Connecticut and Massachusetts are the two most popular New England states. They have a lot in common, but which state would be the better place to live if you had to pick one?
In this article, I’ll walk you through some of the main differences between Massachusetts and Connecticut, so you can decide which state is better for you. We’ll cover the taxes rates, cost of living, and things to do, among other factors. Let’s dive in.
Cost of Living: Connecticut vs Massachusetts
The cost of living in Massachusetts is a bit more expensive than in Connecticut. In fact, according to recent studies, the cost of living in Massachusetts is nearly 30% above the national average, while Connecticut is only about 12% above the national average.
The main reason why Massachusetts is more expensive is housing. The median home cost in Mass is nearly double that of Connecticut in many surveys. Rents are also much higher in Massachusetts, especially near Boston.
Taxes: CT vs MA
While many people call Massachusetts by the name “Taxachusetts, Connecticut’s effective tax rate is actually much higher.
Starting with the income tax rate, Massachusetts charges a flat 5%, while Connecticut charges between 3% to 6.99%, depending on your income level.
Once you factor in local taxes like real estate, vehicle property, and sales taxes, the effective tax rate in Massachusetts changes to about 11%, while Connecticut is closer to 15%.
If you don’t own a vehicle or a home, it’s possible that Connecticut’s overall tax rate can be lower than Massachusetts. But for the average person with a car and a house, Massachusetts is generally going to be lower.
That’s certainly something you’ll want to consider deciding whether to move to CT or MA.
Weather: MA vs CT
The weather in Massachusetts and Connecticut is largely the same. The summers are hot with temperatures hovering in the 80s, while winters are relatively cold with temperatures sitting in the high teens. The spring and fall seasons in both states have mild temperatures in the 60s.
Overall, Massachusetts is slightly colder than Connecticut simply because it’s further north, but only by a couple of degrees. However, those few degrees do lead to about a foot more snow during the winter, especially in northern Massachusetts.
Entertainment: Massachusetts vs Connecticut
Connecticut is smaller than Massachusetts both in terms of size and population, so there are far fewer cities. Because of this, it’s clear that Massachusetts has more to do as far as entertainment goes.
Both states have ski resorts, hiking trails, nightlife, casinos, beaches, and concert venues. However, very few people would argue with you if you said that those facilities in Massachusetts were better than the ones in Connecticut. For example, CT doesn’t have an equivalent to Cape Code or Boston.
Connecticut is simply more rural and the popular is more spread out, so the entertainment in the state suffers. Although, this could be a good thing if you’re looking to get away from large cities.
Aside from the differences already mentioned, there are plenty of things that set Connecticut apart from Massachusetts. Here are a few other notable differences when comparing CT vs MA:
- Massachusetts has a large professional sports presence while Connecticut’s is virtually non-existent.
- The job market is a little better in Massachusetts.
- Massachusetts has more historical sites than Connecticut and more famous people who were born there.
- Connecticut is part of the tri-state area, offering better access to NYC.
One area where the two states are relatively comparable is the education system. Both Connecticut and Massachusetts have notable universities like Yale, Harvard, MIT, and UConn.
Which State is Better? – Final Thoughts
Massachusetts vs Connecticut, which state is ultimately a better place to live? This is a very difficult decision, which ultimately boils down to personal preference.
If you like living in larger cities with more activity, then Massachusetts is probably better for you. But if you’re looking for rural suburbs, Connecticut is a better option (although there are plenty of suburbs in Massachusetts as well).
Also, Connecticut has a higher tax rate, but with a cost of living is lower. So families with a lower household income would likely fair better in Connecticut. If you have a higher-than-average income, Massachusetts would be preferable because of the lower taxes.