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Clinton, Connecticut
Official seal of Clinton, Connecticut
Seal
Location within Middlesex County, Connecticut
Location within Middlesex County, Connecticut
Country  United States
U.S. state  Connecticut
County Middlesex
Metropolitan area Hartford
Incorporated 1838
Government
 • Type Selectman-town meeting
Area
 • Total 19.0 sq mi (49.2 km2)
 • Land 16.3 sq mi (42.2 km2)
 • Water 2.8 sq mi (7.2 km2)
Elevation
33 ft (10 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 13,185
 • Density 808.9/sq mi (312.4/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
06413
Area code(s) 860/959
FIPS code 09-15350
GNIS feature ID 0213408

Clinton is a town in Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States. The population of the town was 13,185 at the 2020 census. The town center along the shore line was listed as a census-designated place (CDP) by the U.S. Census Bureau in the 2020 census.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 19.0 square miles (49 km2), of which 16.3 square miles (42 km2) is land and 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2) (14.50%) is water. The CDP corresponding to the town center has a total area of 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2), of which 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) is water.

Clinton is bordered by the towns of Madison on the west, Westbrook on the east, and Killingworth on the north. Clinton is directly off Long Island Sound. The town has one town beach named Clinton Beach. Many fishers come to Clinton to catch bluefish. The annual Bluefish Festival is held in Clinton in summer.

The town center is known as Clinton Center. It is the location of the Clinton Village Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Cedar Island is located in Clinton Harbor.

Other minor communities and geographic features in Clinton are Beach Park, Boulder Lake, Clinton Beach, Cow Hill, Duck Hole, Grove Beach, Grove Beach Manor, Harbor View, Kelseytown, Lochwood, Mill District, Old Harbor Village, Ridgewood, Riverside, and Silver Bluff.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 1,239
1850 1,344 8.5%
1860 1,427 6.2%
1870 1,404 −1.6%
1880 1,402 −0.1%
1890 1,384 −1.3%
1900 1,429 3.3%
1910 1,274 −10.8%
1920 1,217 −4.5%
1930 1,574 29.3%
1940 1,791 13.8%
1950 2,466 37.7%
1960 4,166 68.9%
1970 10,267 146.4%
1980 11,195 9.0%
1990 12,767 14.0%
2000 13,094 2.6%
2010 13,260 1.3%
2020 13,185 −0.6%
See also: List of Connecticut locations by per capita income

At the 2000 census there were 13,094 people, 5,134 households, and 3,614 families living in the town. The population density was 804.2 people per square mile (310.5/km2). There were 5,757 housing units at an average density of 353.6 per square mile (136.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.85% White, 0.57% Black or African American, 0.29% Native American, 1.13% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.02% from other races, and 1.12% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.99%.

Of the 5,134 households 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.1% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.6% were non-families. 23.7% of households were one person and 8.7% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.04.

The age distribution was 25.1% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 26.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% 65 or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.4 males.

The median household income was $60,471 and the median family income was $71,403. Males had a median income of $47,363 versus $34,983 for females. The per capita income for the town was $26,080. About 2.0% of families and 4.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.8% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 or over.

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 29, 2019
Party Active Voters Inactive Voters Total Voters Percentage
Republican 2,567 89 2,656 25.67%
Democratic 2,897 101 2,998 28.97%
Unaffiliated 4,312 185 4,497 43.46%
Minor Parties 190 6 196 1.90%
Total 9,966 381 10,347 100%
Presidential Election Results
Year Democratic Republican Third Parties
2020 56.0% 4,368 42.4% 3,312 1.6% 124
2016 48.6% 3,493 47.5% 3,415 3.9% 274
2012 54.7% 3,607 44.4% 2,926 0.9% 59
2008 55.7% 3,898 42.9% 3,004 1.4% 91
2004 50.7% 3,332 48.1% 3,160 1.2% 79
2000 54.0% 3,473 40.4% 2,595 5.6% 360
1996 49.3% 2,958 35.2% 2,107 15.5% 929
1992 36.8% 2,563 36.3% 2,531 26.9% 1,874
1988 38.8% 2,300 60.1% 3,562 1.1% 67
1984 28.2% 1,614 71.5% 4,095 0.3% 17
1980 28.1% 1,470 58.6% 3,067 13.3% 699
1976 37.1% 1,817 62.4% 3,053 0.5% 25
1972 26.1% 1,240 72.7% 3,459 1.2% 58
1968 34.0% 1,282 58.5% 2,206 7.5% 280
1964 52.2% 1,466 47.8% 1,341 0.00% 0
1960 30.0% 656 70.0% 1,534 0.00% 0
1956 19.2% 329 80.8% 1,383 0.00% 0

CDP demographics

The town center is listed as the Clinton Census Designated Place. At the 2000 census there were 3,516 people, 1,515 households, and 895 families living in the CDP. The population density was 1,451.5 inhabitants per square mile (561.0/km2). There were 1,624 housing units at an average density of 670.4 per square mile (259.1/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 95.11% White, 0.63% Black or African American, 0.26% Native American, 1.19% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.42% from other races, and 1.37% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.74%.

Of the 1,515 households 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.2% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.9% were non-families. 32.3% of households were one person and 12.1% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.98.

The age distribution was 22.5% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 32.1% from 25 to 44, 24.4% from 45 to 64, and 14.7% 65 or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.2 males.

The median household income was $47,538 and the median family income was $59,667. Males had a median income of $43,672 versus $31,354 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $23,404. About 3.9% of families and 5.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.6% of those under age 18 and 3.6% of those age 65 or over.

History

PostcardClintonCTNationalBank1908
National Bank in Clinton, about 1908

Clinton traces its history from 1663 when the land between Guilford and Saybrook, as they were then bounded, was known as Hammonasset. In this year a committee was appointed by the General Court at Hartford to lay out this area as a plantation. In 1667 the settlement was designated a town and named Kenilworth. By the middle of the eighteenth century, through changes in use, this name became Killingworth. In 1838 the southern portion was incorporated by the General Assembly as the Town of Clinton, the northern portion retaining the name of Killingworth. The town was named after New York Governor DeWitt Clinton. The line marking the division between the towns of Killingworth and Clinton was the same as that which divided the first and second ecclesiastical societies or, as they were later known, "school societies," which were established in 1735.

As in most small New England shore towns, life centered about fishing, farming, shipbuilding, and the church. One of the early leaders of Clinton's church was Abraham Pierson. In 1701, when the General Court of the Colony in Hartford granted a charter for "the founding of a collegiate school within His Majesty's Colony of Connecticut," its founders chose Pierson as its rector. The first classes were held in his parsonage in Clinton. In later years the school was moved to Saybrook and then to New Haven, where it eventually became Yale University. A story titled "The Birth of Yale" can be found at the town's website and was authored by Clinton resident Peggy Adler.

In the 20th century, Clinton prospered as a suburban bedroom community of New Haven.

Transportation

The Shore Line East train stops at Clinton station with service to New Haven and New London

The Estuary Transit District provides public transportation throughout Clinton and the surrounding towns through its 9 Town Transit Service. Services include connections to the Old Saybrook Train Station, served by Amtrak and Shoreline East railroads.

Points of interest

The eastern half of the town center (east of the Indian River) is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district known as the Clinton Village Historic District. The central portion of the historic district containing the town green is locally known as the Liberty Green Historic District.

The Clinton Historical Society runs the Buell Tool Museum and the Clinton Historical Society Museum in Andrews Memorial Town Hall. The society's 1750 Elisha White House (known as Old Brick), the oldest brick home between New Haven and New London, has antique furniture, paintings, toys and quilts.

The Henry Carter Hull Library is located at 10 Killingworth Turnpike. The library features over 10,000 movie titles, over 80,000 books, 15 public computers, a convenient location, free wi-fi, lots of seating areas, and a welcoming and friendly staff. At 20-A Killingworth Turnpike is Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets, a Simon Center shopping outlet, offering designer and fashion-brand outlets for local and international shoppers.

Bluefish

Clinton is known as the bluefish capital of the world.

The Bluefish Festival is held annually at the Clinton marina, but in the summer of 2008, it was held at the Clinton Town Hall due to marina construction. It has been held at the Town Hall since.

Notable people

  • Horatio Wright: Civil War general and later, Chief of Army Corps of Engineers
  • Dr. Seuss: children's book writer summered here
  • Abraham Pierson: one of the founders of Yale University
  • Erica Hill: NBC's Weekend Today
  • Charles Morgan: railroad and shipping magnate
  • Jared Eliot: minister, physician, agriculturalist
  • Jefferson Mays: Actor
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