The third smallest state in the USA is one of the 13 states that declared their independence from the British motherland in July 1776.

Connecticut is a federal state in the northeastern United States. The capital is called Hartford. The name of the state goes back to the Indian word “quinnehtukqut”, which means “place on the long river”. In fact, the country is crossed by the nearly 700 km long Connecticut River, the longest river in New England. At just over 14,000 km², Connecticut is the third smallest state in the United States. It borders Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York. To the south, Long Island Sound forms the natural boundary. Connecticut has over 3.5 million people (as of 2015), most of them in Bridgeport. Over 70% of the population are white, 9% of the population claim to have German ancestors.

Connecticut State Bird and Flower

Brief history of Connecticut

The area in which Connecticut is located today has long been inhabited by various Indian tribes. At the beginning of the 17th century the Dutch Adriaen Block was the first European to set foot on the ground. Only a short time later, many English came from the surrounding areas and founded the settlements of Windsor and Wethersfield, which later merged with Hartford to form the colony of Connecticut. At the end of the 17th century, it was given autonomy and its own constitution by King Charles II of England. Later the English crown regretted this decision and bitter disputes broke out between the mother country and the young state. In July 1776 Connecticut proclaimed its detachment from Great Britain along with twelve other colonies in the United States’ Declaration of Independence.

Connecticut today

The “Constitution State” is today one of the most prosperous states in the USA with a high standard of education and living. In terms of GDP per capita, it ranks fourth out of the 50 countries (as of 2016). Economic life is characterized by strong industrialization. Connecticut is a leader in the manufacture of aircraft engines, nuclear submarines, and machinery. Because of its beautiful nature with many lakes, forests, mountains and beaches, Connecticut is a popular destination for weekend breakers from New York City.

Largest Counties in Connecticut by Area

According to Countryaah, the biggest counties in Connecticut are listed as below:

Ranking County Area
1 Litchfield County 2,383 km2
2 Hartford County 1,906 km2
3 New London County 1,725 km2
4 Fairfield County 1,621 km2
5 New Haven County 1,570 km2
6 Windham County 1,329 km2
7 Tolland County 1,062 km2
8 Middlesex County 956 km2

Main sights in Connecticut

  • Yale University, New Haven

The neo-Gothic university buildings have shaped the cityscape of New Haven for centuries. The former Collegiate School has resided here since 1716, and since 1718 it has been renamed Yale College due to extensive donations from Elihu Yale. Today there are a good dozen colleges spread across the campus. The private university is the third oldest university in the USA and the second richest university in the world after Harvard University. Yale’s museums and art collections are also of great tourist interest, especially the Beincke Rare Book and Manuscript Library with over 450,000 old books, including a Gutenberg Bible; Yale University Art Gallery Vincent including paintings by Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet.

  • Mystic Seaport Museum

A museum village on a seven-hectare site at the estuary with more than 60 buildings with workshops and shops. Exhibitions and films on whaling in the Stillman Building. The museum is particularly proud of the restored three-master Charles W. Morgan, the Yankees’ last wooden whaling ship, built in 1841. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., in winter until 5 p.m.

  • Marinelife Aquarium at Exit 90 of I-95.

Thousands of species of sea creatures in 50 exhibitions. In the Marine Theater, bottlenose dolphins and beluga whales give their performances every hour. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., last dolphin show at 5.30 p.m.

  • Old State House, Hartford

The oldest parliament building in the United States, designed by Charles Bulfinch, now a museum with exhibits on Connecticut and Native American history. Free admission.

  • Barnum Museum, Bridgeport

The museum displays items from the life of the ringmaster PT Barnum, including a hand-carved miniature circus, clown costumes and much more.

  • USS Nautilus Memorial & Museum, Groton

The first nuclear powered submarine on earth, built here in 1952/53.