Hartford is the capital city of Connecticut. It was the seat of Hartford County until Connecticut disbanded county government in 1960. The city is nicknamed the "Insurance Capital of the World", as it hosts many insurance company headquarters and is the region's major industry. It is the core city in the Greater Hartford area of Connecticut. Census estimates since the 2010 United States Census have indicated that Hartford is the fourth-largest city in Connecticut, behind the coastal cities of Bridgeport, New Haven, and Stamford.
Hartford was founded in 1635 and is among the oldest cities in the United States. It is home to the nation's oldest public art museum (Wadsworth Atheneum), the oldest publicly funded park (Bushnell Park), the oldest continuously published newspaper (the Hartford Courant), and the second-oldest secondary school (Hartford Public High School). It also is home to the Mark Twain House, where the author wrote his most famous works and raised his family, among other historically significant sites. Mark Twain wrote in 1868, "Of all the beautiful towns it has been my fortune to see this is the chief."
Hartford was the richest city in the United States for several decades following the American Civil War. Today, it is one of the poorest cities in the nation, with 3 out of every 10 families living below the poverty threshold. In sharp contrast, the Greater Hartford metropolitan area is ranked 32nd of 318 metropolitan areas in total economic production and 8th out of 280 metropolitan statistical areas in per capita income.
Hartford coordinates certain Hartford-Springfield regional development matters through the Knowledge Corridor economic partnership.
Various tribes lived in or around Hartford, all part of the Algonquin people.