The region covered by the Northeastern Connecticut Council of Governments (NECCOG) is made up of 16 of the state’s 169 municipalities. The member towns of NECCOG are: Ashford, Brooklyn, Canterbury, Chaplin, Eastford, Hampton, Killingly, Plainfield, Pomfret, Putnam, Scotland, Sterling, Thompson, Union, Voluntown and Woodstock. The 2014-15 marks a new era for NECCOG in terms of towns served and geography covered. Four towns, Chaplin, Hampton, Scotland and Voluntown became members of NECCOG during the 2013-14 fiscal year. The four new towns joined the original ten towns of NECCOG and the towns of Union (2001) and Ashford (2007) to form a solidly rural regional council of governments. The new additions to NECCOG are the result of regional consolidations initiated by the Connecticut General Assembly.
Northeastern Connecticut is rural. The landscape is characterized by rolling hills, forests and farms. The concentrations of population are those that developed in the 19th and 20th centuries in association with water-powered manufacturing. It is because of these “mill villages” that the Region has designations categorized as “urban.” Geographically, the Region is large (just over ten percent of Connecticut’s total area) – covering 562.8 square miles.
Demographically, the Region had a 2012 population of 95,971 (170.5 persons per square mile – compared to 647.6 persons per square mile for the State) making the region one of the least populated regions in Connecticut. The NECCOG region contains just 2.7 percent of the State’s population.
The average size of the Region’s towns was 5,998 persons in 2012. The largest population is found in Killingly (17,269) and the smallest in the Town of Union (the State’s smallest population – 852). From 1970 to 2012 the region gained more than 29,000 persons – a 43.7 percent gain. Most of this growth occurred in previously undeveloped locations with single family homes. Population projections indicate that the region will grow to more than 104,000 persons by 2025.