Bridgeport is the most populous city and a major port in the U.S. state of Connecticut. With a population of 148,654 in 2020, it is also the fifth-most populous in New England. Located in eastern Fairfield County at the mouth of the Pequonnock River on Long Island Sound, it is 60 miles (97 km) from Manhattan and 40 miles (64 km) from The Bronx. It is bordered by the towns of Trumbull to the north, Fairfield to the west, and Stratford to the east. Bridgeport and other towns in Fairfield County make up the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk-Danbury metropolitan statistical area, the second largest metropolitan area in Connecticut. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk-Danbury metropolis forms part of the New York metropolitan area.
Inhabited by the Paugussett Native American tribe until English settlement in the 1600s, Bridgeport was incorporated in 1821 as a town, and as a city in 1836. Showman P. T. Barnum was a resident of the city and served as the town's mayor (1871). Barnum built four houses in Bridgeport and housed his circus in town during winter. The city in the early 20th century saw an economic and population boom, becoming by all measures Connecticut's chief manufacturing city by 1905. Bridgeport was the site of the world's first mutual telephone exchange (1877), the first dental hygiene school (1949), and the first bank telephone bill service in the US (1981). Inventor Harvey Hubbell II invented the electric plug outlet in Bridgeport in 1912. The Frisbie Pie Company was founded and operated in Bridgeport. The world's first Subway restaurant opened in the city's North End in 1965. After World War II, industrial restructuring and suburbanization caused the loss of many large companies and affluent residents, leaving Bridgeport struggling with issues of poverty and violent crime.