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New England City and Town Areas

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I am not sure if the people on these forums have ever seen this data, but there is some good stuff here.

NECTAs is a more appropriate way to look at town and cities in the North East than the MSA/CSA methods used by the census.

Clearly our federal funding dollars come from the CSA/MSA census numbers so be sure to be honest as you reply to those in the coming months, but I thought people might find this interesting.




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It's interesting, though that breaks it down almost too far in some places. For example, does Sanford, ME really not fall in either Dover, NH or Portland, ME? How about Willimantic and Torrington, CT? They could both fall under Hartford or, more likely, Willi can fall under Norwich-New London.

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Well, Torrington is part of the Hartford CSA, but not part of our MSA. it gets its own Micro Statistical area. and honestly I think thats pretty acurate. Most Torrington people do not work downtown. even driving to the office parks in Farmingtn is a bit of a hike because there is not an easy transportation route. Torrington is definately lied to greater Hartford, but is a little more independent than the other suburbs out that way. and Sanford is part of the portland CSA. you just have to look at the 2nd map I posted. its in that link I applied if you want to look at a larger version.

Willi is given a status as a micro as well, and is concidered outside of Norwich/New London as well as Hartford. Sometimes you see the Willi Micro added into the Hartford CSA, and it is really a close call. I think 10 years ago it was not, but in 2010 it will add the Wili micro to our CSA. There has been a great deal of development spreading eastward from Hartford in the last 10 years.

Another interesting thing is Waterbury MSA. it is counted in the New York numbers by way of the Bridgeport-New Haven-Stamford CSA, but it aldo has a decidedly Hartford connection. I do not pretend to know better than the census bureau, but I guess having a Metro North station is what gives it to NY and not Hartford.

Also if you look at those towns in CT that are part of the Springfield CSA (Suffield, Enfield, Somers, Windsor Locks, East Windsor) each and every one of them meet the Hartford MSA qualifications. they have more commuters working in Hartford than in any other town. Springfield is #2 or #3 for most of those town. I would even suspect that the commuters from East Longmeadow etc.. head to Hartford for work more than they go to Springfield.

I think according to the map that Danielson is part of the Boston CSA. that is kind of funky, but its because Danielson Micro feeds off of Worcester MSA, and Worcester is part of Boston CSA.

If Rt 6 was ever to exist I suspect Willi would be part of Hartford and Danielson would be part of Providence. as is, willi is connected to nothing and Danielson is connected to the North and South.

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I was surprised to see any towns in CT as a part of Boston's CSA, most sources I see list zero as being in it, not even Thompson or Woodstock/Putnam. Very few sources I see have those even in Worcester's MSA.

So seeing Danielson's Micro thrown in with Worcester's and Boston's... I have a hard time believing that. If you're in Killingly or Plainfield, you pretty much can go any direction you really choose.

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Fair enough, but I here is the logic behind these groupings.

Thompson, the NE corner of the state is pretty damn close to Worcester, but more appropriately it is more closely tied to Worcester MA than any other metro or micro area.

if you click this link you will see the CERC data page on the town. on Page 2 halfway down on the right side you will see the commuter info.


this data indicates that the people who live in Thompson work in the following communities. It also shows that far more people drive out of town to work than drive into town. so Thompson is definately not an employment hup. its more of a spoke in the wheel feeding another town.

Thompson 733

Putnum 620

Webster, MA 487

Worcester, MA 457

Killingly 288

Woodstock 182

Dudley, MA 130

Southbridge, MA 115

Plainfield 100

Auburn, MA 96

So Thompson is most closely tied to Putnum, Looking at putnum But if you look at all of those MA towns and cities you can see that more people drive North than South for work. Very few people drive into Rhode Island. All of those MA towns and cities are part of the Worcester MSA, so by default ever person commuting to Webster counts for Worcester. So, Thompson sends 487+457+130+115+96=1285 workers to the Worcester MSA every day.

Now I am not going to go through each and every town, but sometimes these methods lead to some kind of cascading linking of towns.

Putnum appears to be a small Hub because besides Thompson, Woodstock lists Putnum as its top employer as does Pomfret and Killingly. But clearly a lot of these people head to Worcester or its burbs for shopping and cultural reasons as well, because its not just about work.

Also it should be noted that Putnum sends more workers to Worcester than it does to Hartford or Norwich, so maybe this ties Putnum to Worcester, and therefore all those people from Woodstock, Pomfret and Killingly technicly commute to Worcester. hence the cascade I mentiond.


Also it appears as though almost noone from that neck of the woods heads to Rhode Island. I looked at all the towns on the Eastern edge of Windham, and only one lists a RI town in its top 10. Sterling, who send a mere 30 commuters to Providence (ranked 10th)

I am not sure the dates all this data is from, but it is very detailed, so very interesting, but also time sensative. I am sure Killingly crossing will actually completely remap this part of the state. That single shopping center likely employs 500 people full time. Adding that to Killingly makes it more of the center of this Micro area.

Also some factories closed out there I think too. right?

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And now here's more than anyone ever really needed to know about the Quiet Corner (Windham County)...

On the Plainfield list, one of the top five employers is the Greyhound Park, which closed in 2006. But I believe Lowe's regional distribution opened up there shortly afterwards, which probably countered the track closing.

Anchor Glass, which closed at least a decade ago and was replaced by Killingly Commons just in recent, is the most significant thing. Killingly has some of the bigger companies in the area, with a Frito Lay plant, the New England distribution center for Staples and Rite Aid, a power plant, and United Natural Foods warehouse all in town. Plus Rogers Corp. A third of Killingly Commons is still empty anyway, and there's several plazas on the other side of 395 x93 which are near ghost towns.

Putnam has a lot of smaller places, and a fairly decent downtown area. In contrast downtown Danielson is suffering in recent years, not much reason to go down there lately.

Woodstock has Crabtree and Evelyn, otherwise many of the other towns in the Quiet Corner are just bedroom towns. Your Woodstock, Thompson, Brooklyn, Pomfret, Canterbury, Sterling, etc... do not have anything significant for major employment. Just a bunch of little places scattered about. Many of them enjoy being small little towns, and don't want to draw anything big into town which will "alter the feel of the community". Thompson and eastern Brooklyn have potential, but the residents are more than willing to fight anything and seem to have poor ability to redevelop brownfields.

As for Rhode Island, I'm not surprised. There's very few roads between CT and RI, and the towns on both sides of the border are rather far apart. It's nearly 15 miles between downtown Putnam and Chepachet. Only two back roads separate Thompson and Burrillville. The towns which border Killingly and Sterling are barely blips on the map... a lot of woods down 101, 6, and 14.

As for Hartford, coming down 44/74 through Pomfret, Eastford, Ashford, and Willington - a lot of woods and a lot of nothing. A long way through nothing to get somewhere. I listen to bluegrass music going between here and I-84, it only seems fitting. A bunch of towns in interior Tolland and Windham counties maybe have a few thousand people at the most.

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thanks for all that info. honestly I do not think anyone else but you knows that kind of info on here :)

I think the CERC numbers are more recent than 2000. I saw some dates associated with some of the info as 2007, but the commuter numbers might well be from 2000, who knows.

Regardless, I am positive that Northern CT should be part of the Hartford MSA, and looking at the CERC data, it appears that Wilimantic Micro is definately linked to Hartford CSA.

Torrington is almost pulled into Hartford as well, but It appears to have almost equal pull towards Waterbury and therefore New Haven. I think this is why its not associated with anywhere.

and again thats why I do not like the CSA definitions by county in New England, and the NECTA is a better form up here. but clearly I disagree with some of the NECTA lines between Springfield and Hartford

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