Like all states, Vermont has certain places that are going on hard times. These Vermont places have an above-average percentage of people living in poverty, out of work, or not making as much as they should be.
Even as the economy continues to improve, it’s worthwhile to look at the places in each state struggling to make ends meet. So we set our sites on locating the poorest places in Vermont.
To do so, we used Saturday Night Science to analyze the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 13 cities in Vermont with more than 2,000 people.
What’s the poorest city in Vermont? According to the facts, Barre is the poorest place in Vermont for 2023.
This isn’t a commentary on the people that live there or the vibrant culture and traditions of these places. Instead, it’s just a look at the facts.
For more Vermont reading, check out:
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The 10 Poorest Cities In Vermont For 2023
Barre, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in Vermont thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.
The city of 8,514 people averages the lowest median household income in Vermont and the 2nd highest poverty rate. At the very least, the cost of living ranks in the bottom 15% of place in the state, so things like housing are relatively affordable.
The second poorest city in Vermont is Bellows Falls.
The city ranks as having the 4th highest incidence of poverty and 2nd lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 9th highest in the Green Mountain State.
Placing as the third poorest city, Burlington’s median income ranks as the 7th lowest.
And that’s a sign that there’s a relatively substantial jump in the quality of the economy from second to third place on our list. The poverty rate is 23.77256173741992% and ranks near the bottom of places in the state.
But what makes up for the relatively low incomes of the city is its low cost of living. The income you do make here goes further than in most parts of the Green Mountain State.
St. Albans ranks as the fourth poorest place in Vermont.
The town ranks as having the 3rd lowest median household income and the 5th highest incidence of poverty in the state.
That being said, there’s still a ton of cultural diversity in the city as it hosts many events throughout the year.
The fifth poorest city in Vermont is Rutland.
The city ranks as having the 4th lowest median income in the state. However, an extremely low cost of living prevents a good number of folks from living in poverty as the poverty rate only ranks as the 7th highest in Vermont.
Still not the best news for Rutland.
Winooski ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Green Mountain State.
It ranks as having the 3rd highest incidence of poverty and the 11th highest unemployment rate.
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Income: $58,203 (6th lowest)
Poverty Rate: 15.2% (6th highest)
People In Poverty: 352
More on Morrisville: Data
Morrisville places as the seventh poorest city in Vermont.
The city of over 2,326 ranks as having the 6th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.
Newport ranks as the eighth poorest city in Vermont.
The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 4th highest in the state.
Swanton couldn’t stay out of the top ten poorest places in Vermont; it ranks number 9.
While the median income is the 9th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Swanton ranks as having the 9th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Vermont.
And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Vermont is Vergennes.
The city of 2,573 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Green Mountain State.
Methodology: How We Determined The Poorest Places In Vermont for 2023
The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about determining the poorest places is to simply the poverty rate. That is, the number of people living below a federally established level of income for a household of a certain size.
However, we don’t think that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the “poorest places”. So we used Saturday Night Science to look at this set of criteria from the newly released 2017-2021 American Community Survey:
- Poverty Level
- Median Household Income
After we collected the data for all 13 places with more than 2,000 people in Vermont, we ranked each place from 1 to 13 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the poorest.
We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a “Poor Score” with the place having the lowest overall Poor Score, Barre, crowned the “Poorest Place In Vermont For 2023”.
This report has been updated for 2023, which is our tenth time ranking the poorest places in Vermont.
Summary: The Poorest Cities In Vermont For 2023
Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the poorest places in Vermont, we weren’t sure what we’d encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in Vermont.
When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very bottom of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.
If you’re curious enough, here are the richest cities in Vermont, according to data:
Richest: South Burlington
2nd Richest: Montpelier
3rd Richest: Essex Junction
For more Vermont reading, check out:
- Richest Cities In Vermont
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Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Vermont
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