New London County, Connecticut
Map of Connecticut highlighting New London County
Location in the state of Connecticut
Map of USA CT
Connecticut's location in the U.S.
Founded 1666
Seat None (formerly New London); since 1960 Connecticut counties no longer have a county government
Largest town Groton
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

771.66 sq mi (1,999 km²)
665.91 sq mi (1,725 km²)
105.75 sq mi (274 km²), 13.70%
 - (2010)
 - Density

412/sq mi (158.9/km²)
Congressional district 2nd

New London County is a county located in the southeastern corner of the U.S. state of Connecticut. As of 2010 the population was 274,055. The total area of the county is 772 square miles (2,000 km2), including inland and coastal waters.

As is the case with all eight of Connecticut's counties, there is no county government and no county seat. In Connecticut, towns are responsible for all local government activities, including fire and rescue, snow removal and schools. In a few cases, neighboring towns will share certain resources (e.g., water, gas, etc.). New London County is merely a group of towns on a map; it has no governmental authority.


New London County was one of four original counties in Connecticut that were established on May 10, 1666, by an act of the Connecticut General Court. The act establishing the county states:

This Court orders that from the Paukatuck River wth
Norridge to ye west bounds of Homonoscet Plantation[1] shalbe
for future one County, wch County is called the County of
N: London. And it is ordered that the County Court shalbe
held at N. London the first Wednesday in June and the third
Thursday in Septembr yearly.[2]

As established in 1666, New London County consisted of the towns of Stonington, Norwich, New London, and Saybrook. The "Homonoscet Plantation" referred to in the constituting Act was settled in March 1663, at first as Kenilworth but incorporated as the town of Killingworth in 1667.[3] Several new towns were incorporated and added to New London over the next few decades: Preston in 1687, Colchester in 1699, and Lebanon in 1700. The settlements along the Quinebaug Valley were placed under New London jurisdiction in 1697 (later incorporated as Plainfield in 1699). By 1717, more towns were established in northeastern Connecticut (between the Quinebaug Valley and the Rhode Island border) and added to New London County.

In 1726, Windham County was constituted, consisting of towns in northeastern Connecticut. New London County lost the towns of Voluntown, Pomfret, Killingly, Canterbury, Plainfield, and Lebanon to the newly-formed county. In 1785, Middlesex County was constituted, consisting of towns along the lower Connecticut River Valley, taking away the towns of Killingworth and Saybrook from New London County. Several additional boundary adjustments took place in the 19th century: the establishment of the town of Marlborough in 1803, the transfer of the town of Lebanon from Windham County in 1824, and the transfer of the town of Voluntown from Windham County in 1881.[4]


According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 771.66 square miles (1,998.6 km2), of which 665.91 square miles (1,724.7 km2) (or 86.30%) is land and 105.75 square miles (273.9 km2) (or 13.70%) is water.[5]

The terrain of the county is mostly level, becoming more elevated only in its northern extreme. The highest point in the county is Gates Hill in the Town of Lebanon at approximately 660 feet (201 m) above sea level, and the lowest point is sea level.

Adjacent countiesEdit

Cities, towns, and villages*Edit

Map of New London County Connecticut With Municipal Labels

Map of New London County, Connecticut showing cities, boroughs, towns, CDPs, and Indian Reservations

* Villages are named localities within towns, but have no separate corporate existence from the towns they are in.

Government and municipal servicesEdit

As of 1960, counties in Connecticut do not have any associated county government structure. All municipal services are provided by the towns. In order to address regional issues concerning infrastructure, land use, and economic development, regional councils of governments throughout the state were established in 1989. Most of the towns of New London County are part of the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments, the exceptions being the towns of Lyme, Old Lyme, and Lebanon. Lyme and Old Lyme are part of the Connecticut River Estuary Regional Planning Agency, while Lebanon is part of the Windham Regional Council of Governments.


The geographic area of the county is coterminous with the New London judicial district, with the superior courts located in the cities of New London and Norwich.

Law enforcementEdit

Law enforcement within the geographic area of the county is provided by the respective town police departments. Prior to 2000, a County Sheriff's Department existed for the purpose of executing judicial warrants, prisoner transport, and court security. These responsibilities have now been taken over by the Connecticut State Marshal System.

Fire protectionEdit

Fire protection in the county is provided by the towns. Several towns also have fire districts that provide services to a section of the town.

Water serviceEdit

Water service to 12 of the 21 towns of New London County is provided by a regional non-profit public corporation known as the Southeastern Water Authority. The Southeastern Water Authority supplies water to participating towns within New London County and is one of only two such county-wide public water service providers in the state. Seven towns receive water service from one or more private corporations. The city of Norwich and most of the town of Groton provide for their own water service.

Garbage disposalEdit

Several towns in New London County have organized the Southeastern Connecticut Regional Resources Recovery Authority. The participating towns are East Lyme, Griswold, Groton, Ledyard, Montville, New London, North Stonington, Norwich, Preston, Sprague, Stonington, and Waterford.


Education in the county area is usually provided by the individual town governments. The less populated towns of Lyme and Old Lyme have joined together to form a single, regional school district (Region 18).


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 32,918
1800 34,888 6.0%
1810 34,707 −0.5%
1820 35,943 3.6%
1830 42,201 17.4%
1840 44,463 5.4%
1850 51,821 16.5%
1860 61,731 19.1%
1870 66,570 7.8%
1880 73,152 9.9%
1890 76,634 4.8%
1900 82,758 8.0%
1910 91,253 10.3%
1920 104,611 14.6%
1930 118,966 13.7%
1940 125,224 5.3%
1950 144,821 15.6%
1960 185,745 28.3%
1970 230,654 24.2%
1980 238,409 3.4%
1990 254,957 6.9%
2000 259,088 1.6%
2010 274,055 5.8%
Historical census data source:[6]

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 259,088 people, 99,835 households, and 67,188 families residing in the county. The population density was 389 people per square mile (150/km²). There were 110,674 housing units at an average density of 166 per square mile (64/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 87.00% White, 5.29% Black or African American, 0.96% Native American, 1.96% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 2.05% from other races, and 2.68% from two or more races. 5.11% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 13.8% were of Irish, 12.7% Italian, 10.8% English, 7.9% German, 7.1% Polish and 6.4% French ancestry according to Census 2000. 90.1% spoke English, 4.5% Spanish and 1.1% French as their first language.

There were 99,835 households out of which 32.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.50% were married couples living together, 11.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.70% were non-families. 26.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.40% under the age of 18, 8.60% from 18 to 24, 31.20% from 25 to 44, 22.80% from 45 to 64, and 13.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 97.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $50,646, and the median income for a family was $59,857. Males had a median income of $41,292 versus $30,525 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,678. About 4.50% of families and 6.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.80% of those under age 18 and 6.60% of those age 65 or over.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The Hammonasset River still bears this Pequot placename.
  2. ^ "CCR: Volume 02, Page 39". Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  3. ^ Frances Manwaring Caulkins, History of New London, Connecticut: From the first survey of the coast in 1612, to 1852 (New Haven) 1852, p. 249: "New London County extended from Pawkatuck River to the west bounds of Hammonasset Plantation (Killingworth,) including all the eastern parts of the colony".
  4. ^ Newberry Library -- Connecticut Atlas of Historical County Boundaries
  5. ^ "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  6. ^ "Geostat Center: Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library.  Accessed July 20, 2008.
  7. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 41°28′N 72°06′W / 41.47, -72.10

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