Connecticut (IPA: /kəˈnɛ.tə.kət/) is a state located in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. Southwestern Connecticut is part of the New York metropolitan area.
Connecticut's first European outposts were several Dutch military posts on its Southwestern coast, and one inland near Hartford, and the Dutch claimed the Connecticut River as the Eastern boundary of New Amsterdam. However, the first real settlement by Europeans was in 1636, when Thomas Hooker led a band of followers overland from the Massachusetts Bay colony to settle in the Hartford, Wethersfield & Windsor townships. Other settlers from Massachusetts founded the New Haven Colony in 1638.
Connecticut was one of the Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution. Residents of Connecticut are sometimes referred to as Connecticutians, Nutmeggers or Yankees.
Connecticut has the highest per capita income in the country, and ranks 1st in median household income. It is the richest state in the United States per capita.
Connecticut is the 29th most populous state and ranked 48th in size by area, making it the 4th most densely populated state.
The Connecticut River cuts through the center of the state, flowing into Long Island Sound, Connecticut's outlet to the Atlantic Ocean.
- Further information: List of Connecticut rivers
Despite its size, the state has regional variations in its landscape and culture from the wealthy estates of Fairfield County's "Gold Coast" to the rolling mountains and horse-farms of the Litchfield Hills of northwestern Connecticut. Connecticut's rural areas and small towns in the northeast and northwest corners of the state contrast sharply with its industrial cities, located along the coastal highways from the New York border to New Haven, then northwards to Hartford, as well as further up the coast near New London. Many towns center around a small park, known as a "green," (such as the New Haven Green), Litchfield Green, Simsbury Green, and New Milford Green(the largest in the state). Near the green may stand a small white church, a town meeting hall, a tavern and several colonial houses. Forests, rivers, lakes, waterfalls and a sandy shore add to the state's beauty.
- Further information: List of Connecticut state forests
The northern boundary of the state with Massachusetts is marked by the distinctive Southwick Jog/Granby Notch, an approximately 2.5 mile (4.0 km) square detour into Connecticut slightly west of the center of the border. Somewhat surprisingly, the actual origin of this anomaly is not absolutely certain, with stories ranging from surveyors who were drunk, attempting to avoid hostile Native Americans, or taking a shortcut up the Connecticut River; Massachusetts residents attempting to avoid Massachusetts' high taxes for the low taxes of Connecticut; Massachusetts' interest in the resources represented by the Congamond Lakes which lie on the border of the jog; and the need to compensate Massachusetts for an amount of land given to Connecticut due to inaccurate survey work. The dispute over the border slowed development in the region, since neither state would invest in public services for the area until the dispute had been settled.
The southwestern border of Connecticut, where it abuts New York State, is marked by a panhandle in Fairfield County, containing the towns of Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan and Darien. This irregularity in the boundary is the result of territorial disputes in the late 1600s, culminating with New York giving up its claim to this area, whose residents considered themselves part of Connecticut, in exchange for an equivalent area extending northwards from Ridgefield, Connecticut to the Massachusetts border as well as undisputed claim to Rye, New York.
- Further information: Connecticut Panhandle
Areas maintained by the National Park Service include: Appalachian National Scenic Trail; Quinebaug & Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor; and Weir Farm National Historic Site.