Litchfield County, Connecticut

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This article is about the county in Connecticut. For the town in Connecticut, see Litchfield, Connecticut.
Litchfield County, Connecticut
MohawkMountain.jpg
Map of Connecticut highlighting Litchfield County
Location in the state of Connecticut
Map of the United States highlighting Connecticut
Connecticut's location in the U.S.
Founded 1751
Seat none; since 1960 Connecticut counties no longer have a county government
Largest city Torrington
Area
 • Total 945 sq mi (2,448 km2)
 • Land 921 sq mi (2,385 km2)
 • Water 24 sq mi (62 km2), 2.5%
Population
 • (2010) 189,927
 • Density 206/sq mi (80/km²)
Congressional districts 1st, 5th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Litchfield County is a county located in the northwestern corner of the U.S. state of Connecticut. As of the 2010 census, the population was 189,927.[1] Litchfield County has the lowest population density of any county in Connecticut and is geographically the state's largest county.

Litchfield County comprises the Torrington, CT Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area.

As is the case with all eight counties in Connecticut, there is no county government; there is no county seat: in Connecticut, each town is responsible for all local services such as schools, snow removal, sewers, fire department and police departments. However, in some cases in rural areas, adjoining towns may agree to jointly provide services or even establish a joint school system.

History[edit]

Litchfield County was created on October 9, 1751, by an act of the Connecticut General Court from land belonging to Fairfield, New Haven, and Hartford counties. The act establishing the county states:

That the townships of Litchfield, Woodbury, New Milford,
Harwinton, New Hartford, Barkhempstead, Hartland, Colebrook,
Norfolk, Canaan, Salisbury, Kent, Sharon, Cornwall, Goshen,
Torrington, and Winchester, lying in the northwesterly part
of this Colony, shall be and remain one entire county,and be
called the County of Litchfield, and shall have and exercise
the same powers, priviledges [sic] and authorities, and be subject
to the same regulations, as the other counties in this Colony
by law have and are subject unto. The bounds of which
county shall extend north to the Colony line, and west to the
Colony line till it meets with the township of New Fairfield,
and to include the towns abovementioned.[2]

Between 1780 and 1807, several new towns were created at the boundaries between Litchfield County and other counties in Connecticut. The town of Watertown was established in 1780 from Waterbury and was placed under Litchfield County jurisdiction. The establishment of the town of Brookfield from part of New Milford in 1788 resulted in Litchfield County losing territory to Fairfield County. In 1796, the town of Hartland was transferred to Hartford County. In 1798, the town of Oxford was established from part of Southbury causing Litchfield County to lose territory to New Haven County. The establishment of the town of Canton in 1806 from part of New Hartford caused loss of territory to Hartford County. In 1807, the town of Southbury was transferred to New Haven County. The final boundary change occurred on October 8, 1807, when the town of Middlebury was established from part of Woodbury.[3]

In 1862, during the Civil War, Litchfield County raised the 2nd Connecticut Regiment of Volunteers Heavy Artillery. This regiment, originally the 19th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, served in the defense of Washington, D.C. from September 1862 to March 1864, at which time it was transferred to the Army of the Potomac. On June 1, 1864, the 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery fought as infantry (as it continued to do through the war) in the Battle of Cold Harbor, experiencing the heaviest proportionate losses of any Connecticut regiment in the Civil War. The regiment remained active to the end of the war, and its final mustering out September 5, 1865.[4]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 945 square miles (2,450 km2), of which 921 square miles (2,390 km2) is land and 24 square miles (62 km2) (2.5%) is water.[5] It is the largest county in Connecticut by area. Litchfield County is roughly contiguous with the portion of the Appalachian Mountains range known as the Berkshire Mountains (sometimes locally, this area is called the Litchfield Hills).

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 38,635
1800 41,214 6.7%
1810 41,375 0.4%
1820 41,267 −0.3%
1830 42,858 3.9%
1840 40,448 −5.6%
1850 45,253 11.9%
1860 47,318 4.6%
1870 48,727 3.0%
1880 52,044 6.8%
1890 53,542 2.9%
1900 63,672 18.9%
1910 70,260 10.3%
1920 76,262 8.5%
1930 82,556 8.3%
1940 87,041 5.4%
1950 98,872 13.6%
1960 119,856 21.2%
1970 144,091 20.2%
1980 156,769 8.8%
1990 174,092 11.1%
2000 182,193 4.7%
2010 189,927 4.2%
Est. 2013 186,924 −1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 182,193 people, 71,551 households, and 49,584 families residing in the county. The population density was 198 people per square mile (76/km²). There were 79,267 housing units at an average density of 86 per square mile (33/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.77% White, 1.10% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 1.17% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.68% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. 2.14% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 20.8% were of Italian, 14.8% Irish, 10.6% English, 9.2% German and 6.3% French ancestry according to Census 2000. 92.3% spoke English, 2.1% Spanish, 1.6% Italian and 1.2% French as their first language.

There were 71,551 households out of which 32.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.20% were married couples living together, 8.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.70% were non-families. 25.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.60% under the age of 18, 5.70% from 18 to 24, 29.80% from 25 to 44, 25.70% from 45 to 64, and 14.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 95.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $56,273, and the median income for a family was $66,445 (these figures had risen to $67,591 and $81,752 respectively as of a 2007 estimate).[11] Males had a median income of $45,586 versus $31,870 for females. The per capita income for the county was $28,408. About 2.70% of families and 4.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.30% of those under age 18 and 5.40% of those age 65 or over.

Demographic breakdown by town[edit]

Income[edit]

Data is from the 2010 United States Census and the 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.[12][13]

Rank Town Per capita
income
Median
household
income
Median
family
income
Population Number of
households
1 Roxbury Town $65,236 $97,768 $119,091 2,262 936
2 Bridgewater Town $58,172 $86,607 $105,568 1,727 735
3 Washington Town $51,907 $67,417 $84,833 3,578 1,512
4 Kent Town $51,772 $68,481 $82,260 2,979 1,246
5 Cornwall Town $50,901 $80,179 $97,500 1,420 628
6 Warren Town $49,142 $87,857 $94,583 1,461 601
7 Salisbury Town $47,361 $63,587 $76,719 3,741 1,693
8 Woodbury Town $44,060 $80,595 $100,500 9,975 4,214
9 Norfolk Town $43,866 $85,526 $98,098 1,709 720
10 Sharon Town $43,317 $70,104 $74,313 2,782 1,250
11 New Hartford Town $41,709 $80,718 $90,172 6,970 2,632
12 Litchfield Town $41,649 $78,750 $100,833 8,466 3,459
13 Litchfield Borough $40,635 $68,125 $81,875 1,258 548
14 Bethlehem Town $39,704 $82,899 $86,792 3,607 1,411
15 Goshen Town $39,562 $76,705 $86,114 2,976 1,192
16 Colebrook Town $39,324 $72,000 $85,833 1,485 589
17 New Milford Town $38,893 $84,824 $100,574 28,142 10,618
18 Harwinton Town $37,902 $85,253 $92,083 5,642 2,170
19 Canaan Town $37,283 $54,219 $77,500 1,234 583
20 Morris Town $36,682 $81,583 $97,381 2,388 958
21 Barkhamsted Town $34,775 $87,656 $107,804 3,799 1,452
22 Watertown Town $34,158 $77,771 $93,194 22,514 8,672
23 Thomaston Town $31,652 $63,990 $77,842 7,887 3,108
24 Plymouth Town $30,081 $71,630 $82,438 12,243 4,803
25 Winchester Town $27,264 $57,958 $68,622 11,242 4,815
26 North Canaan Town $26,700 $46,417 $52,604 3,315 1,400
27 Torrington City $25,948 $48,409 $64,476 36,383 15,243
28 Winsted City $25,291 $61,404 $68,406 7,712 3,346
29 Bantam Borough $24,284 $42,256 $54,063 759 372

Race[edit]

Data is from the 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates, "Race alone or in combination with one or more other races."[14]

Rank Town Population White Black Asian American
Indian
Other Hispanic
1 Torrington City 36,380 93.6% 3.5% 2.9% 1.1% 1.8% 6.8%
2 New Milford Town 28,122 92.6% 3.9% 2.7% 0.6% 1.8% 5.2%
3 Watertown Town 22,502 96.1% 1.6% 2.2% 0.6% 0.9% 2.5%
4 Plymouth Town 12,218 98.1% 1.1% 0.0% 1.4% 1.0% 3.6%
5 Winchester Town 11,216 95.3% 1.3% 1.4% 0.8% 2.6% 9.9%
6 Woodbury Town 9,928 97.9% 0.6% 1.8% 0.7% 0.3% 4.0%
7 Litchfield Town 8,484 97.6% 1.5% 1.2% 0.2% 0.7% 3.1%
8 Thomaston Town 7,862 98.0% 1.2% 0.9% 1.0% 0.7% 1.4%
9 Winsted City 7,402 93.3% 1.5% 1.9% 1.3% 3.7% 13.2%
10 New Hartford Town 6,901 96.0% 0.6% 3.9% 0.0% 0.0% 0.7%
11 Harwinton Town 5,618 97.7% 0.0% 2.3% 0.5% 0.0% 0.0%
12 Barkhamsted Town 3,783 99.8% 0.4% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.3%
13 Salisbury Town 3,783 95.3% 2.6% 3.8% 1.3% 2.0% 2.2%
14 Bethlehem Town 3,596 99.4% 0.1% 0.8% 0.2% 0.0% 0.9%
15 Washington Town 3,586 94.0% 2.9% 0.9% 0.2% 3.0% 9.6%
16 North Canaan Town 3,329 96.3% 1.4% 2.3% 0.0% 0.0% 2.2%
17 Kent Town 2,982 98.5% 0.3% 0.8% 0.7% 0.0% 0.3%
18 Goshen Town 2,957 99.1% 0.1% 0.7% 0.4% 0.2% 5.5%
19 Sharon Town 2,804 92.0% 0.4% 1.4% 0.3% 6.8% 8.5%
20 Morris Town 2,411 99.0% 1.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.4%
21 Roxbury Town 2,315 99.0% 0.0% 0.3% 1.3% 0.3% 5.3%
22 Bridgewater Town 1,790 96.6% 1.7% 1.3% 0.3% 1.9% 6.2%
23 Norfolk Town 1,574 97.2% 0.7% 1.5% 2.1% 0.5% 2.2%
24 Warren Town 1,531 98.5% 0.0% 0.9% 0.3% 1.0% 3.0%
25 Cornwall Town 1,469 99.0% 0.5% 1.0% 0.0% 0.8% 2.2%
26 Litchfield Borough 1,420 98.6% 0.0% 1.9% 0.0% 0.4% 4.2%
27 Colebrook Town 1,395 99.4% 0.5% 0.0% 0.8% 0.0% 0.6%
28 Canaan Town 1,183 97.5% 1.6% 0.2% 0.2% 1.0% 2.8%
29 Bantam Borough 731 96.0% 3.6% 1.5% 0.3% 2.2% 4.4%

Politics[edit]

Litchfield County has gone Republican more often than the rest of the state. In 2004 Bush won 51% to Kerry's 46%, making Litchfield the only county in southern New England that Bush carried. Litchfield was one of two Connecticut counties won by George H. W. Bush in 1992.[15] In 2008, no county in Connecticut, including Litchfield, was won by Republican candidate John McCain. The county also went for the Democratic candidate in 1964, 1996, and 2000. In 2012 it was the only county won by Mitt Romney in the state.

Transportation[edit]

Litchfield is served by the Northwestern Connecticut Transit District. [16] [17]

Communities[edit]

Map of Litchfield County, Connecticut showing cities, boroughs, towns, CDPs, and Indian Reservations

Boroughs are incorporated portions of one or more towns with separate borough councils, zoning boards, and borough officials. Villages are named localities, but have no separate corporate existence from the towns they are in.

City[edit]

Towns[edit]

Telephone area codes[edit]

All areas of the county are in area code 860 except for the towns of Woodbury, Bethlehem and a small part of Roxbury, which are in the area code 203/area code 475 overlay. The geographical Woodbury Telephone Exchange (of the now defunct Woodbury Telephone Company) serves the two towns as well as the town of Southbury, which is in New Haven County and the small part of Roxbury. Ten digit dialing took effect for both area codes on November 14, 2009 as a result of the 203/475 overlay and the planned but not implemented 860/959 overlay.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 11, 2014. 
  2. ^ "CCR: Volume 10, Page 56". Retrieved 2008-06-17. [dead link]
  3. ^ Newberry Library -- Connecticut Atlas of Historical County Boundaries
  4. ^ 2d Connecticut Volunteer Heavy Artillery Regiment - Unit History. The2dconn.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 11, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 11, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 11, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 11, 2014. 
  10. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  11. ^ American FactFinder
  12. ^ "SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  13. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  14. ^ "ACS DEMOGRAPHIC AND HOUSING ESTIMATES 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  15. ^ David Leip's election Atlas
  16. ^ http://www.nwcttransit.com/
  17. ^ http://www.ct.gov/dot/lib/dot/documents/dpublications/gettingonboard_northwest.pdf

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°47′N 73°14′W / 41.79°N 73.24°W / 41.79; -73.24