not a city in its entirety, but includes a non-coextensive city that encompasses a significant percentage of the town's overall population.

1910[edit]

County Total: 91,253

  • Norwich (*) 28,219
  • New London (city) 19,659
  • Stonington 9,154
  • Groton 6,495
  • Griswold 4,233
  • Waterford 3,097
  • Montville 2,804
  • Sprague 2,551
  • Colchester 2,140
  • Preston 1,917
  • East Lyme 1,916
  • Lebanon 1,528
  • Old Lyme 1,181
  • North Stonington 1,100
  • Ledyard 1,079
  • Bozrah 861
  • Lisbon 824
  • Voluntown 779
  • Lyme 746
  • Franklin 527
  • Salem 443

(*) not a city in its entirety, but includes a non-coextensive city that encompasses a significant percentage of the town's overall population.

1920[edit]

County Total: 104,611

  • Norwich (*) 29,685
  • New London (city) 25,688
  • Stonington 10,236
  • Groton 9,227
  • Griswold 4,220
  • Waterford 3,935
  • Montville 3,411
  • Preston 2,743
  • Sprague 2,500
  • East Lyme 2,291
  • Colchester 2,050
  • Lebanon 1,343
  • Ledyard 1,161
  • North Stonington 1,144
  • Old Lyme 946
  • Lisbon 867
  • Bozrah 858
  • Lyme 674
  • Voluntown 656
  • Franklin 552
  • Salem 424

(*) not a city in its entirety, but includes a non-coextensive city that encompasses a significant percentage of the town's overall population.

1930[edit]

County Total: 118,966

  • Norwich (*) 32,438
  • New London (city) 29,640
  • Stonington 11,025
  • Groton 10,770
  • Griswold 6,010
  • Waterford 4,742
  • Montville 3,970
  • Preston 3,928
  • East Lyme 2,575
  • Sprague 2,539
  • Colchester 2,134
  • Lebanon 1,436
  • Old Lyme 1,313
  • Ledyard 1,144
  • North Stonington 1,135
  • Lisbon 1,097
  • Bozrah 859
  • Voluntown 651
  • Franklin 611
  • Lyme 546
  • Salem 403

(*) not a city in its entirety, but includes a non-coextensive city that encompasses a significant percentage of the town's overall population.

1940[edit]

County Total: 125,224

  • Norwich (*) 34,140
  • New London (city) 30,456
  • Stonington 11,002
  • Groton 10,910
  • Waterford 6,594
  • Griswold 5,343
  • Montville 4,135
  • Preston 4,206
  • East Lyme 3,338
  • Colchester 2,338
  • Sprague 2,285
  • Old Lyme 1,702
  • Lebanon 1,467
  • Ledyard 1,426
  • North Stonington 1,236
  • Lisbon 1,131
  • Bozrah 904
  • Voluntown 723
  • Lyme 717
  • Franklin 667
  • Salem 504

(*) not a city in its entirety, but includes a non-coextensive city that encompasses a significant percentage of the town's overall population.

1950[edit]

County Total: 144,821

  • Norwich (*) 37,633
  • New London (city) 30,551
  • Groton 21,896
  • Stonington 11,801
  • Waterford 9,100
  • Griswold 5,728
  • Montville 4,766
  • East Lyme 3,870
  • Colchester 3,007
  • Sprague 2,320
  • Old Lyme 2,141
  • Preston 1,775
  • Ledyard 1,749
  • Lebanon 1,654
  • North Stonington 1,367
  • Lisbon 1,282
  • Bozrah 1,154
  • Lyme 857
  • Voluntown 825
  • Franklin 727
  • Salem 618

(*) not a city in its entirety, but includes a non-coextensive city that encompasses a significant percentage of the town's overall population.

1960[edit]

County Total: 185,745

  • Norwich (city) 38,506
  • New London (city) 34,182
  • Groton 29,937
  • Waterford 15,391
  • Stonington 13,969
  • Griswold 6,472
  • Montville 7,759
  • East Lyme 6,782
  • Ledyard 5,395
  • Preston 4,992
  • Colchester 4,648
  • Old Lyme 3,068
  • Sprague 2,509
  • Lebanon 2,434
  • Lisbon 2,019
  • North Stonington 1,982
  • Bozrah 1,590
  • Lyme 1,183
  • Voluntown 1,028
  • Franklin 974
  • Salem 925

1970[edit]

County Total: 230,654

  • Norwich (city) 41,739
  • Groton 38,244
  • New London (city) 31,630
  • Waterford 17,227
  • Stonington 15,940
  • Montville 15,662
  • Ledyard 14,837
  • East Lyme 11,399
  • Griswold 7,763
  • Colchester 6,603
  • Old Lyme 4,964
  • Lebanon 3,804
  • North Stonington 3,748
  • Preston 3,593
  • Sprague 2,912
  • Lisbon 2,808
  • Bozrah 2,036
  • Lyme 1,484
  • Salem 1,453
  • Voluntown 1,452
  • Franklin 1,356

1980[edit]

County Total: 238,409

  • Groton 41,062
  • Norwich (city) 38,074
  • New London (city) 28,842
  • Waterford 17,843
  • Montville 16,455
  • Stonington 16,220
  • East Lyme 13,870
  • Ledyard 13,735
  • Griswold 8,967
  • Colchester 7,761
  • Old Lyme 6,159
  • Lebanon 4,762
  • Preston 4,644
  • North Stonington 4,219
  • Lisbon 3,279
  • Sprague 2,996
  • Salem 2,335
  • Bozrah 2,135
  • Lyme 1,822
  • Voluntown 1,637
  • Franklin 1,592


1990[edit]

County Total: 254,957

  • Groton 45,144
  • Norwich (city) 37,391
  • New London (city) 28,540
  • Waterford 17,930
  • Stonington 16,919
  • Montville 16,673
  • East Lyme 15,340
  • Ledyard 14,913
  • Colchester 10,980
  • Griswold 10,384
  • Old Lyme 6,535
  • Lebanon 6,041
  • Preston 5,006
  • North Stonington 4,884
  • Lisbon 3,790
  • Salem 3,310
  • Sprague 3,008
  • Bozrah 2,297
  • Voluntown 2,113
  • Lyme 1,949
  • Franklin 1,810

2000[edit]

County Total: 259,106

  • Groton 39,925
  • Norwich (city) 36,117
  • New London (city) 26,185
  • Waterford 18,638
  • Montville 18,546
  • East Lyme 18,118
  • Stonington 17,906
  • Ledyard 14,687
  • Colchester 14,551
  • Griswold 10,807
  • Old Lyme 7,406
  • Lebanon 6,907
  • North Stonington 4,991
  • Preston 4,688
  • Lisbon 4,069
  • Salem 3,858
  • Sprague 2,971
  • Voluntown 2,528
  • Bozrah 2,357
  • Lyme 2,016
  • Franklin 1,835

Boroughs and Non-coextensive Cities[edit]

As of 1900, New London County contained three boroughs and one non-coextensive city:

  • The borough of Colchester, within the town of the same name
  • The borough of Jewett City, within the town of Griswold
  • The borough of Stonington, within the town of the same name
  • The city of Norwich, within the town of the same name

In addition to the above, there was a second city, New London, which had already been made coextensive with its parent town. A fourth borough, Groton (within the town of the same name), was incorporated in 1903. The following changes have occurred since then:

  • 1952 – The city of Norwich became coextensive with its parent town
  • 1964 – The borough of Groton became a city
  • 1990 – The borough of Colchester disincorporated

1900

  • Norwich (city) 17,251
  • Stonington (borough) 2,278
  • Jewett City (borough) 2,224
  • Colchester (borough) 858

1910

  • Norwich (city) 20,367
  • Jewett City (borough) 3,023
  • Stonington (borough) 2,083
  • Groton (borough) 1,895
  • Colchester (borough) 978

1920

  • Norwich (city) 22,304
  • Groton (borough) 4,236
  • Jewett City (borough) 3,196
  • Stonington (borough) 2,100
  • Colchester (borough) 913

1930

  • Norwich (city) 23,021
  • Jewett City (borough) 4,436
  • Groton (borough) 4,122
  • Stonington (borough) 2,006
  • Colchester (borough) 937

1940

  • Norwich (city) 23,652
  • Groton (borough) 4,719
  • Jewett City (borough) 3,682
  • Stonington (borough) 1,826
  • Colchester (borough) 1,234

1950

  • Norwich (city) 23,429
  • Groton (borough) 7,036
  • Jewett City (borough) 3,702
  • Stonington (borough) 1,739
  • Colchester (borough) 1,522

1960

  • Groton (borough) 10,111
  • Jewett City (borough) 3,608
  • Colchester (borough) 2,260
  • Stonington (borough) 1,622

1970

  • Groton (city) 8,933
  • Colchester (borough) 3,529
  • Jewett City (borough) 3,372
  • Stonington (borough) 1,413

1980

  • Groton (city) 10,086
  • Jewett City (borough) 3,294
  • Colchester (borough) 3,190
  • Stonington (borough) 1,228

1990

  • Groton (city) 9,837
  • Jewett City (borough) 3,349
  • Colchester (borough) 3,212
  • Stonington (borough) 1,100

2000

  • Groton (city) 9,288
  • Jewett City (borough) 3,053
  • Stonington (borough) 1,032

Notes[edit]

1950 Census

The 1960 Census reports contain the following note: “Entire 1950 population (3,082) of Norwich State Hospital, partly in Norwich town and party in Preston town, was included in figure for Norwich town. 1960 population of the hospital returned in accordance with location of units.” This seems to indicate that there is an assignment error in the 1950 figures involving Norwich and Preston, such that Norwich’s actual 1950 population was probably a few thousand below the officially reported figure, and Preston’s actual 1950 population was probably larger than the officially reported figure (probably similar to the 1940 or 1960 figures). The error was apparently never corrected, however, so there is no way to know the accurate, actual 1950 population of each town.

1970 Census

The Census Bureau made a number of revisions to 1970 census totals subsequent to their initial release. The 1970 total for New London County was originally reported as 230,348; for the city of Norwich, 41,433; for the town of Groton, 38,523; and for the town of Ledyard, 14,558. The totals were later revised to those shown in the list above.

1990 Census

The Census Bureau made a number of revisions to 1990 census totals subsequent to their initial release. Though it did not appear in the original 1990 Census reports, a revision added a census total for a new borough of Groton Long Point (within the town of Groton), with a population of 628. Census materials state that the borough of Groton Long Point was incorporated in 1990. Groton Long Point -- or, more precisely, an entity called the "Groton Long Point Association" -- has actually existed since 1921, and is the center of dispute over whether the legislative act creating it made it a borough in function if not in name (i.e., a general-purpose municipality) or a special-purpose district. The Groton Long Point Association considers itself to be a special-purpose district, but the town of Groton considers it to be a borough. The Census' decision to classify it as a borough apparently reflects acceptance of the view that it is a general-purpose municipality. Since Groton Long Point does not call itself a borough, however, its population totals are not included in the tables above.

2000 Census

The Census Bureau made a number of revisions to 2000 census totals subsequent to their initial release. The 2000 total for New London County was originally reported as 259,088; for the town of Groton, 39,907; for the city of New London, 25,671; and for the town of Waterford, 19,152. In addition, the total for the city of Groton was originally reported as 10,010. The totals were later revised to those shown in the lists above. In the cases of New London and Waterford, this was apparently done to correct an assignment error between these municipalities; the collective population of the two is the same using either set of figures.

The 2000 Census reports once again listed a purported borough of Groton Long Point (within the town of Groton), with a population of 667. Because Groton Long Point's status is disputed, it is not included in the tables above. See the notes for the 1990 Census for more information.

See also[edit]