Connecticut is a beautiful state with several large cities that don’t have much notoriety away from the east coast. Bridgeport is not one of those cities, and we have included some of the reasons why you shouldn’t move there below.
1. Freezing Winters
Like most of New England, the number one thing that makes it difficult to live in Bridgeport is the frigid winter weather. With an average snowfall of thirty inches per year (distributed about one inch per day for about thirty-one days), Bridgeport certainly isn’t the worst offender when it comes to cities in Connecticut. However, there’s no question that the city can get quite cold during that particular part of the year.
This echoes out into much of life during the winter, and compounds with a few other classic New Englander problems during that season to make getting around a huge pain. Driving in the snow is a skill that must be learned, and one that even people who live in cold climates never really get down.
On the flip side, it doesn’t get super hot in Bridgeport during the summer, which some people will be very happy about. Even during the hottest months of the year, the city rarely breaks 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re not interested in hot weather, those cold winters will likely be worth living here.
Bridgeport is sitting right on top of the I-95 from New York to New Haven. This makes getting into or out of New Haven by car a test of patience that many will struggle to pass. Traffic in the city can also be fairly harsh, which is partially caused by the city’s population and density.
As mentioned earlier, this is at its worst during the snowy season, as the roads can often be both icy and cramped. These are certainly not ideal driving conditions.
3. Population Density
For a city that has 143,280 people in it, Bridgeport has a very high population density. For every square mile, the city has around 8,919 people. This makes it one of the sixty highest population density cities in the country, and this can cause a lot of stresses that wouldn’t be present in a more spread-out city.
While it increases business opportunities, it also means that many places are likely to be much more crowded and that it’s unlikely that people living there will be able to go outside without seeing other people very often. Depending on your perspective, this might be a huge problem.
It also exasperates problems in the city with the price of living, as housing and other commodities tend to be in more demand in denser areas.
4. Lack Of Culture
Bridgeport has some cultural institutions, such as a playhouse and a symphony, but lacks the same level of culturally interesting places that you can find in other Connecticut cities like Hartford and New Haven. If you like living in a city with easy access to this particular kind of entertainment, Bridgeport might not be for you.
That being said, its location in Connecticut can make it ideal for trips to many cultural opportunities within the state. While it may take a bit more time to dive all the way to Hartford to go to a theater, it’s still better than a lot of cities have access to in the US.
Whether you’re interested in cultural activities or not, they are a big part of life in Connecticut, a state with a reputation for being intellectually and culturally forward.
5. High Rent
As a city on the east coast, it’s kind of expected that the cost of rent will be high. That being said, even small studio apartments can be pretty expensive in Bridgeport, where the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is over $1,500 per month. While much lower than cities like New York, it is still going to be unaffordable for many people seeking to move into town.
Even a studio apartment will cost renters $1,200 per month, which is pretty expensive for a space that doesn’t have even a bedroom. This is made worse by the relatively few protections offered by the state of Connecticut for renters. While landlords in the state can’t raise the cost of rent during the period of a lease, they can raise it in between leases and have generally been increasing their prices over the past few years.
Plus, with only six people working for the city’s Fair Rent Commission, you may have trouble getting ahold of someone if your landlord decides to try and drive you onto the street. But at least Bridgeport has a Fair Rent Commission, which is better than a lot of American cities.
6. Growing Housing Market
For some people, this will actually be a pro and not a con. Over the last five years, median housing costs in Bridgeport have skyrocketed from only $100,000 or so in 2017 to $300,000 in 2022. This is a bit faster than the national average, which has gone from just under $400,000 in 2017 to $500,000 in 2022.
Why would this be a con? Because it means that if you aren’t buying a house in Bridgeport right now, then in the future it is likely to be more difficult to do so. Barring a change in fortunes, this trend is fairly likely to hold, although it is a shame that the homes that were probably affordable for many people just five years ago are now out of reach to most.
7. Property Taxes
The exact rate at which the city of Bridgeport taxes the ownership of homes, vehicles, and other personal property is determined on a year-by-year basis, but it is rarely ever a low tax. In 2021, Bridgeport residents were charged $43 for every $1,000 worth of property they owned.
This can turn out to be a fairly considerable amount if you own a home and multiple cars. If you rent an apartment and use public transportation, however, this will likely not be very much at all, although it may still be something, which is a difference compared to many cities where personal property isn’t really taxed.
And the rate also turns out to be relatively high. The national average property tax is 1.1%, while the tax in Bridgeport usually turns out to be 4%-5%. It isn’t unmanageably high like it is in some cities, but it isn’t low either.
8. Proximity to New York
New York and Boston are both relatively close to Bridgeport. In fact, Bridgeport is one of the closest big cities in Connecticut to the Big Apple. This can be a blessing and a curse, as residents have access to the city, but the city is a generally unpleasant place for most people.
But visitors from out of state rarely understand this, which means that friends and family visiting from far away will likely want to go, and they’ll want you to take them. With limited entertainment options in Bridgeport itself, it may be hard to say no.
9. Limited Job Opportunities
Bridgeport has an unemployment rate that tends to hover around 4.0%, which is higher than the national unemployment rate of 3.6%. This suggests a relative lack of jobs in the area, and that does seem to be the case.
With most manufacturing jobs moving to other parts of the world, Bridgeport is left without many industries to rely on. This has led to a city where the second most common job is an internship, which is not really much of a job at all. All in all, there isn’t much to do in Bridgeport other than sell things to other people living in Bridgeport.
Of course, this is alleviated somewhat by its proximity to other cities. However, if you want to work outside of Bridgeport you should probably just move to a city other than Bridgeport.
10. High Crime Rates
Bridgeport has a reputation as a city with a lot of crime. This reputation is not entirely warranted. The violent crime rate per one-thousand people is actually on par with the national average with the exception of a relatively high murder rate of 0.16 per 1,000 Compared to the national average of 0.07 per 1,000 this seems incredibly high, but in reality, is still negligible.
The city also has a relatively high rate of robbery, although it is still well within the expected range for a dense urban area.
However, there are certain areas of the city where you would do well to watch your purse, as places like Downtown and West End South do tend to have a lot of theft and burglary. Like any other dense city, there are a lot of people who are down on their luck or addicted to drugs, so this makes a lot of sense.
All that being said, the city is mostly safe. It may not be as safe as other parts of Connecticut, but it would certainly be wrong to call it especially dangerous.
Bridgeport is a relatively liberal city in line with the rest of Connecticut. This can be a pro or a con depending on your own political opinions. The voter base is only getting more democrat over time, with 62% of people voting blue in the last election.
If this sounds bad to you, you may want to move somewhere other than Connecticut, but in particular, you may want to move somewhere other than Bridgeport.
12. University Of Bridgeport
It would be wrong to call Bridgeport a college town, but it is certainly a town with a college in it, and that means it’s a town with a lot of students in it. If you don’t want to deal with a bunch of college students, this is probably not the town for you.
That being said, the University of Bridgeport is actually a pretty solid school. With a particularly notable nursing program, if you’re looking to move somewhere with good secondary education options Bridgeport does have some of those.
13. Military Industry
Earlier we talked about the relative lack of career opportunities in Bridgeport. This is generally true, but Bridgeport is also home to Sikorsky Aircraft Company, which is a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, one of the biggest military contractors in the United States. This makes Lockheed Martin one of the biggest employers in the city.
If you want to work for them, that’s a pro. If you don’t care about them, it means nothing. If you dislike the American military-industrial complex, you will find this fact troubling.
14. PT Barnum Died There
Before all you anti-PT Barnum people pick up your bags for your big move, the city of Bridgeport actually has a few PT Barnum-themed attractions that people who don’t like thinking about the circus guy will probably find pretty annoying. This includes the PT Barnum museum, a constant reminder of man’s hubris.
15. No Sports Teams
The nearest big sports teams are in New York and Boston, which means that if you’re a sports fan you’ll have to leave the city to enjoy big league pro sports. The city doesn’t even have a minor league baseball team anymore, as the Bridgeport Bluefish left for High Point NY in 2019.
16. There is Exactly One Coal-Powered Power Plant
If you don’t like the idea that your power is created by a coal power plant or seeing one every day, you should not move to Bridgeport, Connecticut. The coal power plant only generates less than 0.1 percent of the state’s power, as it is kept in place for historical purposes, but it takes up quite a bit of the skyline depending on where you are.
17. People Like to Hate On It
Despite the fact that Bridgeport is a fine city with an interesting history, it is one of the favorite punching bags of the people of Connecticut. If you choose to live there, expect to hear people calling it a wretched hive of scum and villainy and worse, which can get incredibly irritating over time.