Norwalk, Connecticut

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Norwalk, Connecticut
Connecticut shore aerial - Norwalk Harbor & vicinity 01 - white balanced (9607083547).jpg
Aerial view of Norwalk Harbor and vicinity
Etymology: Mohegan-Pequot language
Oyster Town
Latin: E Pluribus Unum
Fairfield County Connecticut incorporated and unincorporated areas Norwalk highlighted.svg
Location in Fairfield County and Connecticut
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Red pog.svg
Location in the United States and Connecticut
USA Connecticut location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Norwalk (Connecticut)
Coordinates: 41°05′38″N73°25′11″W / 41.09389°N 73.41972°W / 41.09389; -73.41972 Coordinates: 41°05′38″N73°25′11″W / 41.09389°N 73.41972°W / 41.09389; -73.41972
Country United States
U.S. state Connecticut
County Fairfield
Metropolitan area Bridgeport-Stamford
SettledFebruary 26, 1640
Incorporated September 11, 1651
ConsolidatedJune 6, 1913
Founded by Roger Ludlow and Daniel Patrick [1]
  Type Weak-mayor-City Council
  Mayor Harry Rilling (D)
  Total36.3 sq mi (94 km2)
  Land22.8 sq mi (59 km2)
  Water13.5 sq mi (35 km2)
43 ft (13 m)
 (2010) [2]
  Density2,400/sq mi (910/km2)
  Est. (2018)
  Est. (2018) density3,879/sq mi (1,498/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern Standard Time (EST))
  Summer (DST) UTC−4 (Eastern Daylight Time (EDT))
Zip codes
Area codes 203/475
FIPS code 09-55990
GNIS feature ID 0209405
Major highways I-95.svg US 7.svg Merritt Pkwy Shield.svg
Commuter Rail MTA NYC logo.svg
Website Official website

Norwalk is a U.S. city located in southwestern Connecticut, in southern Fairfield County, on the northern shore of Long Island Sound. Norwalk lies within both the New York metropolitan area as well as the Bridgeport metropolitan area. [3]


Norwalk was settled in 1649, and is the sixth most populous city in Connecticut. According to the 2010 United States Census it has had a population of 85,603; with an estimated population of 89,047 in 2018. [4] [5]


Norwalk was settled in 1649, incorporated September 1651, and named after the Algonquin word noyank, meaning "point of land", or more probably from the native American name "Naramauke". [6]

The Battle of Norwalk took place during the Revolutionary War, [7] and lead to the burning of most of the town. [8] In 1836, the borough of Norwalk was created, covering the central area of the town. [9] In 1853, the first ever train disaster in the United States happened over the Norwalk River. [10] During the 19th and early 20th century, Norwalk was a major railroad stop for the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad. [11] The city of South Norwalk and the remaining parts of the town of Norwalk were both combined in 1910 to form the current city. [12]

The Ku Klux Klan had a brief presence in Norwalk during the 1920s, but quickly fell apart due to internal issues. [13] In 1955, multiple hurricanes hit the city, causing flooding in Norwalk Harbor. [14] During the 1970s, efforts were taken to historically preserve South Norwalk, resulting in the creation of the Washington Street Historic District. [15]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 36.3 square miles (94 km2), of which, 22.8 square miles (59 km2) of it is land and 13.5 square miles (35 km2) of it (37.24%) is water.


Climate data for Norwalk, Connecticut
Record high °F (°C)68
Average high °F (°C)37
Daily mean °F (°C)28
Average low °F (°C)19
Record low °F (°C)−15
Average precipitation inches (mm)4.2
Average snowfall inches (cm)9.3
Average precipitation days10.59.710.912.512.511.710.
Average snowy days4.
Source #1: NCDC [16]
Source #2: The Weather Channel [17]


Norwalk's topography is dominated by its coastline along Long Island Sound, the Norwalk River and its eastern and western banks, and the Norwalk Islands. [18] The highest elevation is 282 feet above sea level, at the summit of Middle Clapboard Hill in West Norwalk; [19] and the low elevation is sea level on Long Island Sound.


Historical population
1790 11,942
1800 5,146−56.9%
1810 2,983−42.0%
1820 3,0040.7%
1830 3,97232.2%
1840 3,863−2.7%
1850 4,65120.4%
1860 7,85268.8%
1870 12,11954.3%
1880 13,95615.2%
1890 17,74727.2%
1900 19,93212.3%
1910 24,21121.5%
1920 27,74314.6%
1930 36,01929.8%
1940 39,84910.6%
1950 49,46024.1%
1960 67,77537.0%
1970 79,28817.0%
1980 77,767−1.9%
1990 78,3310.7%
2000 82,9515.9%
2010 85,6033.2%
Est. 201889,047 [5] 4.0%
1790 population included
Stamford and Greenwich.

As of the  census  of 2010, there were 85,603 people, [21] 35,415 households, [22] and 21,630 families residing in the city. [23] The  population density  was 2,358.2 inhabitants per square mile (910.7/km²). There were 35,415 housing units at an average density of 975.6 per square mile (376.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 68.7%  White, 14.2%  African American, 0.4%  Native American, 4.8%  Asian, 0.1%  Pacific Islander, 9.0% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races.  Hispanic  or  Latino  of any race were 24.3% of the population. [24]

There were 35,415 households out of which 27.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.1% were  married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.4% were non-families. 33.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size in the city was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.16. [25]

The population's spread gives 22% under the age of 18, with 7.3% from 18 to 24, 31.7% from 25 to 44, 31.2% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% aged 65 years or older. The median age is 40 years. For every 100 females, there are 96.2 males. [24]

The median income for a household in the city was $76,161, and the median income for a family was $103,032. The  per capita income  for the city was $43,303. [26] About 5.7% of families and 8.4% of the population were below the  poverty line, including 10.2% of those under age 18 and 8.2% of those age 65 or over. [27] [28]


Pepperidge Farm, Xerox, Frontier Communications, and Booking Holdings have headquarters in Norwalk. [29] [30]

Arts and culture


Places of worship


Norwalk's former city hall NorwalkCTNorwalkMuseum80122007.JPG
Norwalk's former city hall

Notable places on the National Register of Historic Places



Norwalk city vote
by party in presidential elections [38]
Year Democratic Republican Third Parties
2016 63.86%24,41432.23% 12,3243.91% 1,494
2012 63.01%22,36935.98% 12,7731.01% 357
2008 65.51%24,48933.84% 12,6510.65% 244
2004 58.15%20,61540.06% 14,2011.79% 633
2000 59.90%19,29335.76% 11,5194.34% 1,399
1996 55.52%17,35434.55% 10,8009.93% 3,105
1992 44.02%16,48839.36% 14,74316.62% 6,224
1988 43.23% 14,51855.44%18,6181.33% 445
1984 35.68% 12,50964.03%22,4470.29% 102
1980 36.40% 11,78552.40%16,96911.20% 3,627
1976 42.69% 13,72456.53%18,1760.78% 250
1972 34.17% 11,45964.10%21,4961.73% 579
1968 41.59% 13,33051.50%16,5036.91% 2,215
1964 61.90%19,62038.10% 12,0760.00% 0
1960 44.32% 13,74455.68%17,2680.00% 0
1956 28.48% 8,13471.52%20,4280.00% 0
Republican 9,62651110,13719
Democratic 18,7541,26920,02338
Minor parties 986761,0622
Unaffiliated 20,4881,40821,89641
Sources: [39]


The City of Norwalk currently has six taxing districts. [40] The First, Second, Third and Sixth taxing districts are political entities with their respective voters electing officers, holding annual business meetings, approving budgets and to consider other matters, as specified in each of their charters. [41] [42] Election of Taxing District Commissioners and Treasurers by voters from the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 6th districts take place in odd numbered years.

The Fourth and Fifth districts are not counted as separate governments as they constitute the city proper. [43] Each taxing district has its own property tax rate reflecting the mix of services each receives from the city. Secondly, municipal elections of Mayor, Common Council, Board of Education and other positions are also held in odd numbered years at thirteen polling places within five voting districts around the city. Voting districts are not the same for state and federal elections which are held on even numbered years at twelve polling locations [44]


Norwalk City Hall and Concert Hall NorwalkCTCityHallFront09032007.JPG
Norwalk City Hall and Concert Hall

Norwalk's municipal government is a Weak-mayor form of a Mayor-Council government with the mayor of Norwalk elected by its voters. [45] The city's charter gives certain administrative powers exclusively to the Council and others jointly to the Council and Mayor. The Common Council is the law-writing body of the City of Norwalk. Norwalk's common council consists of fifteen council members, five elected at-large and ten elected by district, two from each district. [46]


Norwalk is represented in the Connecticut General Assembly by five House Representatives corresponding to five Connecticut legislative districts and one senator from one Connecticut Senate district. [47] [48]

Norwalk, which lies within Connecticut's 4th congressional district, is represented in the United States Congress by one congressional representative (Democrat Jim Himes) in the United States House of Representatives and, along with the rest of Connecticut, by two U.S. Senators (Democrats Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy) in the United States Senate.


Norwalk Public Schools operates public schools, while the community also has various private schools.

Norwalk was granted a town charter by the Connecticut General Court in 1651. On May 29, 1678, town records mention the establishment of community-supported teaching activities with a passage that reads: "'At a town meeting... voted and agreed to hier a scole master to teach all the children in ye town to lerne to Rede and write; and that Mr. Cornish shall be hierd for that service and the townsmen are to hier him upon as reasonable terms as they can."

The school that was established in the 1670s was located near the Ludlow Square area of East Norwalk (near the former Roger Ludlow Junior High School). [49]


Baseball and softball are popular amateur sports with active leagues across many age groups in Norwalk. There are 4 baseball fields and 16 Little League fields in the city. Several of the fields, including Calf Pasture Beach are illuminated for nighttime play. The fields at The Norwalk Little League team won the Little League World Series in 1952. [50] [51] The 14-year-old Babe Ruth League team won the championship in 2008. [52] In 2010, the 12-year-old Norwalk all star team made it to the Cal Ripken league World Series and placed 3rd in the country. In 2011, the Norwalk American Senior Legion baseball team won the Connecticut State Championship. This had not been accomplished by any other Norwalk Legion team in the storied 83-year history. The team defeated Branford, CT in the championship game. The girls Norwalk Pride fast pitch softball team won the Connecticut State Championship in 2005, 2006, and 2007.

The Norwalk Biddy Basketball All Star team Won the State and Regional titles and then went on to the World Championships in New Orleans, LA in 1986 and placed 7th in the world.

Being a coastal city Norwalk is home to a great many water sports including competitive swimming, recreational boating and fishing, sailing, windsurfing, and kayaking. The Norwalk River and inner Norwalk Harbor host rowing events and organizations. [53] Norwalk resident Daniel Walsh won a bronze medal in Beijing with the U.S. Olympic rowing team in the 2008 Summer Olympics. [54]

There are three golf courses in the city of Norwalk: The Shorehaven Golf Club [55] is a private club in East Norwalk, the Silvermine Golf Club [56] is a private club in Silvermine (part of the course lies in the town of Wilton), and the Oak Hills Park golf course [57] is a public course in West Norwalk.

The cross town rivalry between the city's two largest high schools', Norwalk High School (Connecticut) and Brien McMahon High School, sports teams can be rather fierce, particularly for the football, basketball, soccer and field hockey teams in the fall; as well as lacrosse, baseball, and softball teams in the spring.Brien McMahon High School's football team won the FCIAC (Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference) and Class M State Football championship in 1994. McMahon high school's boys lacrosse team went on to win the state division 2 lacrosse championship in 2000.

In professional team sports, Norwalk is represented by the Connecticut Wildcats in the American National Rugby League.


News sources in Norwalk include News 12 Connecticut, a regional news channel for southwestern Connecticut and based in Norwalk. [58] The Hour was an independent daily newspaper based in Norwalk and founded in 1871, which was purchased by Hearst Communications on April 12, 2016. [59]



A Wheels bus at Wheels hub NorwalkTransitGillig.jpg
A Wheels bus at Wheels hub

Public transport bus service within Norwalk is provided by Norwalk Transit District. [60] Norwalk Transit District operates fixed route public bus service in Norwalk and Westport with evening and Sunday shuttles (serving South Norwalk, Main Avenue and Connecticut Avenue) and commuter shuttles. Access to other cities through bus services Milford, Danbury, and Stamford. All fixed route buses meet at the Transportation Hub. [61]

West entrance of the South Norwalk train station SouthNorwalkRRstaWestEntrance08112007.jpg
West entrance of the South Norwalk train station

The Metro-North Railroad's New Haven Line runs through and stops in Norwalk. The train goes West and East with Grand Central Terminal and New Haven Union Station being the final stops. The Danbury Branch runs from South Norwalk to Danbury, CT. There are four stations in Norwalk, three of them on the main line which is: Rowayton, South Norwalk and East Norwalk. The fourth station, Merritt 7, is on the Danbury Branch. Metro-North provides commuter service for all four stations. [62]

The structure at 47 Wall Street was formerly the Wall Street station of the Danbury Branch, which operated from 1896 to 1936. The city's trolley system barn also operated on Wall Street. [63]

Interstate 95 and the Merritt Parkway lead through Norwalk, and there are several exits within the Norwalk city limits, and are the major thoroughfare through the city. U.S. Route 1 goes through the center of the city, mostly following local streets. The major north-south corridor in Norwalk is U.S. Route 7, which is a expressway throughout most of the route in the city. The expressway section ends at Grist Mill Road in Norwalk from where Route 7 resumes northbound along Main Ave. Other state routes include Route 53, Route 123, and Route 136.


Electric power and natural gas in most of Norwalk is provided by Eversource Energy.

The districts purchase wholesale power and arrange for its delivery to, and distribution within, their respective districts. Power lines and meters in East Norwalk, South Norwalk, and parts of Rowayton are maintained by the districts. Both the second (SNEW) and third (TTD) district electric departments belong to the six member Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative which pools their wholesale power purchasing to obtain lower rates for their customers. [69]

Connecticut Light and Power (now Eversource Energy) operated a power plant, Norwalk Harbor Station on Manresa Island, from 1960 to 1999 when it was acquired by NRG Energy, which then began its deactivation in 2013. [70]

In 2004 the third taxing district installed 3 diesel powered generators at the Norden complex on Norden Place that were initially licensed only for emergency power supply. By summer 2008 the generators, with a combined capacity of 6 Megawatts, had been upgraded to allow licensed operation as regular power providers for the grid (not just emergency power). [71]
In 2007 and 2008 the construction of the Middletown-Norwalk transmission line disrupted traffic along the Boston Post Road, but the completion of the line is hoped to help provide additional power to lower Fairfield County. In addition a high-voltage undersea line runs from Manressa Island to Long Island to help provide electric power to Long Island Power Authority customers. In 2008 the city government of Norwalk started initial investigations of whether the city might resume generating power for sale to electricity customers in the city. [72]

Emergency services

Norwalk Police Department serves as the city's police department, [73] and Norwalk Fire Department serves Norwalk's fire protection district. [74] Norwalk is served 24/7 by Norwalk Hospital and Norwalk Hospital EMS, a 911 paramedic service. The service consists of hospital-based paramedics and EMT-Is who serve Norwalk as well as New Canaan, Wilton, Weston, and Westport.

Notable people

Notable people from Norwalk include:


Full-length features and documentary films, filmed or set in Norwalk:


Partially or entirely recorded in Norwalk:

Sister cities

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