Aug 13, 2013
12:58 PM
The Connecticut Story

Brookfield, Cheshire & Simsbury Make CNN Money's "Best Places to Live"

Brookfield, Cheshire & Simsbury Make CNN Money's "Best Places to Live"

CNN Money just released its annual list of "Best Places to Live" and three Connecticut towns made the list: Brookfield (No. 26), Cheshire (No. 39) and Simsbury (No. 50).

Of course, to Connecticut residents, this acknowledgement doesn't really come as a surprise—all three towns have usually fared well in our semi-annual Rating the Towns features.

In the CNN Money survey, the highest-finishing state municipality is Brookfield, which scores high marks for its open space and outdoor recreational opportunities, including prime spots for water sports and hiking. In our most recent version of Rating the Towns, it ranked No. 13 in the 15,000-25,000 population category (Ridgefield was No. 1), garnering upper-middle rankings for education, crime rate and economy, but being pulled down by cost of living and leisure activites—in Connecticut Magazine's survey, having cultural amenities such as restaurants, theaters and other entertainment venues score higher than outdoor recreational activities.

Interestingly, Simsbury, which placed at No. 50 in CNN Money list, fared better than Ridgefield on the Connecticut Magazine list, coming in at No. 6 in the same 15,000-25,000 category. Whereas CNN Money extolled the town for being "chock-full of historical houses and parks" as well as "being home to boutiques, farmers' markets" and five-star restaurants—which did matter in the Connecticut Magazine survey—it was among the higher-scoring towns for education, crime rate and economy. Its cost of living was more reasonable than Ridgefield's, also.

Cheshire was ranked No.39 by CNN Money, and was lauded for feeling like "a quintessential New England village, filled with horse barns, gardens, and towering trees." It also was praised for its central location, which gives residents opportunities to take jobs in a variety of other towns. With a population just under 30,000, it was in the next group up for Rating the Towns, in the 25,000-50,000 population category. It ranked No. 5 overall for the group, scoring high based on its education, economy and especially its crime rate, which was the 2nd lowest in the group.

It'll be interesting to see how these rankings change when we update "Rating the Towns" for the November issue. One thing we know for sure, no matter how these towns rank, there'll be plenty of debate.


Brookfield, Cheshire & Simsbury Make CNN Money's "Best Places to Live"

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