East Hartford stands on the east bank of the Connecticut River, directly opposite the city of Hartford. It is, in fact, an example of urban sprawl, growing outwards from the main city along Interstate 84 as the need for new housing and commercial space drove the need for new construction. Although waterfronts often have a reputation for being sleazy, East Hartford is a refreshing exception to this rule, and there are a large number of retail businesses, upper end shops, professional offices, and other new buildings along the streets near the Connecticut River.
The ground throughout the town is mostly level. Inland, the dense suburban areas cover most of the land surface with paving. Sports stadiums, several parks, and the East Hartford Golf Course provide some open space for the residents to enjoy. Interstate 84 cuts a path directly through the heart of the township and is the main artery connecting it to Hartford itself. Route 291 bisects the northern fringes of East Hartford, allowing avoidance of the worst of Hartford’s urban congestion for those traveling west.
As might be expected from such a populous urban and suburban township, there are plenty of schools to see to the needs of the next generation of East Hartford citizens. The foundation for learning is provided by 11 elementary schools – Joseph O. Goodwin School, Hockanum Elementary School, John A. Langford Elementary School, Franklin H. Mayberry Elementary School, Anna E. Norris Elementary School, Robert J. O’Brien Elementary School, Thomas S. O’Connell Elementary School, Governor William Pitkin Elementary School, Silver Lane Elementary School, Sunset Ridge School, and Willowbrook School.
Higher levels of education are furnished by East Hartford Middle School, Connecticut IB Academy, and East Hartford High School. There is also a parochial school, St. Christopher School, three magnet schools, and two alternative education schools.
Collegiate education is limited to a two year associate’s degree at Goodwin College.
Two large employers in the East Hartford area are Pratt & Whitney and Coca Cola. Pratt & Whitney was formerly the mainstay of the township’s working population, employing most of the working adults, but today there are only approximately 5,000 jobs at the plant, enough for one in ten of the residents to work there. A Coca Cola bottling plant provides work as well.
Around a third of those employed in East Hartford work in sales positions, with service, manufacturing, and professional work employing roughly 15% each. A tiny fraction of the people dwelling in this metropolitan area are still involved in farming or fishing work, around 0.04% (or 20 people).
The racial makeup of East Hartford includes 64.69% white inhabitants, 18.83% African-American, and 8.74% other races. Asians come in fourth at 4%. The median household income is $46,836 annually, which is startlingly low for Connecticut and equals some of the poorer areas of the Midwest. The 10.4% unemployment rate is higher than the 10.2% national average, while 10.3% of the population is currently living in poverty.
There are 20,206 households in East Hartford, with 41.5% of these consisting of married couples living together. Children are present in 29% of the households. The median age of 37 years exactly matches the median age for the state of Connecticut as a whole.
Location within State
East Hartford stands slightly east and north of the state’s geographical center, and immediately east of the main city of Hartford, separated from it by the Connecticut River. Routes 84, 291, and 384 pass through portions of East Hartford as well.
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