Greater Hartford

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Greater Hartford
Hartford-West Hartford, CT CSA
Metropolitan region
Hartford skyline
Hartford skyline
New Britain
New Britain
West Hartford
West Hartford
Country  United States
Principal cities
Population (2010)
 • Total 1,486,436 (CSA)
 • Rank Ranked 36th in the US for Combined Statistical Areas
Time zone EST
Area code(s) 860, 959

Greater Hartford is a region located in the U.S. state of Connecticut, centered on the state's capital of Hartford.

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.

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. 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).


Map of Connecticut highlighting the regions of the Greater Hartford area. Yellow is the Capitol Region, green is the Central Connecticut region, and blue is the Midstate Region.

Capitol Region[edit]

The Capitol Region refers to a specific group of municipalities that the Capitol Region Council of Governments. Since Connecticut dissolved county governments, counties in the state have become purely ceremonial in nature. In place of county governments are local councils composed of the representatives from municipal governments. Other councils that fall within the Greater Hartford area the Central Connecticut Regional Planning Agency and the Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments (formerly known as the Midstate Council of Governments).[1]

New England City and Town Area[edit]

New England City and Town Areas (NECTA) are cluster of cities and towns throughout all of New England defined by the Office of Management and Budget. The Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT Metropolitan NECTA consists of 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.

Metropolitan Statistical Area[edit]

Location of Greater Hartford in Connecticut.
  Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford metropolitan statistical area
  Area of Hartford-West Hartford-Willimantic CSA not included in Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford

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.[citation needed]

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.[2]

Combined Statistical Area[edit]

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. Counties included in this definition are:

Municipalities with 100,000 or more inhabitants[edit]

Municipalities with 50,000 to 100,000 inhabitants[edit]

Municipalities with 10,000 to 50,000 inhabitants[edit]

Municipalities with 1,000 to 10,000 inhabitants[edit]

Municipalities with fewer than 1,000 inhabitants[edit]


Notable companies based in Hartford city proper[edit]

The Aetna headquarters in Hartford
The iconic "boat building" in downtown Hartford is home to The Phoenix Companies

Notable companies based in surrounding towns[edit]

^1 Division of United Technologies (Otis and Carrier are under the UTC Building & Industrial Systems division)

Higher education[edit]

Public colleges and universities[edit]

These are the public, four-year universities in the area. [25][26]

Aerial view of the UConn's main campus

Community and technical colleges[edit]

These are the public, two-year community colleges in the area.[25]

Private colleges and universities[edit]

These are the private, nonprofit, four-year universities in the area.[27]

Trinity College Chapel


There are numerous hospitals in the Greater Hartford area, including five teaching hospitals (of which, one is a pediatric hospital) and two psychiatric hospitals.

Teaching hospitals[edit]

Saint Francis Hospital & Medical Center

All of the above hospitals are affiliated with the University of Connecticut School of Medicine[28]

Psychiatric hospitals[edit]

Culture and attractions[edit]

Performing arts[edit]

The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts at night

The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts is one of the largest indoor performing arts venues in the area. It houses two theaters within the complex: the 2,800-seat Mortensen Hall and the 906-seat Belding Theater. Other theaters in the are include the Hartford Stage and TheatreWorks.

The area is also home to the XFINITY Theatre, a 7,500-seat open-air amphitheater. The lawn outside the theater is capable of holding roughly 22,500 people, bringing total capacity to around 30,000 people.

Conventions and exhibitions[edit]

The Connecticut Convention Center is located in downtown Hartford adjacent to the Hartford Marriot Downtown. The facility has more than 140,000 square feet (13,000 m2) of exhibition space, a 40,000-square-foot (4,000 m2) ballroom, and 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2) of space for meetings and conferences. Since 2005, it has hosted ConnectiCon, an annual, multi-genre, pop culture convention.[29]

Notable museums[edit]

Front facade of the Old State House
Wadsworth Atheneum in the wintertime


Greater Hartford is home to multiple minor league professional sports teams and college teams. There are currently no major league professional sports teams. However, it was home to the Hartford Whalers ice hockey team from 1974 to 1997. The Whalers came to Hartford playing in the World Hockey Association, until they were admitted to the National Hockey League in 1979. In 1997, the team relocated to North Carolina, where they were renamed the Carolina Hurricanes.

Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field

Throughout the mid-1990s, the New England Patriots were negotiating with the state of Connecticut for a brand new football stadium located in downtown Hartford to replace the aging Foxboro Stadium where they played. The team eventually made agreed to another proposal that saw Gillette Stadium. With the Patriots no longer in the equation, the state instead decided to construct a smaller football stadium on the former United Technologies-owned airfield in East Hartford. Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field seats approximately 40,000 spectators and is home to the Connecticut Huskies football team.

Professional sports teams[edit]

Club Sport League Venue
Hartford Wolf Pack Ice Hockey AHL XL Center
Hartford Yard Goats Baseball Eastern League Dunkin' Donuts Park

Beginning in 2016, the Rock Cats will relocate to Hartford, where they will be renamed the Hartford Yard Goats and play at Dunkin' Donuts Park.

Collegiate sports teams[edit]

Team School Division Conference
Central Connecticut Blue Devils Central Connecticut State University NCAA Division I Northeast Conference
Connecticut Huskies University of Connecticut NCAA Division I American Athletic Conference
Hartford Hawks University of Hartford NCAA Division I America East Conference
Eastern Connecticut State Warriors Eastern Connecticut State University NCAA Division III Little East Conference
Saint Joseph Blue Jays University of Saint Joseph NCAA Division III Little East Conference
Trinity Bantams Trinity College NCAA Division III NESCAC
Wesleyan Cardinals Wesleyan University NCAA Division III NESCAC

Greater Hartford is also home to the Travelers Championship golf tournament (formerly known as the Greater Hartford Open/Buick Championship).

Shopping centers[edit]

Entrance to the Westfarms Mall

Major shopping centers in the area include:


Headquarters of the Hartford Courant

The Hartford Courant is the daily broadsheet newspaper serving the Greater Hartford area. Founded in 1764 as the Connecticut Courant, it is generally considered to be the oldest continually published newspaper in the United States. It is owned by Tribune Publishing.

From 1817 to 1976, the area was also served by another daily newspaper, the Hartford Times.

Greater Hartford and Greater New Haven form a single television market. This television market is served by the following broadcast television stations:

English language[edit]

Spanish language[edit]


Interstate highways[edit]

Highway transportation in Greater Hartford is primarily run by two mainline Interstates:

There were several plans to expand the highway system (with at least one plan calling for a full beltway). Various plans encountered resistance due to budgetary and environmental concerns. However, some highways were ultimately constructed, if only partially:

  • I-291 (serves as the northeastern portion of the partial beltway)
  • I-384 (spur route into eastern Connecticut)
I-91 has HOV lanes in both directions between Hartford and Windsor
The Bulkeley Bridge carries I-84 across the Connecticut River
I-384 looking east from Exit 3 in Manchester, CT

Other expressways[edit]

Westbound on Route 2 at its interchange with I-84

Some state highways also serve as major expressways:


CT Transit bus on Main Street in Hartford

Public bus transportation is operated by the Hartford division of CTTransit. It provides service to 30 local routes and 12 express routes seven days a week throughout the metropolitan area.[30]

2015 saw the opening of the CTfastrak, a bus rapid transit system that runs from downtown New Britain to Hartford Union Station. The dedicated busway is over 9 miles long and stops at 10 stations.[31][32][33]


Bradley International Airport (IATA: BDLICAO: KBDLFAA LID: BDL) is located in the town of Windsor Locks, approximately 10 miles from Hartford. Bradley is the second-largest airport in New England (behind Logan International Airport), and was ranked the 55th busiest airport in the United States in 2008.[34][35] Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, and US Airways account for more than half of the airport's passenger traffic.[36][37] The Bradley Airport Connector provides highway access to the airport from Interstate 91.

Bradley is a dual-use civil/military airport, with the Bradley Air National Guard Base serving as the home of the Connecticut Air National Guard 103d Airlift Wing.

Hartford–Brainard Airport (IATA: HFDICAO: KHFDFAA LID: HFD) is a smaller reliever airport located in the southeastern section of Hartford. It is primarily used for general aviation purposes.[38]


Several Amtrak routes run through the metropolitan area, including the Northeast Regional, Vermonter, as well as a daily shuttle between New Haven and Springfield, Massachusetts.

The Hartford Line is a planned commuter rail service. It will use the same line as the Amtrak shuttle, and will stop at 12 stations along the way. Service is anticipated to begin in late 2016.[39]


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  2. ^ CT Dept. of Economic and Community Development Service Delivery Areas
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  26. ^ . University of Connecticut  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. ^ "College Profiles". Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges. 
  28. ^ Afilliated Hospitals and Clinical Sites, UConn School of Medicine, retrieved 11 December 2014 
  29. ^ Jennifer Sposato (2010-07-09). "ConnectiCon Brings Thousands to Hartford". 
  30. ^ [1]
  31. ^ "What Is CTfastrak". State of Connecticut. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  32. ^ Krafcik, Mike (17 July 2014). "CTFastrak Set To Open In March; Economic Growth Expected Along Busway". WTIC Fox CT. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  33. ^ LaPorte, Mike (5 November 2014). "The Busway to the Future: Insider to CTfastrak before Opening to Public". The Live Wire. Manchester Community College. Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  34. ^ Hanseder, Tony. "Hartford Bradley BDL Airport Overview". Retrieved September 20, 2012. 
  35. ^ "2008 Passenger Boarding Statistics" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Retrieved February 11, 2010. 
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  37. ^ RITA | BTS | Transtats. Retrieved on July 15, 2013.
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