As the 5th largest city in the state of Connecticut, Waterbury is located just over 30 miles away from Hartford and has a city population of 107,841. With a variety of museums and parks, there are fun activities in the city and there is also the beach or New York City within a decent distance as well.
1. Very High Crime Rates
Unfortunately, the crime rates in Waterbury are also fairly bad. On a scale of 0 to 100, with a 100 being the safest, Waterbury really showed just how dangerous the city is. When rating Waterbury, they got a 16, being far closer to the more dangerous end of 0.
When looking at Waterbury’s specific crime statistics you will find that both the number of property crimes and crimes per square mile are both above the national average. The number of violent crimes, burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft, comes in at 24.58 crimes per every 100,000. Just over the national average of 19.
Meanwhile, there are nearly 4 times the national average of crimes per square mile. It totals about 112 crimes per every square mile, just under 4 times the 26 average.
2. Lots of Addictions
One of the first main problems that you are going to have to worry about if you decide to move to Waterbury is the fact that there is a large problem with drug abuse and addiction. It was found that the amount of drug use of opioids is extremely high compared to the rest of the United States.
It was found that in the most recent year that there were 260 deaths due to opioid abuse per every 100,000 residents. This is far above the national average and has increased by 15.04% over the past year.
3. Litter is Everywhere
Since the city has slowly become more run down and lots of the people have begun to leave for a variety of reasons, the amount of litter in the city has built up and become nearly overwelling. This is one of the most common complaints by residents that the city has become very dirty and trash-ridden over the past few years.
Unfortunately, tax is a constant that we will always have to deal with no matter what city we choose to live in. The largest tax problem you are going to have to be concerned about is the fact that the property tax is a fair bit above the national average.
Already those in Connecticut are having to deal with a much higher property tax at 2.130% of your home’s value compared to the national average of 1.110%. Meanwhile, Waterbury has an even higher property tax rate than Connecticut with a massive rate of 2.350%. This means you will pay an extra $500 each year for your properties.
5. The Cost of a Home
When it comes to getting a house in Waterbury, you are going to be looking at houses that are a fair bit above the national average. The current average price of a home within the city is $220,219, a surprising $60,000 under the national average.
So, why is the cost of homes a negative, well it is because the price of homes in Thornton is quickly getting more and more expensive. In just the past year the average price of homes has increased by 18.9% and shows little sign of slowing down. And with how much you have to pay for taxes, this increasing of the cost of homes will become more and more of a negative.
6. And the Cost of Living
And while the homes are cheaper, just about every other aspect of life is going to be a higher cost as Waterbury comes in with a cost of living score of 93.8. While homes are the largest factor making the overall cost of living below the average, the highest parts contributing are transportation with 121.2 and miscellaneous expenses with 124.2.
This means if you ever want to go out and do something for entertainment you are going to be in a bit of trouble as both aspects are going to be a fair bit above the national average. Along with that, you need to have a car to get around and if you need to get a repair it is going to be much more expensive than most other places.
7. Schools Aren’t Getting a Passing Grade
For any parents who are hoping to move to Waterbury, you may want to think twice since the public schools offered within the city are not the best. Already Connecticut has subpar schooling with just a 52% proficiency in both math and reading. The reading level of the state is slightly better at 56% however, within the city, the average is worst than the state’s average.
Even just though the states are below average, Waterbury’s school district comes in with proficiency in reading and math of just 25%. Again the reading is better at a 31% proficiency ability, however, the math proficiency is at an abysmal 19%. A major factor in this is the fact that the school districts are spending nearly $3,000 less per student than the state average.
8. The Nonexistent Job Market
One of the main causes that the situation in Waterbury has become so run down and is experiencing so many different problems is because their job market is practically nonexistent. The average income for those who are living in Waterbury is a minuscule $27,146, which is nearly $4,000 under the national average. And to make the situation even worse, the average income for a household increases the difference by another $4,000. If you are wanting to get a higher-paying job then it will likely mean that you will have to commute to a larger city like Hartford or in some situations even Boston or New York.
9. Awful Road Conditions
One of the fortunate parts that you don’t have to worry about in Waterbury is the fact that there really isn’t that much traffic in or around the city. However, one of the major reasons for that is the fact that the roads are in such bad condition. These poor conditions are due to a variety of reasons. The first is that rain and cold weather can quickly take their toll on roads due to water expanding when cold.
The next reason is that the roads will often go many years before the city steps in and starts repairing a road, and they typically do this only once the road is unusable.
10. Homelessness Abounds
Unfortunately, if you decide to move to Waterbury, you have to deal with its homelessness problem as well. In its most recent study, it was found that Waterbury had 4,450 people who were currently struggling with homelessness. When calculating that out with the cities’ populations you find that the cities have a homelessness rate of 4%.
While it might not seem like it is too much of a problem, you are actually having to deal with nearly 20 times the amount of homelessness than the national average. The largest reason for concern is the rate at which homelessness is growing. In the same study, it was found that homelessness amount has increased by 26% over the past two years.
11. High Poverty Rates
Within the United States of America, it was found that 37.2 million people live in poverty, or in the other words, 11.4% of everyone in the United States lives under the poverty threshold. While this number is already high, according to the 2021 US census of Waterbury they have 21.3% of the population living in poverty. This is nearly double the national average and nearly 3 times the worldwide average of 9%.
Between the homelessness rate and the poverty rate in Waterbury, it shows just how bad the job market is within the city and how so many people struggle here.
12. The Weather Is Wet & Cold
The Connecticut wet season typically starts in November and lasts until March. During these 5 months, typically there will be a chance of both snow and rain. It will also receive around 47.1 inches of rain each year, however, this rain will most commonly happen in a few heavy storms and most days will be nice.
But, During the summer months, Connecticut and Waterbury’s weather can be incredibly nice and allow you to enjoy the number of parks, mountains, rivers, lakes, and other natural activities that can be found all over the eastern part of the United States and the Northeast. However, even in the summer, the temperature is mild at an average of 80 degrees max temperature. But this also pays off with a warmer winter with less snow to worry about.
13. You Are Going to Need a Car
Because the city is so isolated and far away from any major city along with the fact that there isn’t that much to do while in the city, you are definitely going to want to have a car. The first problem with this is that the cost of gas and repairs are all more expensive in Waterbury than they are in most other cities.
Along with that, if you are wanting to go to a large city, the nearest ones are Boston and New York City, however, each of these cities is over 2 hours away even if traffic is clear. Along with that, it is nearly an hour in order for you to get to the beach and enjoy that as well.
14. The Eviction Problem
One of the last major problems in Waterbury is its high eviction rate. It was found that Waterbury has a 6.1% eviction rate, which is almost three times higher than the national average of 2.43%. This could be for a variety of reasons, but the most likely is a combination of a high cost of living and a poor job market. But for whatever reason it is, Waterbury has a 3.06% higher eviction rate than the State and 3.67% higher than the nation’s eviction rate.
15. It is Very Boring
Along with all of the other problems that the city has, the biggest one that you are going to have to deal with is the fact that the city is very boring. There are only one or two museums within the city and besides the two museums and a park, there isn’t anything else to do within the city. That means you are going to have to make one of the drives to either Boston, New York, or the nearest beach to find some fun activities. Your nearest option would be Hartford which is roughly 45 minutes away.
16. Your Sports Options
When it comes to sports options in Waterbury, then you are going to be very disappointed because there are no professional sports teams in Waterbury or even Connecticut. However, while this means you aren’t going to have an easy time going and watching any professional sports, you also can go to Boston or New York City to see pro sports.
However, as mentioned earlier you are going to have a very long drive in order to get to those cities. This means that you will have to dedicate your whole day in order to see any sporting event. However, Waterbury is a great town for those who are looking to do more biking, jogging, or other simple sports like those.
17. The Population is Decreasing
The last of the major problems that Waterbury is facing is the fact that a lot of the residents have been leaving and it has started to gain a negative reputation. The last time that Waterbury had a large amount of population growth was over a decade ago in 2009 when it gained 3,000 residents. Since then the amount of residents has slowly gone down to where it currently is at 107,841. The previously listed problems are a major reason and because of these problems, many former residents recommend avoiding moving to Waterbury.