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Bethel, Connecticut
Official seal of Bethel, Connecticut
Location in Fairfield County and the state of Connecticut.
Location in Fairfield County and the state of Connecticut.
Coordinates: 41°22′27″N 73°23′42″W / 41.37417°N 73.39500°W / 41.37417; -73.39500Coordinates: 41°22′27″N 73°23′42″W / 41.37417°N 73.39500°W / 41.37417; -73.39500
Country  United States
U.S. state  Connecticut
County Fairfield
Metropolitan area Bridgeport-Stamford
Incorporated 1855
 • Type Selectman-town meeting
 • Total 16.9 sq mi (43.8 km2)
 • Land 16.8 sq mi (43.5 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
482 ft (147 m)
 • Total 18,584
 • Density 1,099.6/sq mi (424.6/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 203/475
FIPS code 09-04720
GNIS feature ID 0213390

Bethel is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States, about 69 miles (111 km) from New York City. Its population was 18,584 at the 2010 census. The town center is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as a census-designated place (CDP). The core area of the town center is the Greenwood Avenue Historic District.

Interstate 84 passes through the Bethel, and it has a train station on the Danbury Branch of Metro-North's New Haven Line.


Bethel was first settled around 1700. The first houses built in Bethel were in the 1730s or 1740s; they are located at 27 Grassy Plain Street and 63 Grassy Plain Street. 1759 – church members such as Ebenezer Hickok, Lemuel Beebe, Isaac Hoyt, Thomas Starr, and Phineas Judd found it both difficult to travel to church in Danbury and when there, to get a seat. They petitioned the General Assembly to form two distinct ecclesiastical societies, the First and Second Congregational Societies, creating a new second parish in the eastern portion of Danbury. The new area was called Bethel (which means house of God). 1760 – 71 people were members of the church. Bethel ran most of its affairs through the church.(Bethel's first Congregational minister was Noah Wetmore) 1760 – Captain Benjamin Hickock built the house at 245 Greenwood Avenue and used it as a tavern. 1777 (April) – the city's records were burned by the British in the British raid on Danbury. Late 1700s – P. T. Barnum’s grandfather built one of the town's earliest hotels, the Barnum Tavern.

On the National Register of Historic Places

Historic pictures


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 16.9 square miles (44 km2), of which 16.8 square miles (44 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2), or 0.53%, is water. The CDP corresponding to the town center has a total area of 4.1 square miles (11 km2), all land. Bethel borders Redding to the south, Danbury to the west, Brookfield to the north, and Newtown to the east.

In Bethel

Sycamore Tree in Bethel, CT - January 5, 2011
Bethel Sycamore
  • The first meeting of the Young Communist League was held in Bethel in May 1922.
  • Battery manufacturer Duracell is headquartered in Bethel.
  • In 1934, Rudolph Kunett started the first vodka distillery in the U.S. after purchasing rights to the recipe from the exiled Smirnoff family.
  • Bethel High School is home to an award-winning NJROTC unit.


See also: List of Connecticut locations by per capita income
Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1860 1,711 —    
1870 2,311 +35.1%
1880 2,727 +18.0%
1890 3,401 +24.7%
1900 3,327 −2.2%
1910 3,792 +14.0%
1920 3,201 −15.6%
1930 3,886 +21.4%
1940 4,105 +5.6%
1950 5,104 +24.3%
1960 8,200 +60.7%
1970 10,945 +33.5%
1980 16,004 +46.2%
1990 17,541 +9.6%
2000 18,067 +3.0%
2010 18,584 +2.9%

As of the 2010 census Bethel had a population of 18,584. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 88.8% white, 1.8% black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 4.5% Asian, 2.8% from some other race and 1.9% from two or more races. 7.6% of the population was Hispanic or Latino from any race.

As of the census of 2000, there were 18,067 people, 6,505 households, and 4,846 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,075.7 people per square mile (415.5/km2). There were 6,653 housing units at an average density of 396.1 per square mile (153.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town in 2005 was 85.86% White, 1.91% African American, 0.26% Native American, 4.58% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.20% from other races or of multiple races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.33% of the population. 20.2% were of Italian, 17.5% Irish, 9.1% German, 7.0% English, 6.7% American and 6.0% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000. 88.7% spoke English, 4.4% Spanish, 3.3% Portuguese, 1.5% German and 1.0% French as their first language.

There were 6,505 households, out of which 38.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.4% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.5% were non-families. 20.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.76 and the average family size was 3.23.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 27.3% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 31.9% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 10.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $68,891, and the median income for a family was $78,358. Males had a median income of $51,816 versus $36,544 for females. The per capita income for the town was $28,927. About 1.2% of families and 2.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.3% of those under age 18 and 5.5% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people

  • Raghib Allie-Brennan, member of the Connecticut House of Representatives (raised in Bethel)
  • Matt Barnes (born 1990), pitcher for the Boston Red Sox
  • P. T. Barnum (1810–1891), showman
  • Barbara Britton (1919–1980), stage, film and television actress.
  • Dan Cramer, mixed martial arts fighter for the Ultimate Fighting Championship
  • Tony Dovolani, ballroom dancer, cast member on Dancing with the Stars
  • Kevin Gutzman, constitutional scholar and professor of history
  • Allan J. Kellogg, Medal of Honor recipient
  • Jan Miner (1917–2004), actress
  • Thurston Moore (born 1958), singer and guitarist for Sonic Youth
  • Noël Regney, composer
  • Meg Ryan, actress
  • Glover Teixeira, Professional MMA Fighter in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Champion of the Light heavyweight (MMA) division.
  • Julius Hawley Seelye (1824–1895), missionary, author, congressman, and former president of Amherst College
  • Annamarie Tendler (born 1985), artist
  • Henry Arthur "Art" Young (1866–1943), cartoonist
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