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Milford, Connecticut

Milford is a partially independent city that is located partially in New Haven County in Connecticut. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 50,594.

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The area now known as Milford, Orange and West Haven, Connecticut was purchased in 1639 from the local Paugusset tribe by English settlers affiliated with the contemporary New Haven Colony. In that time, the area was known by the term "Wepawaug" — a name which lives on in local street names in both Milford and Orange.

By the American Revolution, Milford was a significant enough city and port to warrant the construction of Fort Trumbull for the defense of the city. By 1822, the city had grown large enough that residents in the northern and eastern sections of Milford chartered their own independent course as the town of Orange. During the next century and a half, the remaining section of Milford was known for shipbuilding, farming, and oystering, although a small subset of industrial facilities did develop in town also. During this time, the town also became known as a beach resort for residents of New Haven and Bridgeport.

In the post-World War II period, Milford — like many other New England towns — underwent significant suburbanization. Interstate 95 was routed through town and the Milford section was completed by 1960. In the 1960s and '70s, Milford developed furthermore with the construction of the Connecticut Post Mall and the extensive commercial development of the town's stretch of the Boston Post Road. The city also became host to several headquarters of multinational corporations during the same period. In the present day, Milford faces the typical modern issue of deciding how much land to develop and how much to keep natural, especially in light of Milford's location at the mouth of the Housatonic river.

Culture and Notable Features

Every year in August, Milford celebrates its annual Oyster Festival, which serves as a combination of a typical town fair with a culinary celebration of the town's location on historically shellfish-rich Long Island Sound. This festival is held on the Milford Green, in the center of town.

Milford is home to the headquarters of the Subway fast-food corporation. The town also hosts the headquarters of the BIC Corporation.

Local legend has it that Captain Kidd buried treasure on Charles Island, a small islet located off of Silver Sands beach. No such treasure has been found, however.

Milford has two subdivided neighborhoods with semi-distinct status within the city: Woodmont and Devon. Devon is located at the mouth of the Housatonic near Stratford, while Woodmont is located along the eastern coast of the city.

Milford was the home and final resting place of Peter Pond, the first explorer of the Athabasca region of North America in the 1780s.

Historical Populations

1756 1,633
1774 2,127
1782 2,195
1790 2,098
1800 2,417
1810 2,674
1820 2,785
1830 2,256
1840 2,455
1850 2,465
1860 2,828
1870 3,405
1880 3,347
1890 3,811
1900 3,783
1910 4,366
1920 10,193
1930 12,660
1940 16,439
1950 26,870
1960 41,662
1970 50,858
1980 50,898
1990 49,938
2000 52,305
2002 53,472 (estimate)


According to the United States Census Bureau, the balance has a total area of 61.5 km² (23.7 mi²). 57.7 km² (22.3 mi²) of it is land and 3.8 km² (1.5 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 6.15% water.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 50,594 people, 20,138 households, and 13,613 families residing in the balance. The population density is 876.8/km² (2,270.7/mi²). There are 21,145 housing units at an average density of 366.4/km² (949.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the balance is 93.55% White, 1.91% African American, 0.13% Native American, 2.36% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.88% from other races, and 1.14% from two or more races. 3.34% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 20,138 households out of which 29.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.7% are married couples living together, 9.7% have a female householder with no husband present, and 32.4% are non-families. 26.3% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.49 and the average family size is 3.04.

In the balance the population is spread out with 22.4% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 31.7% from 25 to 44, 25.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.9% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 39 years. For every 100 females there are 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.0 males.

The median income for a household in the balance is $61,167, and the median income for a family is $71,175. Males have a median income of $48,368 versus $36,770 for females. The per capita income for the balance is $28,773. 3.8% of the population and 2.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 4.1% of those under the age of 18 and 5.4% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

See also

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Regions of Connecticut
New York metropolitan area/Gold Coast | Litchfield Hills | Naugatuck River Valley | Greater New Haven | Greater Hartford | Lower Connecticut River Valley | Quiet Corner | Southeastern Connecticut
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