Counties in Connecticut
Connecticut is made up of 8 counties. Four of them were originally created in 1666, during the first consolidation of the colony of Connecticut from a number of smaller colonies. Two more counties were created during colonial times, and only two counties, Middlesex and Tolland counties, have been created since American independence, both in 1785. County governments were abolished in Connecticut in 1960. All legal power is vested in state and local governments.
Types of local government
There are 179 local municipal governments in Connecticut. Of these, 104 operate under a charter. No power is vested in Connecticut's counties, and the other types of local governments are similar to one another in their powers and functions. These types are as follows:
- Cities and Boroughs: There are 30 such municipalities in Connecticut. These are further classified as boroughs and cities--primarily for historical reasons.
- Towns/Townships: There are 149 townships in Connecticut. The entire area of the state is divided into townships and these townships are treated as municipalities under Connecticut law. The only exceptions to this rule are the 20 townships (not included in the count) which have been consolidated with cities or boroughs.
- In addition, there are 448 special districts and 17 independent school districts.
Initiative Process Availability
The powers of Initiative and Referendum for an amendment, or repeal of an amendment, to the municipal charter is mandated for all charter cities and towns and the process is largely determined by the State Statutes in Title 7 Ch. 99. According to section 7-188 of the State Statutes this power also applies to ordinances enacted before October 1 of 1982.
Some charter local governments have the initiative and referendum power for local ordinances, but the process is set at the local level.
For more information on which local governments have Initiative and Referendum powers and what the signature requirements are in each, see: Local Charter Governments with Initiative and Referendum Document
County website evaluations
- Connecticut State Library Website "Connecticut Towns by County," accessed September 9, 2013
- Connecticut Judicial Branch Law Library, "Connecticut Ordinances and Charters by Town," accessed September 30, 2012
- U.S. Census Bureau, "Governments--Individual State Descriptions," accessed September 29, 2012, pg. 65
- The U.S. Census Bureau's 2012 study of local governments
- Connecticut State Statute
- Local Government Types and Numbers Research Spreadsheet