Portland, Connecticut

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Portland, Connecticut

Introduction to Portland, Connecticut

Portland, Connecticut, in Middlesex county, is 8 miles E of Meriden, Connecticut (center to center) and 90 miles NE of New York, New York. The town, which is part of the Hartford metropolitan statistical area (MSA), has about 8,732 residents.

Portland History

The Portland area was originally inhabited by Wangunk tribes. Europeans first arrived in Portland around 1690 and settled here because they were attracted by the huge repository of brownstone, used for construction as well as gravestones. Till 1841, the town was a part of Chatham. The town derives its name from Portland, England a place well-known for its freestone quarries. By late 19th century, quarrying became the town's major industry.

Portland and nearby Attractions

  • Meshomasic State Forest
  • American Clock & Watch Museum
  • Gillette Castle
  • Barnes Museum
  • Eli Whitney Gun Factory
  • Bushnell Park

Things To Do In Portland

Local museums including the American Clock & Watch Museum, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, and the Barnes Museum provide insight into the history of the town. Tourists may visit the historic Gillette Castle which overlooks the Connecticut River. The mansion was built by William Gillette, known for his stage portrayal of Sherlock Homes. Tourists can also visit the numerous parks. The area is well known for the Meshomasic State Forest, built in 1903. The town's oldest church is the First Congregational Church.

Portland Transportation

Bradley International Airport provides air transportation facilities.

Portland Higher Education

One can pursue higher education at Wesleyan University, Central Connecticut State University, and Trinity College.

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High Points

Portland strengths, compared to Peers (similar size places nationally) or State (other places in Connecticut):

Category Trophy
Low Violent Crime
(vs. Peers)
Top 6% Portland Low Violent Crime
Low Property Crime
(vs. Peers)
Top 15% Portland Low Property Crime

Comparative Profile of Portland, Connecticut

Comparing Portland to similar size places nationwide (Peers) and to other places in Connecticut (State):

Ratings range from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

The People

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Age of the Population 8 5
Male Share of the Population 7 5
Children Under 5 Years Old 6 9
Senior Citizens 6 7
Racial Diversity 4 6
Female Share of the Population 4 6


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Portion of People Married 8 5
Average Household Size 6 5


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
College Educated Adults 8 6


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Seasonal and Vacation Housing 9 7


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Low Violent Crime 10 8
Low Property Crime 9 7

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Portland Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 8 miles E of Meriden, Connecticut (center to center)
Nearest Large City 90 miles NE of New York, New York
County Middlesex
Metro Area Hartford
Standard Zip Codes 06480
Phone Area Codes 860
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 41.572
Longitude -72.641

Portland Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)
Distance 4.2 miles
Jan Temp 20 to 36 F
Apr Temp 39 to 59 F
Jul Temp 63 to 84 F
Oct Temp 43 to 62 F
Annual Precip 52.3 inches
Distance 18 miles
Jan Temp 17 to 35 F
Apr Temp 37 to 57 F
Jul Temp 62 to 83 F
Oct Temp 41 to 62 F
Annual Precip 52.7 inches
Distance 25 miles
Jan Temp 17 to 34 F
Apr Temp 38 to 60 F
Jul Temp 62 to 85 F
Oct Temp 41 to 63 F
Annual Precip 46.1 inches
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Portland Population (2000)

Category Count Percent
Total Population 8,732 100%
Male 4,253 48.7%
Female 4,479 51.3%
Under 18 2,225 25.5%
18+ 6,507 74.5%
65+ 1,276 14.6%
Median Age 39
Average Family Size 3.01
White 8,306 95.1%
African-American 213 2.4%
Asian 45 0.5%
American Indian & Alaskan 14 0.2%
Other 40 0.5%
Mixed Race 111 1.3%
Hispanic (included in categories above) 171 2%

Estimated Portland Population Growth 2000-2005

Category Value
Est. 2005 Population 9,543
Growth 811
Growth % 9.3%

Portland Ancestry

(From 2000 Census, as reported by individuals)

Note: This is national, not racial, ancestry, so, e.g., the Census doesn't have categories for Hispanic and African-American people. CityTownInfo is currently gathering additional ancestry data for this site.
Ancestry Percent
Italian 21.3%
Irish 14.9%
English 11.2%
Polish 8.8%
Other (often includes Hispanic and African American) 8.7%
German 7.7%
French (except Basque) 5.3%
Swedish 4.6%
US/American 4.1%
French Canadian 3.1%
Scottish 1.8%
European 1.1%
Russian 1%
Scotch-Irish 1%
Greek 0.5%
Lithuanian 0.5%
Ukrainian 0.4%
Swiss 0.4%
Welsh 0.4%
Portuguese 0.4%
Norwegian 0.3%
Dutch 0.3%
Haitian 0.3%
Czech 0.2%
Jamaican 0.2%
African 0.2%
Slavic 0.2%
British 0.2%
Hungarian 0.2%
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Portland Public Libraries

Portland Public Library
Portland, Connecticut
(860) 342-6770
Library Web Site

library logo

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Featured Colleges in the Portland Area (QuickSchools™)

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Portland High Schools (2004)

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 300 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 9.4

A Non-traditional School

Portland Colleges

(List of Connecticut Colleges)

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