Danbury is a mid-size city located along Connecticut's Still River, about 70 miles northeast of the center of New York City. It's one of Connecticut's most populous cities, growing steadily over the past several decades. The city combines the relaxed feel of a New England small town with plenty of high-end amenities, arts and culture.
Danbury, the Nation's "Hat City"
Danbury has been well-known through the centuries as a major manufacturer of hats, with a flourishing industry that earned the city the nickname "The Hatting Capital of the World." The first hatmaker in Danbury was Zadoc Benedict, who created his hat firm in 1780. With just three employees, his shop produced 18 hats per week. However, within the span of two decades, Danbury became the largest producer of hats in the country, making 20,000 hats annually. The fur hat trend and the increasing mechanization of the production process fueled the growth of the city's hat industry, with a large number of factories setting up shop in the area. By 1887, Danbury was home to about 30 different hat factories, and production swelled to an incredible 5 million hats per year.
Over the decades, the hatting industry underwent many changes. Factories no longer produced the entire hat from start to finish, instead creating only the "bodies" and supplying those to small shops for the finishing touches. At the turn of the century, Danbury was responsible for about 75 percent of hats in the entire hatting industry, but that all came to an end after World War II. At the time, returning veterans started the trend of going hatless, which ultimately spelled the end for the city's hat factories. Stetson was the final hat company to leave the city, producing the very last Danbury hat in 1987.
Jobs in Danbury
Danbury's local economy is largely fueled by the services industries, including trade, transportation, utilities, professional and business services, leisure, hospitality and government. The majority of jobs in the city fall into these sectors, accounting for close to two-thirds of all available roles.
The unemployment rate for the city of Danbury is lower than both the state and national averages, so if you're hoping to find a job here, the odds are in your favor. You might want to consider beginning your job search at the city's largest employers, which provide thousands of local jobs between them. Western Connecticut Health Network, Boehringer-Ingelheim and Danbury Public Schools are among the largest of Danbury's employers, followed closely by Cartus and GE Commercial Financial.
The Danbury Public School
s District manages the public schools in Danbury. In addition to traditional elementary, middle and high schools, the district also operates several magnet schools and an alternative high school. You'll also find a number of parochial schools in Danbury, in addition to a few private secular campuses.
Resources for Moving to Danbury
As you plan your move to Danbury, use the resources below to make the process easier:
Utilities: Eversource is Danbury's main power provider, while the city's utilities department facilitates the distribution and billing of water and sewer services.
Garbage and Recycling: You can expect regular trash and recyclables collection in most residential areas of Danbury.
Transportation: Danbury's public transportation network is called HARTransit. In addition to regular fixed routes, it offers door-to-door service for senior citizens or those with disabilities.
Danbury is one of the most affordable cities in the Stamford metro area in terms of housing, with a median home price that's far lower than the area average. Your budget will go further here than in other nearby cities, which can open up a range of options for you to explore.