What's it like to live in New Haven, CT?

Ross Levin

Profile written by local expert:

Ross Levin

New England charm and global cosmopolitanism combine in this small, livable seaside metropolitan area. Centuries-old architecture houses the galleries, concert venues and coffee shops that help make New Haven the cultural capital of Connecticut.

Yale University also undoubtedly adds to New Haven's charms. The Ivy League cultural institution has attracted artists, innovators, politicians and celebrities since the 1700s. The university's presence grants area residents easy access to art, theater and college sports. The region is also known for its cuisine, with high-end restaurants rubbing elbows with classic New Haven-style pizza joints and grilled cheese trucks.

New Haven is one of the most walkable city centers between New York City and Boston, and it has idyllic rural homes for those who love peace and quiet.


U.S. News analyzed 150 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

New Haven, Connecticut is ranked:

#112 in Best Places to Live

#58 in Best Places to Retire

#23 in Most Expensive Places to Live




Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
  • Value
  • Job Market
  • Quality of Life
  • Net Migration

Read how we rank places

New Haven, CT Quick Stats

  • 859,339

    Metro Population

  • $57,920

    Average Annual Salary

  • 60.6° / 43.7°

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 40.1

    Median Age

  • $206,942

    Median Home Price

  • 47.1 inches

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 3.6%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $1,133

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 25.3 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What is there to do in New Haven, CT?

Downtown New Haven is filled with cultural attractions. Restaurants, nightclubs and music venues offer some entertainment, while charming independent shops line the brick-paved streets downtown, providing daytime diversions.

New Haven – more specifically, Yale University – is also home to a number of noteworthy museums and art galleries, including the Yale University Art Gallery, the Yale Center for British Art and the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. Those who love to read will enjoy spending time in the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, while locals looking for a breath of fresh air head straight to East Rock Park, which features beautiful views of the metro area.

Nearby vacation towns line the coast, and even after their beaches empty for the cold New England winter, many of their museums, theaters and quaint main streets remain open.

What's the cost of living in New Haven, CT?

Some expenses in New Haven, including transportation, health care and utilities, are higher than the national average. Yet housing costs are lower than the national cost, and the cost of living remains fairly consistent with the rest of Connecticut. New Haven remains more affordable than nearby New York City and Boston. 

Looking for financial advice? Find a local financial advisor in New Haven, Connecticut.

Value Index

Index Score: 5.2 /10

How we calculate this.

New Haven offers a lower value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income.

Housing Costs 2019

New Haven


Housing Costs Over Time

Data sourced from Zillow median home sale price data series. Additional data provided by the Austin Board of Realtors, Houston Association of Realtors, Intermountain MLS, Omaha Area Board of Realtors, San Antonio Board of Realtors, and the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Buying or selling a home? Find top real estate agents in New Haven, CT.

What's the weather like in New Haven, CT?

New England is famous for its bright autumn foliage, and New Haven is no exception. Also like the rest of the region, New Haven experiences snow and deep cold each winter, while summer brings comfortably warm temperatures that encourage residents to enjoy the nearby seaside.

Seasonal Temperature (Avgs)









Seasonal Rainfall (Avgs)

3.6 in


4.4 in


4.0 in


4.4 in


Monthly High and Low Temperatures (°F)

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center.

What's the best way to get around New Haven, CT?

Those who live close to the city center can rely on their own two feet to get around. Meanwhile, the local bus system offers routes throughout New Haven County. The Metro-North Railroad is among the most trafficked rail lines in the country, and it's just one of several options for tourists, commuters and anyone else traveling between New Haven and New York City. A commuter rail line connects New Haven with Hartford, Connecticut and Springfield, Massachusetts.

Even with an expanding array of transit options, a car is indispensable for many residents – particularly those who live outside the downtown area. 

New Haven is home to Tweed New Haven Airport, but many residents choose to travel an hour to fly out of Bradley International Airport in Hartford, as it offers more flight options. New Haven is also serviced by Greyhound and Amtrak.

Commuting in New Haven, CT

Means of Transportation
Equal to national average

Equal to national average

Equal to national average

Public Transit
Equal to national average
Average Commute Time

25.3 minutes

1.3 minutes less than national average

Average Commute Times by Zip Code

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Who lives in New Haven, CT?

During the school year, many of New Haven's residents are students at Yale. The school's impact, including both students and staff, on the composition of the metro area cannot be overstated.

But not everyone who lives in New Haven is gunning for a college degree. The area also is home to residents older than 65, as well as families with kids. 

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown

More single people in New Haven than
national average

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.