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New Canaan

New Canaan, Connecticut

  •   State: 
    Fairfield County
    New Canaan
      County FIPS: 
    41°08′48.48″N 73°29′41.64″W
      Area total: 
    22.5 sq mi (58.3 km²)
      Area land: 
    22.1 sq mi (57.3 km²)
      Area water: 
    0.4 sq mi (0.9 km²)
    344 ft (105 m)
    1731; Settled 1731
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT
    Eastern Standard Time (EST) UTC-5:00; Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) UTC-4:00
      ZIP codes: 

    New Canaan, Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    932 residents per square mile of area (359.9/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

New Canaan is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 20,622 according to the 2020 census. The town is known for its architecture and public parks such as Waveny Park, and a town center with boutiques. Residents sing carols on God's Acre every Christmas Eve, a town tradition since 1916. New Canaan is one of the wealthiest towns in the country, appearing in multiple rankings of the nations richest zip codes. It was an important center of the modern design movement from the late 1940s through roughly the 1960s, when about 80 modern homes were built in town. About 20 have been torn down since then. The Harvard Five in New Canaan: Mid-Century Houses, Modern Houses by William D. Earls, and other modern architects were designing houses in the New Canaan area in the 1940s and 1950s. The name New Canaan has been controversial, with residents affectionately using the latter, and local critics of New Canaan still using the original nickname, "Next Station to Heaven" The town was first settled in 1731, when it was incorporated in 1801, when New Canaan found itself without a central common, a main street, or a town hall. In the 1890s, editor Will Kirk of the Messenger wrote an editorial in response to area editors who chided him, saying New Canaan was the "next station to hell." An alleged remark by a parched Civil War veteran marching in the Decoration Day Parade on an unusually hot day prompted the remark.


New Canaan was an important center of the modern design movement from the late 1940s through roughly the 1960s. About 80 modern homes were built in town, about 20 have been torn down since then. The "Harvard Five" were a group of students and teachers from the Harvard Graduate School of Design who migrated to New Canaan. The Ice Storm (1997) shows many of New Canaan's modern houses, both inside and out. The film also features a glass house situated on Laurel Road. The novel of the same name, upon it's basis, takes place in New Canaan; it's based on a mostly fictional town. New Canaan was once known as the "next station to hell" in the 1890s. The name has been controversial, with residents affectionately using the latter, and local critics of the town still using the original nickname. The town is now home to the headquarters of Texaco, the oil company founded by Lewis Lapham, a great-grandfather of long-time Harper's Magazine editor Lewis H. Lapham. It is also the home of the U.S. National Museum of Natural History, which is based in New York City and has a collection of more than 2,000 pieces of art, many of which have been donated to the town. The U.N. World Heritage Site is located in the town, along with the World Trade Center, which opened in 1993. It's also the site of the American Museum of Nature and Science, which was opened in 1998.


New Canaan is the only municipality on the Connecticut Panhandle that does not border the coast. The town has its own connection to the New Haven Railroad, being the only town to do so. Many New Canaan residents commute to New York regularly, with travel time to Grand Central Terminal around 65 minutes. New Canaan is also heavily served by the historic Merritt Parkway, as the third municipality when driving through Connecticut from New York City. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22.5 square miles (58 km²), of which 22.1square miles (57 km²) are land and 0.3 square mile (0.78km²), or 1.56%, is covered by water. It is located on the New Canaan Branch of the Newhaven Line, and transfer is possible in Stamford south to Manhattan. It has a population of 2,816. It was the first town in the state to be annexed by the state of New York, and the first in the United States to have a city of more than 1,000 people in its borders. The city's population was 2,788 at the 2010 census. It had a population density of 1,077.7 per square mile. It lies on the eastern edge of the Connecticut River, which runs through the town. It also borders the town of Fairfield, which is the state's largest city and is home to the Fairfield County Medical Examiner's Office and the New York State Psychiatric Institute.


The downtown area consists of many restaurants, a library, the Victorian train station, antique shops, a book store, a saddlery boutique, and various fine clothing and interior decorating shops. Many national chain stores can be found in the downtown area, including Ralph Lauren and Ralph Lauren Children, Ann Taylor, J. McLaughlin, Papyrus, Vineyard Vines, Le Pain Quotidien, and Starbucks. There are several churches in the town (Catholic and various Protestant denominations), as well as the historic Roger Sherman Inn, established in 1740. Most major banks and many wealth management firms have a presence in New Canaan, including JPMorgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo, UBS, Citibank, and Bank of America. The town includes the following sections: New Canaan Town Center, Talmadge Hill, Ponus Ridge, West, Oenoke Ridge, Smith Ridge, and part of Silvermine (which extends into Norwalk and Wilton). The town is also home to the New Canaan Country Club, which was established in the late 1800s and is located on the banks of the Connecticut River. It is home to a number of private schools, including New Canaan High School, New Canaan Middle School, and New Canaan East High School. New Canaan is also the home of the American Museum of Natural History, which is located in the center of the town. It was founded in the early 1900s and was the site of the first U.S. National Museum.


The New Canaan Volunteer Ambulance Corps is a free, all-volunteer ambulance corps with three ambulances and two paramedic fly-cars. The New Canaan Fire Department was featured on Rescue 911 when they saved a fire captain who was suffering a heart attack. New Canaan was one of five towns in Connecticut that backed former Governor John Kasich of Ohio over Donald J. Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential primary. Kasich received 1,362 votes (47.84%) ahead of Trump, who garnered 1,168 votes (41.03%). U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas finished third with 262 votes (9.20%). The mill rate of New Canaan in 2017 was 16.669. The town is located at 174 South Avenue and has a population of 2,841. The police department has forty-five sworn officers, five full-time civilians and two school crossing guards. The NCPD responded to 16,741 calls during 2012. The fire department responded to 886 calls for service in 2009. It has a fire station located near the center of town, with a fire apparatus fleet of engines and other vehicles. It is a combination professional/Volunteer fire department that operates out of the fire station. The city has a police department with forty-35 sworn officers. The department has a Fire Department with a Fire Station located at 182 South Avenue. The Fire Department responded to more than 1,000 calls for help in 2009, including more than 100 ambulance calls. It also has an EMT unit and a paramedic unit.


As of the census of 2000, 19,395 people, 6,822 households, and 5,280 families were residing in the town. The racial makeup of the town was 95.27% White, 1.04% African American, 0.4% Native American, 2.29% Asian, 0.39% from other races, and 0.98% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 1.74% of the population. The median income for a household in theTown was $141,788, and for a family was $175,331. The per capita income for the Town was $82,049. About 2.2% of the residents were under the age of 18 and 2.5% of those age 65 or over were living below the poverty line. The town is located on the U.S. Census Bureau's West Virginia-New Hampshire border. It is the only town in the state to have a post office with a ZIP code that is over 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the state capital, Doylestown. It has a population of 19,400, with 7,141 housing units, and a population density of 876.5 inhabitants per square mile (338.4/km²). The town's population is expected to grow to 20,000 by the end of the decade. It was the site of the first U.N. peacekeeping operation in World War II.


The New Canaan Public Schools system is considered to be one of the best in Connecticut. In 2009, the district was the highest-performing school district in the state based on the frequency of top-tier performances on the Connecticut Mastery Tests (CMTs) In 2008, the median SAT score (verbal, math and writing) for district students was 1804. New Canaan High School won the FCIAC Cup, given to the most successful athletic program among the 19 high schools competing in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference in 2010. The school system is also notable for its achievements in extracurricular activities. In June 2012, 24/7 Wall St. ranked New Canaan as the eighth- Wealthiest School District in the United States. The district has five public schools: West School, South School, and East School. It also has three private schools: Saxe Middle School, St. Aloysius School K8, and St. Luke's School K9. Grades 612 have language offerings including French, Latin, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish. The high school drama program won seven awards at the 2010 Connecticut High School Musical Theatre Awards. In 2019, the high school was ranked the sixth-best public high school in Connecticut behind Darien and Weston, and one-of-the-top in the nation. In 2010, the school library was the recipient of the 2010 National School Library Program of the Year Award, given by the American Library Association.

Points of interest

Waveny Park on South Avenue "was developed in 1912 by Lewis Lapham on what had been Prospect Farm, an early summer estate" Since 1919 New Canaan residents have been gathering on God's Acre every Christmas Eve to sing Christmas carols with the New Canaan Town Band. Fall Fair: The fair offers activities for all ages from hay mazes to Old Faithful Antique Fire Truck rides to apple sling shots. Easter Egg Hunt: Children are able to collect candy-filled Easter eggs, get their faces painted, take pictures with the Easter bunny, and many other festive activities.Saint Mark's May Fair: carnival rides and May Fair's famous strawberry shortcake. Family Fourth Fireworks: Town residents gather at Waveny Town Park for picnicking, live music, bounce houses, and fireworks. The New Canaan town band was founded in 1831 and is the second oldest town band in the United States. The town of New Canaan is home to the Silvermine Arts Center, which was built in 1878 by John Rogers, who was called "the people's sculptor" in the later 19th century. The studio houses a collection of the artist's famous groups of statuary, many sculpted on site. New Canaan Nature Center is located in the center of the town and is open to the public on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on weekends from 8 to 11 a.M.Easter Egg Hunt, sponsored by the Young Women's League, is held every year.

Institutions and organizations

Harmony Lodge No. 67 Ancient, Free & Accepted Masons is the oldest voluntary society in the Town of New Canaan. It was chartered by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the State of Connecticut and was the first masonic lodge in lower Fairfield County since 1763. New Canaan Museum & Historical Society operates seven museums, preserves five historic buildings, collects and preserves material thought to be of local historical value. The society was founded in 1889 and is housed in New Canaan's first town hall. The lodge in a three-way swap bought the old Methodist Church building on Main Street, and Harmony Lodge no. 67 has been at this present sight ever since. The Lodge's first permanent home was the old Baptist Church on Main. Street, which still stands today next to the present fire house, making this Harmony Lodge'sFirst permanent home. In 1954 the lodge bought the former Methodist Church Building on Main St. for $20,000, and the lodge has been in this location since. It is the first lodge in the town to be chartered as a voluntary society. In 1825 the lodge was granted a charter by the Grand Lodge to establish a new lodge. The town offered the upstairs area of the building as a meeting hall for their lodge for the total annual cost of $20. This was the lodge's first meeting place. In 1953 the lodge moved into the former Baptist Church building, and it has been there ever since, along with the New Canaan Land Trust.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in New Canaan, Fairfield County, Connecticut = 7.8. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 32. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 30. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in New Canaan = 3.4 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 20,622 individuals with a median age of 40.4 age the population grows by 2.81% in New Canaan, Fairfield County, Connecticut population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 932 residents per square mile of area (359.9/km²). There are average 2.88 people per household in the 6,891 households with an average household income of $187,368 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 6.20% of the available work force and has dropped -3.25% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 27.30%. The number of physicians in New Canaan per 100,000 population = 301.6.


The annual rainfall in New Canaan = 48 inches and the annual snowfall = 36.9 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 101. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 202. 85 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 20 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 45, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in New Canaan, Fairfield County, Connecticut which are owned by the occupant = 77.82%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 46 years with median home cost = $1,195,820 and home appreciation of -8.50%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $13.56 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $8,992 per student. There are 13.4 students for each teacher in the school, 431 students for each Librarian and 307 students for each Counselor. 3.79% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 37.86% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 33.46% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • New Canaan's population in Fairfield County, Connecticut of 2,968 residents in 1900 has increased 6,95-fold to 20,622 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 51.96% female residents and 48.04% male residents live in New Canaan, Fairfield County, Connecticut.

    As of 2020 in New Canaan, Fairfield County, Connecticut are married and the remaining 30.50% are single population.

  • 37.5 minutes is the average time that residents in New Canaan require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    64.42% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 5.35% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 17.15% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 8.65% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in New Canaan, Fairfield County, Connecticut, 77.82% are owner-occupied homes, another 16.38% are rented apartments, and the remaining 5.79% are vacant.

  • The 67.16% of the population in New Canaan, Fairfield County, Connecticut who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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