Stamford Connecticut

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Stamford (/ˈstæmfərd/) is a city in the U.S. state of Connecticut, 34 miles (55 kilometers) outside of Manhattan. It is Connecticut's second-most populous city (behind Bridgeport). With a population of 135,470, Stamford passed Hartford and New Haven in population as of the 2020 census. It is in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk-Danbury metropolitan statistical area, which is part of the New York City metropolitan area (specifically, the New York–Newark, NY–NJ–CT–PA Combined Statistical Area).

As of 2019, Stamford is home to nine Fortune 500 companies and numerous divisions of large corporations. This gives it the largest financial district in the New York metropolitan region outside New York City and one of the nation's largest concentrations of corporations. Dominant sectors of Stamford's economy include financial services, tourism, information technology, healthcare, telecommunications, transportation, and retail. Its metropolitan division is home to colleges and universities including UConn Stamford and Norwalk Community College.

Stamford was known as Rippowam by the Siwanoy Native American inhabitants of the region, and the very first European settlers in the area also called it that. The present name is after the town of Stamford, Lincolnshire, England. The deed to Stamford was signed on July 1, 1640, between Captain Turner of the New Haven Colony and Chief Ponus. By the 18th century, one of the town's primary industries was merchandising by water, which was possible due to Stamford's proximity to New York.

In 1692, Stamford was home to a less famous witch trial than the well-known Salem witch trials, which also occurred in 1692. The accusations were less fanatical and on a smaller scale, but they also grew to prominence through gossip and hysterics.

New Canaan officially separated from Stamford when it incorporated as a town in 1801, followed by Darien in 1820.

Starting in the late 19th century, New York residents built summer homes on the shoreline, and some moved to Stamford permanently and started commuting to Manhattan by train. Stamford incorporated as a city in 1893.

In 1950, the U.S. Census Bureau reported the city's population as 94.6% white and 5.2% black.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Stamford's commercial real estate boomed as corporations relocated from New York City to peripheral areas. A massive urban redevelopment campaign during that time resulted in a downtown with many tall office buildings. The F.D. Rich Company was the city-designated urban renewal developer of the downtown area in an ongoing, contentious project beginning in the 1960s and continuing through the 1970s. The company put up what was the city's tallest structure, One Landmark Square, at 21 floors high, and the GTE building (now One Stamford Forum), along with the Marriott Hotel, the Stamford Town Center and many other downtown office buildings. One Landmark Square has since been dwarfed by the new 34-story Park Tower Stamford condominium tower, and again by the Atlantic Station development, another Rich Company project in partnership with Cappelli Enterprises. Over the years, other developers have joined in building up the downtown, a process that continued through the 1980s and 1990s and into the new century.

Since 2008, an 80-acre (32-hectare) mixed-use redevelopment project for Stamford's Harbor Point neighborhood has added additional growth south of downtown. The redevelopment plan included six million square feet (560,000 m2) of new residential, retail, office and hotel space, and a marina. In July 2012, roughly 900 of the projected 4,000 Harbor Point residential units had been constructed. New restaurants and recreational activities have come up in the Harbor Point area, which is considered New Stamford. From 2008 to 2017, the city issued permits for 4,341 housing units.

During the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., many New Yorkers relocated to Stamford and its metropolitan area.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has an area of 52.09 square miles (134.9 km2), of which 37.62 square miles (97.4 km2) is land and 14.41 square miles (37.3 km2) is water. Stamford is the state's largest city by area. The population density was 3,101.9 inhabitants per square mile (1,197.7/km2) in 2010. The city is halfway between Manhattan and New Haven at approximately 38 miles (60 kilometers) from each; it is 79 miles (127 kilometers) from the state capital of Hartford.

Stamford is near the southwestern point of Connecticut, on Long Island Sound; it is part of the Gold Coast. Stamford comprises approximately 45 distinct neighborhoods and villages, and two historic districts, including Cove, East Side, Downtown, North Stamford, Glenbrook, West Side, Turn Of River, Waterside, Springdale, Belltown, Ridgeway, Newfield, South End, Westover, Shippan, Roxbury, and Palmers Hill.

North of the Merritt Parkway is considered the North Stamford section of the city, encompassing its largest land mass though it is the least densely populated. North Stamford functionally and legally acts as one municipality with the city of Stamford. Stamford borders Pound Ridge, New York to the north, the Long Island Sound to the south, Greenwich to the west, Darien to the east, and New Canaan to the northeast.

The city has islands in Long Island Sound: Cove Island, Grass Island, Greenway Island, Jack Island, and Cuties Island (also known as Vincent Island). Cove Island is a prominent beach and recreation area. It lies approximately 9 miles (14 kilometers) from Norwalk.

Under the Köppen climate classification, Stamford has a temperate climate (Cfa), with long, hot summers, and cool to cold winters, with precipitation spread fairly evenly throughout the year. Like the rest of coastal Connecticut, it lies in the broad transition zone between the colder continental climates of the northern U.S. and southern Canada to the north, and the warmer temperate and subtropical climates of the middle and south Atlantic states to the south.

The warm/hot season in Stamford is from mid-April through early November. Late day thundershowers are common in the hottest months (June, July, August, September), despite the mostly sunny skies. The cool/cold season is from late November though mid-March. Winter weather is far more variable than summer weather along the Connecticut coast, ranging from sunny days with higher temperatures to cold and blustery conditions with occasional snow. As on much of the Connecticut coast and nearby Long Island, some of the winter precipitation is rain or a mix and rain and wet snow. Stamford averages about 30 inches (75 cm) of snow annually, compared to inland areas like Hartford and Albany that average 45–60 inches (110–150 cm).

Although infrequent, tropical cyclones (hurricanes/tropical storms) have struck Connecticut and the Stamford metropolitan area. Hurricane landfalls have occurred along the Connecticut coast in 1903, 1938, 1944, 1954 (Carol), 1960 (Donna), Hurricane Gloria in 1985, and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Stamford lies in USDA garden zone 7a. It averages about 90 days annually with freeze. Coastal Connecticut is the broad transition zone where so-called "subtropical indicator" plants and other broadleaf evergreens can be cultivated. As such, Southern Magnolias, Needle Palms, Windmill palm, Loblolly Pines, and Crape Myrtles are grown in private and public gardens. As in much of coastal Connecticut, Long Island, and coastal New Jersey, the growing season is rather long in Stamford, averaging 210 days from April 8 to November 5 according to the National Weather Service in Bridgeport.

Census data from 2020 showed the City of Stamford with a population of 135,470. This was a 10.5% increase from 2010. Census data also showed Stamford had surpassed New Haven’s population, making it the state's second-most populous city, behind Bridgeport.

In 2020, the racial makeup of the city was 49.3% non-Hispanic white, 14.1% Black or African American, 0.3% American Indian or Alaska Native, 8.6% Asian American, 3.2% from two or more races, and 27.2% Hispanic or Latino (of any race). 2020 American Community Survey estimates show that of the Hispanic or Latin American population, Guatemalans form the largest group (6.75% of the city's population), followed by Puerto Ricans (3.77%), Colombians (2.87%), Ecuadorians (2.42%), and Mexicans (2.38%). The median age was 37.2 in 2018, lower than the national average of 37.9.

There were 54,513 housing units at the 2018 estimates and 50,847 households. The average household size was 2.53 and there were approximately 31,347 families living in the city. The owner-occupied housing rate was 46.6% and the renter-occupied housing rate was 53.4%. Stamford's median household income in 2019 was $93,059 and the per capita income was $55,049, the highest of any city in Connecticut. The average household income was $140,868. About 9.3% of the population was at or below the poverty line.

In 2010, its population was 122,643. At the U.S. Census Bureau's mid-year 2010 estimates, it grew to 122,902. Roughly 49.8% of the population was non-Hispanic white, 12.9% Black or African American, 0.2% American Indian or Alaska Native, 6.8% Asian, 1.6% from two or more races, and 28.3% Hispanic or Latino. The American Community Survey determined there were 46,396 households. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.15. The owner-occupied housing rate was 56.5% and the renter-occupied rate was 43.5%.

The 2000 census determined Stamford had a population of 117,083. The proportion of the population under the age of 18 was 21.6%, age 18 to 24 was 7.8%, age 25 to 44 was 32.5%, age 45 to 64 was 25.0%, and 65 years of age or older was 13.1%. The median age of 37.1 was slightly lower than the U.S. median age of 37.2. Composition of the population based on sex was 50.7 females to 49.3 males.

According to Sperling's BestPlaces, 64.0% of the city's inhabitants are religious or religiously affiliated. The largest religious group in the city are Christians, followed by Judaism, Islam, and eastern religions including Hinduism and Buddhism. The largest Christian denomination in the city is the Roman Catholic Church, served by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport.

According to FBI statistics in 2014, Stamford is the 16th safest of the 269 cities in the nation and well ahead of any in Connecticut with a population greater than 100,000 that report crime statistics to the FBI. In 2015, Stamford reported three murders, 19 rapes, and 92 robberies. Crime in Stamford is much more controlled in comparison to cities with similar population size in Connecticut and nationally. Lower crime rates in Stamford are attributed to the city's robust economic growth in recent decades. Criminal cases are prosecuted by the State's Attorney's Office, and Stamford is home to a State Superior Court, at 123 Hoyt Street, adjacent to the Stamford Police Headquarters.

Stamford's cluster of corporate headquarters includes a number of Fortune 500, Fortune 1000, and Forbes Global 2000 companies. In 2017, Stamford had four Fortune 500, nine Fortune 1000, three Forbes Global 2000, and one Fortune Global 500 company.

Among the larger companies with headquarters in Stamford are Charter Communications, Harman International, Synchrony Financial, Indeed.com, Webster Bank, United Rentals, Conair, Gartner, Henkel North American Consumer Goods, WWE, Pitney Bowes, ITT Inc., Gen Re, NBC Sports Group, Nestle Waters North America, Crane Co. and Vineyard Vines.UBS's Stamford trading floor held the Guinness World Record as the largest columnless trading floor in the world until surrendering that space in 2017. The building was sold after the bank downsized.The Royal Bank of Scotland moved its North American operations into Stamford in 2009, including its RBS Greenwich Capital subsidiary.

The Harbor Point development, in the South End, is one of the nation's largest private-sector development projects. Many large retail stores, such as Design within Reach (also headquartered in Stamford), have moved in, along with multiple companies including ITV America, McKinsey & Company, Bridgewater Associates, and Kayak.com.

Stamford's public library, the Ferguson Library, is one of the largest in Connecticut. The library also shows movies and has a used book store run by Friends of Ferguson Library.

The library has branches in South End, Springdale, and the Turn of River sections of the city, it also has a bookmobile that runs daily to different neighborhoods. The Turn of River branch, officially called the Harry Bennett Branch, is the largest library branch in the state. That branch also has a used book store run by Friends of Ferguson Library.

Stamford is predominantly Democratic but not nearly as heavily Democratic as Connecticut's more urban cities like Bridgeport and New Haven. In 2008, Democrat Barack Obama received 64.06% of the city vote to Republican John McCain's 35.35%.

Democrat Caroline Simmons is Stamford's current mayor. Notable Republicans from the city include former U.S. Representative Chris Shays, former Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele, and former mayor Michael Pavia. Prominent Democrats from Stamford include current Attorney General William Tong, former two-term Governor Dannel Malloy, former Attorney General and incumbent senior U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, former Attorney General George Jepsen, former U.S. Attorney General and former mayor Homer Stille Cummings, Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Andrew J. McDonald, and Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court Richard A. Robinson. Other notable politicians with Stamford roots include Carrie Clyde Holly, the first woman (along with two colleagues) elected to serve in a State Legislature (Colorado, from Pueblo County in the 1894 election) in U.S. history, Joe Lieberman, former Attorney General of Connecticut and Independent/Democratic U.S. Senator who was Al Gore's vice-presidential nominee in the 2000 presidential election; William F. Buckley, Jr., conservative commentator; and French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau.

Stamford has consistently received a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign for LGBT-friendly policies since 2016.

Stamford has branches of the University of Connecticut, University of Bridgeport and Sacred Heart University. The University of Connecticut's campus is in a large modern building downtown that opened in 1998 after extensive renovations to an abandoned former Bloomingdale's store that had closed in 1990. The University of Bridgeport has a branch at the River Bend Executive Center, and Sacred Heart University has a branch at Landmark Square. In 2017, UCONN Stamford opened a 300-student dormitory around the corner from the Stamford Campus on Washington Blvd.

As no study has been conducted to assess the cost of education in Stamford, it is difficult to tell whether Stamford has a well-funded public education system. Public education is a state responsibility, and Connecticut ranks near the bottom in state share of public education expenditures. Thus most education funding must come from local governments like Stamford's. According to the State Department of Education, in the 2004–2005 academic year, 42.7% of Stamford's public school students were economically disadvantaged, 34.8% did not have English as a home language and 11.6% were students with disabilities. Research has shown that these populations need additional resources to meet state academic standards. Owing to the state school finance system, the burden of these extra necessary costs of education falls primarily on Stamford's local government. The public school system is an integrated district with racial balance requirements exceeding those of the state. State standards require that a school's racial makeup be within 25% of the community's racial makeup. Stamford's standard is 10%. Over the years, schools have become unbalanced.

Stamford has three public high schools: Westhill High School, Stamford High School, and the Academy of Information Technology and Engineering. The city also has several private schools, including Villa Maria School, and Bi-Cultural Jewish Day School, King Low Heywood Thomas, and The Long Ridge School.

Stamford has one of the nation's most highly educated populations: nine out of ten are high school graduates, and those possessing a bachelor's degree or higher are estimated at 43.6% of the population.[when?] Stamford is tied with Iowa City, Iowa, for the U.S. metropolitan area with the highest percentage of the adult population holding a bachelor's degree or higher; 44% of adults hold a degree.

A not-for-profit agency, Stamford Emergency Medical Services (SEMS) provides pre-hospital emergency care in Stamford, Connecticut. SEMS also provides contracted paramedic intercept response to Darien Emergency Medical Services, located in Darien, Connecticut. SEMS is the only Connecticut EMS service accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS). All SEMS units are staffed by at least one Connecticut-licensed paramedic. Stamford EMS responds to 14,000 calls annually.

In Stamford, medical facilities include:

Fire protection in the city of Stamford is provided by the paid Stamford Fire Department (SFD) and four all-volunteer fire departments—Glenbrook-New Hope, Belltown, Springdale, and Turn of River—plus a combination company (paid and volunteer members), Long Ridge.

Budgeting and districting of the various fire departments throughout the city had been unstable since 2007, due to an extended legal conflict between the volunteer departments and the Malloy administration. As of May 16, 2012, a decision was reached by the city's charter revision committee to combine the paid and volunteer fire departments into one combination fire department, known as the Stamford Fire Department.

The Stamford Police Department (SPD) is Stamford's only police force, and has lost four officers in the line of service since 1938. The police force has about 280 sworn police officers making it the fifth largest police force in Connecticut after Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, and Waterbury. Most Stamford Officers were trained at the Connecticut Police Training Academy before patrolling in the city. Aside from Police Headquarters, located at 725 Bedford St., opened in 2019, in Downtown Stamford, SPD also operates substations in Stamford's West Side at Wilson St. and W. Main St., and at 1137 High Ridge Rd and Hope Street. The current Chief of Police is Tim Shaw since April 9, 2020 who was a police officer in Stamford before leaving to Easton, Connecticut and coming back to Stamford to become police chief.

Stamford is on the New Haven Line of the Metro-North Railroad, the commuter rail system for northern metropolitan New York City. Stamford is the second-busiest station on the Metro-North system, after Grand Central Terminal, and serves as a major transfer point for local trains. Stamford Station is also the terminus of a Metro-North branch that ends in New Canaan, 8 mi (13 km) away, known as the New Canaan Branch, and a part-time terminal of Shore Line East and Danbury Branch trains. Two smaller train stations in Stamford are Glenbrook and Springdale, both a part of the New Canaan branch.

Commuter trains come into Stamford from all points between New London to the east and New York (Grand Central Terminal) to the south. The average nonstop commute is 47 minutes. Trains operate from the Stamford station between 4:43 a.m. (first departure to Grand Central) until 12:55 a.m. (last departure to Grand Central).

Stamford also serves as a station along the Amtrak route. Acela, the high speed train service between Boston and Washington, makes several daily stops in Stamford. Amtrak's Northeast Regional (Springfield, Massachusetts to Washington, D.C.) and Vermonter (Saint Albans, Vermont to Washington, D.C.) also make daily stops in Stamford. Amtrak tickets can be purchased on the upper level of the Stamford station.

Stamford is within reasonable distance of 11 airports: four general aviation, two regional, five international.

City bus transportation is provided by CT Transit, which is run and financed by the Connecticut Department of Transportation. The main terminal is adjacent to the train station on State Street, under the I-95 highway. Bus service runs along major arterial roads through the towns of Darien, Norwalk, Greenwich and Port Chester, New York. A non-stop direct route is also offered to White Plains, New York. Commuters can connect in Norwalk to points as far east as Milford and as far north as Danbury. Additional connections can be made in Port Chester and White Plains to all points covered by the Bee-Line bus system in Westchester County.

Greyhound provides inter-city bus service from the lower level of the Stamford train station. Bus service is provided to New Haven (Union Station), Boston (South Station), and New York (Port Authority).

Two limited-access highways run through the city. Interstate 95 serves as the main route through downtown Stamford with four exits (6–9). The Merritt Parkway runs through the northern part of the city. This road is designated for passenger vehicles only. Any congestion on the Merritt Parkway is mostly likely to occur on the southbound lane in the morning and the northbound in the evening (route to and from New York). At night, due to the absence of lighting, visibility on the Merritt Parkway is relatively poor. Stamford exits on the Merritt Parkway are 33–35, and exit 36 is just over the border in New Canaan.

Stamford is also served by four other state highways. Route 1, also known as Main Street in Stamford, is also used as a major artery during the morning and evening commute. Most traffic via Route 1 is short distance or fairly local, yet vehicles have utilized Route 1 during times of heavy congestion on I-95 as a re-route. Route 137 (Washington Boulevard and High Ridge Road) is the main north–south road of the city and runs from the Stamford Transportation Center and serves the Turn of River, North Stamford, and High Ridge sections of the city. Route 104 (Long Ridge Road) branches off from Route 137 to serve the Long Ridge section. Route 106 (Courtland Avenue) serves the Glenbrook neighborhood and continues towards the town of Darien.

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