Norwalk, Connecticut, is located in the southwestern portion of the state and features beaches, historic homes, and 24 neighborhoods. The city's population was 83,185 in 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau reports, up 111 from the year before. Visitors and residents alike enjoy the SONO Arts Festival in August, the Norwalk Oyster Festival in September, and parks, symphonies, and museums year-round.
Studying at Norwalk, CT Colleges and Universities
The city is home to three colleges: Norwalk Community College and the Norwalk campus of Gibbs College. Nearby schools include the University of Connecticut and Western Connecticut State University. The state of Connecticut boasts 12 community colleges and 24 private four-year universities, including Yale University and Trinity College. Studying at colleges in Norwalk means either logging on to complete coursework online, or working towards a two-year degree. Many students head up the Connecticut turnpike to Bridgeport and New Haven for more educational opportunities. The Metro-North Railroad offers a direct connection to Stamford, Bridgeport, New Haven, and New York City, making it easy to live in Norwalk and attend school elsewhere.
Working and Living in Norwalk
While average earnings are high in the Norwalk area, a higher cost of living matches the high wage. Workers in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area earned mean annual wages of $57,340 in 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), significantly higher than the mean annual wage of $43,460 earned nationwide that same year. ACCRA reports that cost of living in the area was high in 2009, about 47 percent higher than national averages, and housing costs 120 percent higher than national averages. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the top five industries in Fairfield County, in terms of employment, in 2009:
- Trade, transportation, and utilities
- Education and health services
- Professional and business services
- Financial activities
The BLS reports that the area unemployment rate was 8.7 percent in July 2010, lower than the 9.5 percent nationwide average.