The 10 Worst Places To Live In Vermont For 2021

We used science and data to determine which cities in the Green Mountain State are the worst.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the worst places to live in Vermont.

If you're reading this, you're most likely from Vermont. Or a nosy New Hampshire neighbor. You're probably thinking, "Worst place to live in Vermont? Is there such as thing?"

While Vermont might be one of the most charming and beautiful states, and ranking the worst places to live might there sound like pure nonsense, the fact remains that there are simply `better' and `worse' places to live anywhere in the country. Including Vermont.

Is it all a bed of roses in the Green Mountain State? Of course not. Just like every other state, Vermont has its least desirable spots. The purpose of this post is to use science and data to determine which cities are the worst you could possibly live in if you make Vermont your home .

After analyzing 25 of the state's most populous cities (over 2,200 people), we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in Vermont:

What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we're picking on small town America, that's not the case.

We understand there's a lot of good in every place.

However, according to data (which doesn't measure things like beauty and 'friendly people'), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. And the worst place to live in Vermont? That would be Newport.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2021.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

For more Vermont reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Places To Live In Vermont For 2021

Newport, VT

Source: Public domain
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Population: 4,305
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $117,700 (worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (8th worst)
More on Newport:  Data | Photos

Newport actually has the highest unemployment rate in Vermont at 5.8%, which is a little lower than the national average.

The residents here are most likely pretty broke, as the average household income is $32,000. That's only $7,000 more than the poverty level for a family of four. Homes are the 6th cheapest in the state ($137,000), and Newport has the 9th highest crime rate in Vermont, where residents have a 1 in 142 chance of being robbed.

While that's high in Vermont, that's actually really, really low in comparison to the rest of the country. Usually, cities with the 9th highest crime rates have a 1 in 20 chance of being robbed.

Springfield, VT

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Population: 3,793
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 7)
Median Home Value: $133,900 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (9th worst)
More on Springfield:  Data | Photos

This may or may not be a surprise to you, but Springfield is the 8th most dangerous city in Vermont. For such a small city, there are an astounding number of property crimes. Residents here have a 1 in 23.9 chance of being the victim of some sort of robbery when within city limits every year. That's lots of stolen cell phones, guns, snowmobiles and lobster traps.

Besides the crime, there are a few other factors why Springfield might be one of the worst places to live. The home values here are pretty cheap. Why is that not a good thing? Because the salaries of people working in Springfield are really low. People here earn about $37,273 a year per household.

Additionally, the public schools in Springfield are some of the lowest funded in the state.

When all is said and done, you could find much more desirable places to live in Vermont than in Springfield.

St. Johnsbury, VT

Source: Wikipedia User |
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Population: 5,865
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $139,900 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.5% (11th worst)
More on St. Johnsbury:  Data | Photos

St. Johnsbury is off of I-91 in the northern part of the state. Here, the homes are the second cheapest in Vermont ($158,700). Say what you want about cheap living, lower prices mean lower demand, and there's not of demand to live here.

The unemployment rate is 4.7% here, which is the 5th highest in Vermont. The student spending is far lower than average, but the crime is about average.

Morrisville, VT

Source: Public domain
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Population: 2,216
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $179,700 (14th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.2% (5th worst)
More on Morrisville:  Data | Photos

When you're looking at the worst places you could live in Vermont, Morrisville ranks 4th worst. Let's see why.

Here in Morrisville, crime is the highest in the state, and 1 out of 4.2 residents was robbed here according to the latest FBI numbers.

That's not the first place you think of making home, is it?

Additionally, you have a 1 in 201 chance of being the victim of a violent crime, which includes rapes, attacks or murders. That's really high.

When you look at adult education in Vermont, the folks in Morrisville have the 15th highest drop out rate. And other factors that make Morrisville undesirable are the low median incomes and home prices.

The unemployment rate is the 5th highest in Vermont, at 7.2%. That's actually on par with the national average, which means Vermont has some hard workers.

Brattleboro, VT

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Population: 6,507
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $203,300 (16th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (7th worst)
More on Brattleboro:  Data | Photos

Brattleboro needs some tough love.

Years ago, someone told me the sun never shines in Brattleboro. That's not true, of course, but you can understand why she might say that when you analyze certain facts about Brattleboro. Of the 25 cities considered in this ranking, Brattleboro had the least to be proud of across the board.

Not only does Brattleboro have Vermont's 16th lowest home value rank, but it also had the 7th and 4th highest rankings in unemployment and crime respectively. Statistics like that will certainly make the sun shine a bit dimmer, and it will win you are in contention for title of "Worst City in Vermont."

If you know anyone in Brattleboro, tag them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.

West Brattleboro, VT

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Population: 2,677
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $167,400 (11th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (18th worst)
More on West Brattleboro:  Data | Photos

If you live in West Brattleboro, you're either going to fiercely protect your town, or you agree that it should be on this list. Either way, it doesn't matter, because science says it's the 6th worst place to live in the state.

You've got the 4th highest crime rate in Vermont, which saw 80 violent crimes last year. You have a 1 in 10.6 chance of being robbed and a 1 in 135 chance of being attacked, raped or killed here for every year you spend in the city limits of West Brattleboro.

Plus, folks are simply out of work. West Brattleboro sports the state's 18th highest unemployment rate (3.6%), and families bring in a combined $31,918 a year, which is far below the state average.

No wonder homes are cheap; you can get one yourself for only $167,400.

Randolph, VT

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Population: 2,158
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $173,200 (13th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.3% (2nd worst)
More on Randolph:  Data | Photos

Randolph is one of the poorest cities in the state of Vermont. This city has 8.3% of its residents out of work, and those who have jobs earn under $48,636 a year.

Cities can be charming, but not when they are dangerous. Randolph has the 12th highest crime rate in Vermont. While the numbers aren't staggering (Vermont is a relatively safe place when you compare it to the rest of the country), it's still undesirable when you consider that there are far safer (and more stimulating) places to make your home in the Green Mountain State.

Swanton, VT

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Population: 2,450
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $171,400 (12th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (3rd worst)
More on Swanton:  Data | Photos

Here in Swanton, you have some of the highest crime and the highest unemployment rates in Vermont. That's not a good combination.

Located in Franklin County, you have a 1 in 40.8 chance of being the victim of a property crime when inside Swanton city limits every year. Some of those crimes might be due to the relatively high unemployment rate (7.6%). That's good for the 3rd highest unemployment rate in Vermont.

Barre, VT

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Population: 8,646
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $158,300 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.4% (4th worst)
More on Barre:  Data | Photos

Many of the people who work in Montpelier live in Barre. Crime is the 5th highest in Vermont here, where residents have a 1 in 48 chance of being the victim of a property crime, which is actually pretty consistent with a 'bad' town in another state.

That means you have to lock your doors at night here.

However, there were only two violent crimes here in 2021, according to the FBI. That's amazingly low.

Barre also has the 8th lowest home values and a below average publicly funded education system.

Milton, VT

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Population: 2,507
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 8)
Median Home Value: $255,400 (2worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.9% (worst)
More on Milton:  Data | Photos

Milton is the 7th most dangerous place in the state of Vermont. That's part of the reason it's the 10th worst place in Vermont.

The fact remains, that when you're within Milton city limits, you have a 1 in 21.4 chance of being robbed or having something you own vandalized.Does that sound like a fun place to live?

Did you know Milton also has the highest unemployment rate in the state at 8.9%? Or that homes are only valued at $255,400?

Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there's little demand to live in Milton.

How we determined the worst places to live in Vermont for 2021

To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.

We don't think it's a stretch to assume that people like the following things:

  • Good education
  • Lots of jobs
  • Low crime
  • Low poverty
  • Nice homes
  • High incomes
  • High population density (Lots of things to do)
  • Short work commutes
  • Health insurance

The data comes from the Census's most recent American Community Survey and from the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight -- if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.

Furthermore, only cities with at least 2,000 people were considered -- leaving 25 cities.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 25 for all the criteria with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the rankings into one "Worst Place To Live Score".

Finally, we ranked every city on the "Worst Place To Live Score" with the lowest score being the worst city in Vermont -- Newport. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Vermont. You can download the data here.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

Wrapping Up The Worst In Vermont

If you're looking at areas in Vermont with the worst economic situations, where there's higher than average crime, and not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

And in the end, Newport ranks as the worst city to live in Vermont for 2021.

If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Vermont:

  1. Vergennes (Pop. 2,596)
  2. Montpelier (Pop. 7,477)
  3. South Burlington (Pop. 19,162)

For more Vermont reading, check out:

Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Vermont?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Newport 4,305 5.8% $117,700
2 Springfield 3,793 5.7% $133,900
3 St. Johnsbury 5,865 4.5% $139,900
4 Morrisville 2,216 7.2% $179,700
5 Brattleboro 6,507 5.8% $203,300
6 West Brattleboro 2,677 3.6% $167,400
7 Randolph 2,158 8.3% $173,200
8 Swanton 2,450 7.6% $171,400
9 Barre 8,646 7.4% $158,300
10 Milton 2,507 8.9% $255,400

How Is The Area In ?

33 thoughts on “The 10 Worst Places To Live In Vermont For 2021

  1. In the time it takes to drive from Charlotte to Burlington (since NOTHING happens in Charlotte), someone in Bennington could be in Albany, NY. I’m also not sure why low home prices is a negative thing – they’re actually affordable, unlike that top list. Also, anyone who calls these towns cities, is clearly not from around here.

  2. The reason some places didn’t make the list was probably population, they said they had a baseline number. Another reason some beautiful places didn’t make the list is because beauty was not a factor only science and numbers. As far as the article itself if the people writing it went to any of the underfunded schools, there’s your answer. They said at the beginning of the article that it was for entertainment and not to get bent.

  3. My good friend, I’m proud to say my home town of Highgate is in the TOP 50 best cites to live in in Vermont. Highgate is 30 minutes to downtown Burlington and 45 minutes (depending on border time) to downtown Montreal. Not a lot of places in Vermont or New England can boast that. Too bad your science didn’t include proximity to Major Cities, throw that into the ol’ processor as see what happens. Fun read never the less.

  4. I am surprised that Burlington wasn’t on the top 10 worse places in Vermont list there is so much criminal activity that goes on there and I just don’t feel that you are looking deep enough I mean come on get a clue the drug Population is ridiculous the heroin epidemic is over the charts and crimes there are higher than what’s being told I’m just Saying that it could be alot worse then saint albans so I do believe you should do your science and Day again before you put places that aren’t really that bad


    1. I just visited my son and brother in Perkinsville, VT and fell in love with this state. I thought Woodstock was a quaint little town with extremely friendly people. I’ve lived in Maine, Mass and New Hampshire but never visited Vermont up until now and I’m so happy I did. I currently live in Florida and plan to make my way to Vermont within a year. I’ll be renting an apartment once there, any towns you recommend just outside of perkinsville for decent pricing?

    1. It’s not that they “aren’t nice.” They make it clear though that you are “not from around here” in how they treat you. I was married to a Vermonter and in the family for 8 years. Still considered an outsider. Being from the mid-west, I found that attitude hurtful.

  6. I lived in bennington for 25 years and can honestly say I would never move back, high rent, low paying jobs, not a place to raise a family, little to nothing to do.but if ya like winter and freezing for seven months out of the year have at it.

  7. So, Bennington is the 12th most dangerous town in the state which ranks second out of fifty for lowest crime. It’s obvious! Stay away from Bennington! You’re in danger there!

  8. Vermont is a shithole. The people are unwelcoming, insular assholes. Can’t wait to get the hell out of here. Relocating here from the mid-atlantic for a job opportunity was one of the worst mistakes of my life.

  9. Totally agree with Barre. It’s a shithole all on it’s own with people with some sort of street/gang mentality. Thinking they’re tough shits walking the streets, probably haven’t walked a street in NY their whole life so they gotta settle doing it somewhere in VT. Half the neighborhoods are dumps that charge over $700+ to live in because it has had a history of abusers/druggies live in it.

    The road crew at most times are incredibly neglectful of roads in Barre, considering that some of them possess some of the worst of the potholes that makes you swerve and swerve to avoid them. Cracks and creases left in the roads for all to run into and auto garages are probably making fortunes from people with banged up suspensions and tires from these roads.

    The people in the populace mostly consist of pot smokers, druggies, alcoholics, bitter elders and young couples that look like a domestic abuse report is waiting to happen. We have over 20 churches/religious communities scattered across town, all devoted to the same religion. It’s kinda funny too because not far from them are the bars because where else can you go and who would listen to you recount a thousand mistakes at once?

    Barre does deserve to be higher but just knowing it’s acknowledged as a shit place on a list at all is good enough. It’s got no future.

  10. To say that Burlington isn’t one of the best places to live in Vermont is pretty funny. Sure the rent is high downtown, but head in any direction from 20 min and that changes quickly. Yes there has been an increase in crime, drug addiction and violence- over the last 5 year especially. But I would say it has increased at rate seemingly relative to the growth of Burlington itself.

    Burlington has been nationally touted as one of the best cities to raise a family.. in the country. It is also the epicenter of social interaction and cultural expression, which is a pretty rare thing in Vermont. And it’s a city that runs entirely on renewable energy to boot.

    I’m was born in New Haven Ct, then moved to Montgomery Vermont as a young child and grew up there, and now Burlington… I love it and there is new stuff being built everywhere you look.

  11. VT is the worst state in the usa. Cold, cloudy, rains all the time then snows. High taxes, high living expenses, no services. It totally blows. Roads suck and 55 percent are dirt. Cheap state as 1/3 of the scum are on welfare and pills. Those who work pick up the tab. If you’re a far left libby and thinks sanders is great then VT is for you. It’s the type of place you have to be born and raised in and most of those people have moved out. Lolo lol VT sucks and the people blow.

    1. I cant tell if you are high or just blind…Sure yes in the winter time Vermont can get VERY cold but its the same in most of the east coast its gonna rain a lot its gonna get cold after summer. It ain’t California where no snow or rain ever happens. I wouldn’t say its the best place for people but to say “VT sucks” And is the worst in the usa is wrong on so many levels.

    2. Well I speak for all Vermonters that live, work n make a great living, have raised law abiding, well mannered, educated, hard working children. THANK YOU FOR LEAVING OUR STATE!!! N DONT RETURN!!

      1. @Vermonter:

        I have grown up in Vermont since I was born…and i can’t wait to get out. There are
        no (repeat no) future for any of us young Vermonters. Jobs are few and low paying… and our government is full of illogical Democrats and Republicans all trying to outdo each other. I know of at least twenty young Vermonters who have left this state and now live a happy life outside this cursed state.
        Can’t wait to leave!

  12. There’s an error in the Rutland section, it talks about Barre:

    Rutland is in the middle of nowhere where Routes 7 and 4 meet. Sure, it’s a fairly-sized city, but its isolation means for some long drives to anything beyond the norm.

    But the bigger reason Barre makes it on this list is the high unemployment rate (4.1%) and low household incomes ($39,000). The fact is, there are far more other areas in which people who are attempting to grow their careers can live.

    Plus, the crime is far higher than in other places.

  13. My husband and I have settled on Bennington as the place we want to retire. It’s charming and affordable. We love Burlington, but the cost of real estate there is too high. Also, generally speaking, Vermont is beautiful everywhere you look.
    Bad roads? C”mon down to South Carolina. While Vermont roads might be rough here and there, generally, they are good. Here, tjey ate dangerously bad and usually have no shoulders. As for crime, I have to laugh. Y’all seem to be comparing Bennington’s crime rate to some abstract ideal. Where we currently live in Upstate South Carolina, the crime is horrific and deadly and frequent. Shootings, child rapes, robberies, home invasions and every kind of abuse you can and cannot imagine. One woman hung her son’s still-living dog over a fire because it chewed on her Bible. A while back, some guy in Traveler’s Rest raped a 3-month old baby. She died as a result. And surely you’ve heard of Susan Smith. She drowned her children by running her car into a lake and leaving them to drown. That happened right here. We had a serial killer who shot and killed three people for giving him lip. A few years later, he killed more people, and as you may have heard, he kept a young woman locked in an empty semi trailer for months before he was finally, recently, caught. This is everyday stuff, here. I’m not kidding. Look at the local news on WYFN 4 for a few days. And terrible car accidents are routine. As of late July, South Carolina already had toted up 530 traffic fatalties this year.
    Count your blessings, Vermont.

  14. I lived in Vermont for many years actually born in Bristol,Vt at my grandparents house. I currently live in Augusta GA. The crime rate in Vermont is no different now than what it was when I was growing up in the late 80-90s. Perhaps it was people were not so quick to report to the police and handled things a bit differently than they do now. I know that when I was wandering around town with the”gang” just some kids from school we were starting to get harassed by officers for just being kids and horsing around. I believe that is why in doubt that the drug rate has increased and the violence and just about everything else has. Everyone is different and well they way I look at it Vermont you are being an enabler. Since I have been in Georgia now going on 4 years, I am completely sober, I have become a successful business owner and am raising a little boy who is able to be just that a little boy. Thanks to the Lord and not being judged by my community I have overcome addiction, mindful that no rehab center down here did I attend. If maybe you would open your mind about situations and ways to blossom your community then you might get a better community. All I am saying is that where there’s a will there’s a way. I have come from the armpit of Vermont, been the addict and the homeless panhandler, everyone of these towns I’ve been through. Work together and don’t be so judgemental, maybe you could have a better place to call home. Vermont is very beautiful it’s the people that make it so ugly. Thanks for letting me rant. Be blessed

  15. This person obviously hasn’t been to any of these towns. I guess based on statistics you can make these claims but it doesn’t factor in that many people don’t work in the towns they live in or if you move to one you can find a job within 30-45 minutes of scenic driving. Not big city traffic. I moved to Morrisville and can tell you it is one of the best towns to live. Its small but they have enough going on that you won’t get bored. There is a bar/restaurant that has music daily and a few good restaurants. Its not far from Stowe and Waterbury but its much more affordable. 30 minutes from Stowe and Smugglers notch for skiing. Only an hour from burlington. There is a 20 mile bike path that goes thru town and isn’t finished. Once complete it will go for 90 miles across the state. That is pretty awesome. There is a park in town with community gardens and also has free music every week. The people in this town are the nicest I have ever met. Every time i meet someone i think about how great this town is. Sometimes you have to look beyond statistics and look at quality of life.

  16. Morrisville!!! I love Morrisville so much I’m going there on Vacation but not only that number one worst, they have rolling hills, state parks and literally the only problem is that everything is so far away!

  17. I’ve been all over the world in my 70 years of travel. Couldn’t wait to come home to Vermont. It’s my home and that will never change. If you’ve seen (and like) somewhere else more suitable, by all means move as fast as you can to get there. Each town & city have their ups and downs and someone else’s opinion is just that…their own opinion. Not bothered by that one bit. I’ve found my home and it’s the Green Mountain State. I love it here, and that’s just MY opinion.

  18. The data quoted in this article makes no sense. The population of Milton is listed at 2,200, which hasn’t been true since the 1960s. The current population is over 10,500. That seems to have thrown off their other calculations as well. They list the Milton unemployment rate as 9.2%, but it’s actually been hovering around 2% for the last several years. And since their population figure is way off, I’m guessing the odds of being a victim of a property crime are actually more like 1 in 80, not 1 in 22.

    Some of the other towns listed seem to have low population figures as well. Did they confuse the number of households for total population? On the other hand, the population listed for Barre is fairly accurate. A fair comparison among towns is impossible if you’re going to be mixing up and misusing data like that.

  19. Vermont is working hard on getting rid of the poor and getting rich out of staters in. Keeping companies out of the state, making it so you have to drive a new car because of the inspections on vehicles. Not helping the disabled or veterans, and Bernie says he is trying but I don’t see him helping the poor just building a new multi million dollar home on the lake. This state is about vacationers coming to spend money and leaving, they do really good at separating dad’s from there children by promoting welfare for single moms, if dad’s are in the home they take all benefits away. That’s why there are a high number of single moms here. It is a horrible state. They abuse father’s trying to be father’s. They cater to drug mother’s. Sit at the family court and listen to the dad’s that get abused by the system. A dad in Vermont is better dead to his children then to be alive. Or just disappear from the state and hide. Vermont is horrible to a poor person thats disabled. Stay away unless you are rich and want to ski because that is all there is. As for poor towns take Springfield who was a wealthy town 59 yrs ago with booming businesses that left the state, now a couple towns over in Ludlow it is a money town that does not share with the towns that home have sky rocketed with no money because of ski homes. Taxes in Ludlow are a 3rd of Springfield taxes are. Shopping here hell no everyone goes to tax free NH. Average person can save thousands in NH because no tax. Oh yes Vermont we pay the taxes on all our stuff from NH just like you reimburse people in alburgh for having to pay more in NY buying stuff because they have no stores. Vermont is stupid as it comes. Just my thoughts thank you

  20. I understand your comments about Brattleboro and West Brattleboro. While I don’t find them inaccurate I do find them limited in scope. Years ago a friend said to me that he “loved visiting Brattleboro because of it’s Bohemian Culture.” Brattleboro is laid back and allows for a complete ” do whatever you want” culture. Also, I think your Crime Rates are skewed, as yes, crime is higher, but it is also concentrated to specific areas of the downtown. Walking in the neighborhoods feels safe and residents are open and friendly. Yes, downtown can be unsafe at night but it’s not Detroit, Cleveland or Bakersfield. It’s “relative risk”, if you will. Vermont is a calling and if you are ever lucky enough to live here you’re lucky enough. I will take the risk verses the HUGE rewards.

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