16 Pros and Cons of Living in New Haven, CT

Updated On November 7, 2023

If you love big cities, you may easily fall in love with New Haven, CT.

It is the third most populated town in the state of Connecticut.

It’s a terrific city to live in with plenty of college students and one that offers various attractions.

However, before you finalize your decision to move to New Haven, there are several things you should consider.

Continue reading to learn about the pros and cons of living in New Haven, CT.

New Haven, CT
New Haven, CT

Pros of Living in New Haven, CT

1. Affordable

The cost of living is extremely affordable in New Haven, CT.

In fact, it’s below the national average.

However, you may still find that there are certain areas in the state that are more expensive than others.

But, overall, the average cost of groceries, health care, utilities, housing costs, and other services are cheaper compared to other cities in the country.

2. Full of Culture & Music

New Haven is famous for its music scene.

Some of the most well-known upcoming artists have made their mark in New Haven at College Street Music and Toad’s Place.

Additionally, if art is your thing, you’ll find that there are plenty of art galleries and museums in the area including Yale University Art Gallery and Yale Peabody Natural History Museum.

There’s something for every culture here to relate to.

3. Great Options for Education

Yale University is located in New Haven.

Yale is one of the most well-respected universities in the country.

Yale is known for its architectural elegance and academics.

You don’t have to be a student to attend a game at Yale Bowl.

This is the school’s most well-known football stadium.

Additionally, Yale is admired in medicine which means you’ll benefit from some of the best healthcare around.

4. Great Food Options

You’ll never have to worry about running out of food options while living in New Haven, CT.

They are also well-known for their pizza.

But, pizza isn’t the only food option that residents of the state and city love.

There are many iconic restaurants in town.

Additionally, there are plenty of bars for college students.

You can choose everything from Italian food to sushi.

There’s something for all to enjoy.

5. Great Location

New Haven is located in a very convenient spot which makes it easy for residents to leave town if they’d like.

New Haven is located on Long Island Sound.

Additionally, it is a stop on major railroads in New England such as Metro-North and Amtrak.

Furthermore, it’s a short distance to various hiking trails, parks, and Hartford, the capital of Connecticut.

New Haven is also conveniently located between Boston and New York City.

6. Beautiful Scenery

New Haven isn’t just famous for their music and pizza.

It’s also well-known for its impressive scenery.

It’s been referred to as “the most beautiful street in America” by Charles Dickens and Mark Twain.

Hillhouse Avenue is the street in question.

But, that’s not all.

You can also catch some pretty inspiring architecture throughout the entire city of New Haven including Yale Art Gallery and the Knights of Columbus Museum.

7. Diverse Community

New Haven is a city full of diversity.

The racial makeup of New Haven is Black/African American (non-Hispanic) 31.8%, White (non-Hispanic) 29.1%, White (Hispanic) 14.6%, Other (Hispanic) 11.2%, and Asian 5.15%.

In fact, New Haven is known as the most diverse city in the entire state of Connecticut.

So, if moving to a town with plenty of diversity is important to you, you’ll find just that in New Haven.

8. Thriving Job Market

New Haven has a thriving job market.

New Haven’s job market is much healthier than other metro areas in the United States.

The average salary in New Haven for workers is $62,030 compared to the national average of $58,260.

If you are looking for jobs in education or healthcare, you’ll be glad to know that they are fairly easy to come by in New Haven.

Cons of Living in New Haven, CT

1. High Crime Rate

Compared to other cities in Connecticut, New Haven has a high crime rate.

New Haven’s crime rate is 39 per 1000 residents.

In fact, the crime rate in New Haven is one of the highest in the country.

The chance of you becoming a victim of property crime or violent crime is one in 26.

Furthermore, there are certain areas that are considered “unsafe” and should be avoided at night.

These neighborhoods include Fair Haven, Hill, and Newhallville.

2. Limitations for Certain Job Industries

While it is certainly true that New Haven has a thriving job market, it’s more geared towards industries such as education and healthcare.

However, it may be difficult for you to find job opportunities in other fields.

The best thing to do is to conduct a thorough job search prior to moving to New Haven in your work industry. 

This will give you an idea of what’s out there.

3. Harsh Winters

If you love the snow, you’ll have no problem getting adjusted to New Haven winters.

However, if you aren’t used to cold and snowy conditions, you are in for a treat.

New Haven experiences some pretty harsh winter conditions.

Additionally, their coldest season lasts almost three and a half months.

During this time they can see temperatures below 46 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Having a Car Is a Must

New Haven requires you to either own a car or take public transportation, but even this may not be suitable, depending on where you’re going.

Public transportation lacks certain routes.

This is why it’s essential to own a car if you plan on living in New Haven.

Some of your most frequently purchased items such as personal hygiene and food aren’t close by.

5. Crowded

Besides there being a lot of traffic and congestion, it’s obviously too crowded in New Haven.

The population density in New Haven is high.

This is mainly due to the fact that Yale University is located in town.

It’s considered one of the most notable universities in the country, attracting students from all over the world.

The higher-density population makes it challenging to maneuver around the city.

6. Problems with Drugs & Alcohol

Most students, especially those attending Yale University are involved with drugs and alcohol.

It can be a challenge for students to make it through and finish their entire four years at Yale.

Many students deal with a lot of stress and typically find ways to cope with their problems, turning to drinking and drugs. Additionally, others do it just for fun.

7. Difficult to Find Suitable Housing

It’s not very easy to find suitable housing in New Haven.

This is mainly due to the congestion and popularity of Yale and other surrounding universities.

Housing isn’t just hard for students.

It’s also hard for others to find what they are looking for.

You will find that there are many homes in New Haven that were created to only accommodate a certain number of tenants.

This is one of the reasons why many people are cramped in small homes.

8. Poor Street Upkeep

There’s a lack of upkeep in street cleaning in New Haven.

No matter the season, many residents report that the sidewalks and streets in town are barely cleaned.

Most of the time they tend to look rough.

The overall appearance of New Haven is just “okay.”

The only thing that makes New Haven stand out are the grounds of Yale University and other local schools.

New Haven, CT
New Haven, CT

Pros and Cons of Living in New Haven, CT – Summary Table

Pros of Living in New Haven, CTCons of Living in New Haven, CT
1. Affordable1. High Crime Rate
2. Full of Culture & Music2. Limitations for Certain Job Industries
3. Great Options for Education3. Harsh Winters
4. Great Food Options4. Having a Car Is a Must
5. Great Location5. Crowded
6. Beautiful Scenery6. Problems with Drugs & Alcohol
7. Diverse Community7. Difficult to Find Suitable Housing
8. Thriving Job Market8. Poor Street Upkeep

New Haven Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: New Haven Safety Review

Safety Index:
New Haven

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the most-visited attractions in New Haven?

There are so many attractions in New Haven. Here’s a list of some of the most-visited attractions in New Haven:

  • Yale University
  • East Rock Park
  • Grove Street Cemetery
  • Blessed Michael McGivney Pilgrimage Center
  • Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
  • Yale University Art Gallery
  • Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

How are the tax rates in New Haven, CT?

As of 2023, the property tax rate in New Haven is 42.98 mills.

This is considered much higher than the national average tax rate for properties.

Sales tax, on the other hand, is lower than the national average.

It’s 6.35%, compared to the national average of 7.12%.

Finally, the income tax in New Haven ranges anywhere from 3% to 6.99%.

These rates are higher in comparison to other states.

Overall, is New Haven a good place to live?

Considering the ample amount of educational opportunities, the lively arts and culture scene, and abundant history, New Haven, CT is a great place to live.

Yale University is located in town as well.

Besides the university, there are also plenty of museums, festivals, and restaurants in New Haven.

Additionally, there are vibrant beaches and parks in a town that is entirely diverse.

Are there any places in New Haven that are ideal for outdoor recreational activities?

While New Haven is known for its urban surroundings, there are still plenty of opportunities for those who enjoy outdoor recreational activities.

Whether you enjoy hiking or biking, you can check out East Rock Park or Farmington Canal Heritage Trail.

Also, Long Island Sound is great for those who love the water and sailing.

Why is pizza a big deal in New Haven?

New Haven is known for its thin-crust pizza, also referred to as “apizza.”

If you’re a true pizza fanatic, Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoli is a must-visit.

However, you can’t forget about a couple of other favorites such as Sally’s Apizza and Modern Apizza.

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