The U.S. Census Bureau is out with new population data. Danbury was one of just 4 of the state's large cities to gain residents from 2015 to 2016. Danbury added 756 residents, a .90-percent gain. The Census defines large cities as having populations higher than 50,000.
Of towns under that threshold, Bethel had the second largest increase in the state.
Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker says there's several factors for the growth which he called a slow, steady and manageable growth. He first cited the school system, which is gaining in reputation as it's recognized regionally and nationally in several hours. He called Bethel a close knit town with a lot of amenities that people are seeking. The town is close to the highway, along the rail line, has a downtown shopping districts and a variety of restaurants.
Knickerbocker noted that compared to other Fairfield County municipalities, Bethel is the most affordable small town on this side of the state. While there's been a lot of new housing development in Bethel, Knickerbocker says it's also families turning over existing homes. He says empty-nesters are selling their homes to new families, which makes for a vibrant community.
Nationally, Connecticut is third for population losses, and ranks 29th in the country for total population.