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Norwalk, Connecticut
Norwalk Harbor and vicinity
Aerial view of Norwalk Harbor and vicinity
Seal of the City of Norwalk, Connecticut
Etymology: Point of Land
Oyster Town
Latin: E Pluribus Unum
Location in Fairfield County, Connecticut and the state of Connecticut
Location in Fairfield County, Connecticut and the state of Connecticut
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Coordinates: 41°05′38″N 73°25′11″W / 41.09389°N 73.41972°W / 41.09389; -73.41972Coordinates: 41°05′38″N 73°25′11″W / 41.09389°N 73.41972°W / 41.09389; -73.41972
Country  United States
State Connecticut
Counties Fairfield
NECTA Bridgeport-Stamford
Region South Western (CT) Region
Purchased February 26, 1640
Incorporated September 11, 1651
Consolidated June 6, 1913
Founded by Roger Ludlow and Daniel Patrick
 • Type Weak-mayor-City Council
 • Total 36.3 sq mi (94 km2)
 • Land 22.8 sq mi (59 km2)
 • Water 13.5 sq mi (35 km2)
36 ft (11 m)
 • Total 88,485
 • Density 3,846.53/sq mi (1,485.15/km2)
Demonym(s) Norwalker
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern Time Zone)
Zip Codes
06850 through 06860
Area codes 475, 203
FIPS code 09-55990
GNIS feature ID 0209405

Norwalk (pronounced nôr′wôk′), is a city in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States, located in the New York metropolitan area. The estimated population of the city was 88,485 in 2015. Norwalk is the sixth most populous municipality in Connecticut.


Name origin

"Norwalk, settled 1649; incorporated Sept., 1651, Norwaukee shall bee a townee Algonkin noyank, point of land, or more probably from the Indian name, Naramauke."

The city boundaries originally included parts of the current municipalities of New Canaan, Wilton, and Westport. Ancient records describe the boundaries as "from Norwalk river to Sauhatuck river, from sea, Indian one day walk into the country". Thus a disputing source, and common tradition, describes Norwalk's name deriving from the northern boundary extending from the sea covering one day's "north walk" into the countryside. An additional source found this analysis to be improbable, given that the name "Norwalk" was used by natives, who were called the "Norwake Indians". Additionally a nearby river was known as the Norwake River when the area was first colonized. Roger Ludlow's 1640 land purchase was from "the Indians of Norwalke" and the land is described as lying between "the twoe rivers, the one called the Norwalke, the other Soakatuck." The earliest town records list the city name as Norwalke (the "w" likely silent, as in Warwick). Bradley's [Connecticut] Register describes that the early Colony Records call it "Norrwake". Around 1847 the elderly used the ancient pronunciation "Norruck".

Norwalk has a nickname, "Oyster Town", due to its prominent oyster fisheries providing a large source of income to the city since the early 19th century. Norwalk Harbor's islands and proximity to New York City make it profitable for oyster harvesting. Discarded oyster shells along the Connecticut coast help prove the importance oysters had to pre-Columbian inhabitants of the area as well.

21st century

On Sunday May 25, 2008 the last service at the First United Methodist Church of Norwalk was held prior to a deconsecration ceremony that marked the end of the church use of the distinctive yellow brick building at 39 West Avenue. The Methodist congregation had been formed in 1789 during the visit by Jesse Lee, but is survived by three other Methodist churches in the city.


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.


"Norwalk, Connecticut, gets 45 inches of rain per year. The US average is 37. Snowfall is 24 inches. The average US city gets 25 inches of snow per year. The number of days with any measurable precipitation is 100. On average, there are 179 sunny days per year in Norwalk, Connecticut. The July high is around 83 degrees. The January low is 18."


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. The highest elevation is 282 feet above sea level, at the summit of Middle Clapboard Hill in West Norwalk; and the low elevation is sea level on Long Island Sound.



Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 11,942
1800 5,146 −56.9%
1810 2,983 −42.0%
1820 3,004 0.7%
1830 3,972 32.2%
1840 3,863 −2.7%
1850 4,651 20.4%
1860 7,852 68.8%
1870 12,119 54.3%
1880 13,956 15.2%
1890 17,747 27.2%
1900 19,932 12.3%
1910 24,211 21.5%
1920 27,743 14.6%
1930 36,019 29.8%
1940 39,849 10.6%
1950 49,460 24.1%
1960 67,775 37.0%
1970 79,288 17.0%
1980 77,767 −1.9%
1990 78,331 0.7%
2000 82,951 5.9%
2010 85,603 3.2%
2015 (est.) 88,485 3.4%

1790 population includes
Stamford and Greenwich

According to the office of Connecticut's Secretary of the State 85,603 people resided in Norwalk in 2010. A population estimation indicates 88,485 people resided in Norwalk as of 2015, an approximate population growth of one percent. The estimate indicates a racially diverse population of 42,768 males (49%) and 44,446 females (51%).

The racial makeup of Norwalk was 55.7% White, 13.4% Black, 0.1% Native American, 4.7% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.3 from some other race and 1.4% from two or more races. 24.3% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.


The City of Norwalk, for administrative and representative purposes, established by state statue and by Norwalk's city charter, 6 taxing districts. 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. 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 seperate governments as they constitute the city's proper. Each taxing district has its own property tax rate reflecting the mix of services each recieves from the city. Secondly, munincipal elections of Mayor, Common Council, Board of Education and other positions are also held in odd numbered years at 13 polling places within 5 voting districts around the city. Voting districts are not the same for state and federal elections which are held on even numbered years at 12 polling locations

Voting Districts/Polling Places
1 Tracy Elementary School Columbus Elementary School Marvin Elementary School Ponus Ridge Middle School Brookside Elementary School
2 St. Mary's Community Hall Nathaniel Ely School (a.k.a Head Start program) Nathan Hale Middle School West Rocks Middle School Rowayton Elementary School
3 Kendall Elementary School Fox Run School
4 Nathan Hale Middle School
Note: For details about polling locations listed above please see the Education section below


The city of Norwalk exists by authority of a municipal charter, granted by the Connecticut General Assembly, which is the legal document that defines the organization, powers, functions, and essential procedures of the city government. Norwalk's municipal government is a Weak-mayor form of a Mayor-Council government with the mayor of Norwalk elected by its voters. 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. Administration offices are located at 125 East Avenue in Norwalk City Hall.

State representatives

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.

Congressional representatives

Norwalk, which lies within Connecticut's 4th congressional district is represented in the United States Congress by one congressional representative in the United States House of Representatives and, along with the rest of Connecticut, by two Senators in the United States Senate.

Sister cities

  • Nicaragua Nagarote (Nicaragua) since 1986 (see Norwalk/Nagarote Sister City Project)


See also: List of Connecticut locations by per capita income

See also External links below—↓

Culture and religion


  • St. George Greek Orthodox Festival, held in late August, the festival features Greek delicacies, Pontic Greek dance exhibitions and a large carnival.
  • Round Hill Highland Games, a festival of Scottish culture and athletic events, was started in 1923 in Greenwich, CT but interrupted during World War II, then restarted in 1952, and has been held in Norwalk's Cranbury Park on or around July 4 for a number of years. In 2006, the 83rd annual event attracted 4,000 people to hear bagpipes and watch the caber toss, the hammer throw, and other events; with athletes often wearing wool kilts. Games for children are also offered. Food and Scottish items are offered for sale. Organizers say the event is the third-oldest Scottish games festival in the United States.
  • SoNo Arts Celebration, held in mid-summer

Places of worship

  • Al Madany Islamic Center Of Norwalk
  • Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Bridge Church
  • Calvary Baptist Church
  • Calvin Reformed Church
  • Canaan Institutional Baptist
  • Christ Episcopal Church
  • Christ Temple Pentecostal Church
  • Christian Fellowship
  • Church Of God
  • Church Without Walls Ministries
  • Cornerstone Community Church
  • Community Advent Christian Church
  • Congregational Church United Church Of Christ
  • Deliverance Pentecostal Church
  • Faith Lighthouse Church/Conservative Baptist
  • First Congregational Church
  • Gethsemane Outreach Ministries
  • Harvest Time
  • Holy Temple Church Of God In Christ
  • House Of Prophecy & Prayer Inc
  • Iglesia Betania Church
  • Kingdom Restoration Ministries
  • Little Zion Church of God In Christ
  • Macedonia Church
  • Methodist Church East Av
  • Mt Nebo Baptist Church
  • New Jerusalem Baptist Church
  • New Light Missionary Baptist Church
  • Norwalk Seventh Day Adventist Church
  • Parkway Assembly of God
  • Pentecostal Christian Church
  • Pentecostal Church John 3:16
  • Salvation Army
  • Shiloh Baptist Church
  • Saint George Greek Orthodox Church
  • Saint Jerome Church
  • Saint Joseph Church
  • Saint Ladislaus Church
  • Saint Mary Church
  • Saint Matthew Church
  • St Paul's Church Of God
  • St. Philip Church
  • Saint Thomas the Apostle Church
  • Word Alive Bible Church


Notable places on the National Register of Historic Places


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 are illuminated for nighttime play. The Norwalk Little League team won the Little League World Series in 1952. The 14-year-old Babe Ruth League team won the championship in 2008. In 2010, the cal Ripken 12-year-old Norwalk all star team made 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. Norwalk resident Daniel Walsh won a bronze medal in Beijing with the U.S. Olympic rowing team in the 2008 Summer Olympics.

There are three golf courses in the city of Norwalk.

The cross town rivalry between the city's two largest high schools' sports teams can be rather fierce, particularly for the football, 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 InterAthletic 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.

In popular culture


  • Full-length features and documentary movies, partially filmed or completely taking place in Norwalk, listed in reverse chronological order:
    • Hope Springs (2012).
    • Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009). — filmed along Washington Street in SoNo.
    • Old Dogs (2009)
    • Birds of America (film) (2008).
    • College Road Trip (2008). — scenes filmed in town in mid-July 2007; shooting locations were the former Norwalk police headquarters building in Matthews Park, on the Merritt Parkway and along the Route 7 connector.
    • Revolutionary Road (2008).
    • Righteous Kill (2008)
    • The Six Wives of Henry LeFay (2008). - Filmed in 2007 on Wall Street in Norwalk Center.
    • The Life Before Her Eyes (2007). Uma Thurman filmed a scene at Norwalk Community College in August, 2006.
    • Satan's Little Helper (2004)
    • The Stepford Wives (2004).
    • The Object of My Affection (1998)
    • The Stepford Wives (1975).


  • Partially or entirely recorded in Norwalk
    • For One More Day (television movie, ABC, December 2007). — filmed in July 2007 on Broad Street.
    • To All My Friends On Shore (1972, made-for-TV movie).
    • House of Dark Shadows (1970, TV series). — "Abandoned Monastery" portions filmed at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion.

Neighboring towns

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