Connecticut – Geography & Population
Connecticut, also known as the Constitution State, is located in the south region of New England. The state borders Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York, including the Long Island Sound. Although known to be a part of New England, Connecticut is also often considered to be and included in the Tri-State area (along with New York and New Jersey), due to its proximity to the states.
Connecticut is one of the smallest states in the United States. In fact, it is the third smallest state at 5,567 square miles. According to the latest Census Bureau, Connecticut’s overall population is just under 3.9 million people, making it the 29th most populated state in the U.S. The state’s capital is Hartford, with a population of 123,243 as of 2016. However, Hartford is not the most populated city in the state. Bridgeport is the largest and most populated city, with a population of 145,936. Other major cities in Connecticut include Stamford, New Haven, Waterbury, Greenwich, Norwalk, and Danbury.
Early State History of Connecticut
Multiple American Indian tribes originally inhabited Connecticut, including the Pequots, Mohegans, and the Paugusetts. The Dutch were the first Europeans to originally colonize Connecticut, in the early to mid 1600’s. The first explorer Adriaen Block explored the region in 1614. The settlers initially resided in a trading-post area which they named Huys de Goede Hoop, along the Park and Connecticut rivers. This area was greatly inhabited by Dutch fur traders. The establishment is now considered present-day Hartford.
The colonies of Connecticut and New Haven, established what is considered to be the first constitutions in North America, in 1639. The document was called the Fundamental Orders (of Connecticut). The Fundamental Orders was a short document that detailed and included individual rights, which also foreshadowed principles later applied when creating the United States government. The document also described the settling of structure and powers of the government of towns along the Connecticut River.
Connecticut later became one of the Thirteen colonies that revolted against the British during the American Revolution. The state joined the Union, or present-day United States, on January 9th, 1788.
State Facts of Connecticut
Connecticut’s name is derived from the Native Algonquian word for “long tidal river”. The state is also known as the Nutmeg State, The Provisions State, and The Land of Steady Habits. The state motto is “Qui transtulit sustinet”, or “He who transplanted still sustains”. The state song of Connecticut is Yankee Doodle, which is appropriate as the song dates back to the American Revolution.
Today, Connecticut is well known for their university, UConn. The University is well renowned for its men’s and women’s Division I basketball teams, who have both won multiple national championships. Connecticut not only does well in basketball, but also does well in the economy. As of 2015, Connecticut was included in the top five highest median household incomes by state in the U.S., with a median income of roughly $72,000.
Many well-known figures were born in Connecticut including Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton gin, Mark Twain, author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and J.P. Morgan, financier and philanthropist. Meryl Streep, Jackie Robinson, and former Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush were also born in Connecticut.