Connecticut is a state in the northeastern region of the United States known as New England. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, New York to the west, and Long Island Sound to the south. Its capital city is Hartford, and its most populous city is Bridgeport. The state is named after the Connecticut River, a major U.S. river that approximately bisects the state. The word is derived from various anglicized spellings of an Algonquian word for "long tidal river."
Connecticut is the third smallest state by area, the 29th most populous, and the fourth most densely populated of the 50 United States. Called the Constitution State, the Nutmeg State, the Provisions State, and the Land of Steady Habits. It was influential in the development of the federal government of the United States. Much of southern and western Connecticut (along with the majority of the state's population) is part of the New York metropolitan area: three of Connecticut's eight counties are statistically included in the New York City combined statistical area, which is widely referred to as the Tri-State area. Connecticut's center of population is in Cheshire, New Haven County, which is also located within the Tri-State area.
Connecticut's first European settlers were Dutch. They established a small, short-lived settlement in present-day Hartford at the confluence of the Park and Connecticut rivers, called Huys de Goede Hoop. Initially, half of Connecticut was a part of the Dutch colony, New Netherland, which included much of the land between the Connecticut and Delaware rivers. The first major settlements were established in the 1630s by England. Thomas Hooker led a band of followers overland from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and founded what would become theConnecticut Colony; other settlers from Massachusetts founded the Saybrook Colony and the New Haven Colony. The Connecticut and New Haven Colonies established documents of Fundamental Orders, considered the first constitutions in North America. In 1662, the three colonies were merged under a royal charter, making Connecticut a crown colony. This colony was one of the Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution.
The Connecticut River, Thames River, and ports along Long Island Sound have given Connecticut a strong maritime tradition, which continues today. The state also has a long history of hosting the financial-services industry, including insurance companies in Hartford and hedge fundsin Fairfield County. As of the 2010 Census, Connecticut features the highest per-capita income, Human Development Index (0.962), andmedian household income in the United States. Although it is a wealthy state by most measures, the income gap between its urban and suburban areas is unusually wide.
State of Connecticut
|Nickname(s): The Constitution State
The Nutmeg State
The Provisions State
The Land of Steady Habits
|Motto(s): Qui transtulit sustinet. (Latin)
He who transplanted sustains.
A Pew survey of Connecticut residents' religious self-identification showed the following distribution of affiliations: Protestant 27%, Mormonism0.5%, Jewish 1%, Roman Catholic 43%, Orthodox 1%, Non-religious 23%, Jehovah's Witness 1%, Hinduism 0.5%, Buddhism 1% and Islam 0.5%. Jewish congregations had 108,280 (3.2%) members in 2000. The Jewish population is concentrated in the towns near Long Island Sound between Greenwich and New Haven, in Greater New Haven and in Greater Hartford, especially the suburb of West Hartford. According to the Association of Religion Data Archives, the largest Christian denominations, by number of adherents, in 2010 were: the Catholic Church, with 1,252,936; the United Church of Christ, with 96,506; and non-denominational Evangelical Protestants, with 72,863.
Recent immigration has brought other non-Christian religions to the state, but the numbers of adherents of other religions are still low. Connecticut is also home to New England's largest Protestant Church: The First Cathedral in Bloomfield, Connecticut located in Hartford County. Hartford is seat to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford, which is sovereign over the Diocese of Bridgeport and the Diocese of Norwich.
The name "Connecticut" originates from the Mohegan word quonehtacut, meaning "place of long tidal river." Connecticut's official nickname, adopted in 1959, is "The Constitution State," based on its colonial constitution of 1638–39 which was the first in America and, arguably, the world. Unofficially (but popularly) Connecticut is also known as "The Nutmeg State." The origins of the nutmeg connection to Connecticut are unknown. It may have come from its sailors returning from voyages with nutmeg (which in the 18th and 19th centuries was a very valuable spice). It may have originated in the early machined sheet tin nutmeg grinders sold by early Connecticut peddlers. It is also facetiously said to come from Yankee peddlers from Connecticut who would sell small carved nobs of wood shaped to look like nutmeg to unsuspecting customers. George Washington gave Connecticut the title of "The Provisions State" because of the material aid the state rendered to the American Revolutionary War effort. Connecticut is also known as "The Land of Steady Habits."
According to Webster's New International Dictionary, 1993, a person who is a native or resident of Connecticut is a "Connecticuter." There are numerous other terms coined in print, but not in use, such as: "Connecticotian" – Cotton Mather in 1702. "Connecticutensian" – Samuel Peters in 1781. "Nutmegger" is sometimes used, as is "Yankee" (the official state song is "Yankee Doodle"), though this usually refers someone from the wider New England region (and in the Southern United States, to anyone who lives north of the Mason-Dixon Line). Linguist Allen Walker Read reports a more playful term, 'connecticutie.' The traditional abbreviation of the state's name is "Conn.;" the official postal abbreviation is CT.
Commemorative stamps issued by the United States Postal Service with Connecticut themes include Nathan Hale, Eugene O'Neill, Josiah Willard Gibbs, Noah Webster, Eli Whitney, the whaling ship the Charles W. Morgan which is docked in Mystic Seaport, and a decoy of a broadbill duck.