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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 26 of the state's most populous cities (over 2,000 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 Morrisville.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2020.
For more Vermont reading, check out:
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Vermont For 2020
Morrisville ranks as the 1st-worst place in Vermont due to a variety of factors, placing in the bottom third for unemployment, median income, and crime.
On top of that, residents have the 11th-worst commute of any place in the state.
Fair Haven needs some tough love.
Years ago, someone told me the sun never shines in Fair Haven. That's not true, of course, but you can understand why she might say that when you analyze certain facts about Fair Haven. Of the 26 cities considered in this ranking, Fair Haven had the least to be proud of across the board.
Not only does Fair Haven have Vermont's 5th lowest home value rank, but it also had the 14th and 12th 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 Fair Haven, tag them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.
If, by some reason, you were driving through Milton, after stopping to ask for directions, you may have noticed that things aren't so peachy keen here.
It's tough out there for people to stay afloat when their income levels are so low ($60,117) and they can't get good jobs (9.9% unemployment rate).
Milton ranks as the 3rd wost place in Vermont.
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 12)
Median Home Value: $280,900 (24th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (4th worst)
More on Manchester Center: Data
When you're looking at the worst places you could live in Vermont, Manchester Center came in 4th. Let's see why.
The city has very bad crime (6th worst) and an employment rate that's nearly the highest for cities of its size 7.6%. On the bright side, K-12 student spending is highest here than in the entire state.
Brattleboro is a hot mess right now. There are some big economic problems here AND crime is really high. In fact, Brattleboro is the 4th most dangerous place you can live in Vermont.
Residents in Brattleboro have a 1 in 14.8 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That's a lot of stolen laptops, cell phones and sunglasses.
When you're considering home prices, you can't do much lower than in Brattleboro, where average homes are valued at only$193,300. That's the 16th-lowest in the state. But residents earn far less than in other cities, so their mortgage payments might still seem overwhelming.
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.
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 needs some tough love as it ranks as the 8th worst city to live in Vermont for 2020. There's not a lot to do here, and when you factor in some of the lowest student support in the state and some of the worst weather, it's not a place you might want to move to.
And the crime in Springfield is the 10th highest in the state, where 1 in 22.6 people have a chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the latest FBI numbers.
When you're looking at science and data, the city of Randolph is the 9th worst place you can live in the state of Vermont. Let's see why.
Residents who live in Randolph, located in Orange County, have the 11th most crimes in the state committed against them. Factor in a much-lower income level--per resident--and homes valued around $180,300, and you've got yourself a crummy place to live. In terms of comparing it to the rest of Vermont, that is.
If you live in Vermont, you may or may not be surprised that West Brattleboro ranked, at least on paper, as the 10th worst place to live in the state. It has the 3rd highest unemployment rate in the state, and the 4th most dangerous.
Incidentally, West Brattleboro is the 14th most densely populated city in Vermont. Draw your own conclusions.
How we determined the worst places to live in Vermont for 2020
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
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 26 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 26 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 -- Morrisville. 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, Morrisville ranks as the worst city to live in Vermont for 2020.
If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Vermont:
- Vergennes (Pop. 2,612)
- Montpelier (Pop. 7,547)
- South Burlington (Pop. 18,975)
For more Vermont reading, check out:
- Best Places To Retire In Vermont
- Richest Cities In Vermont
- Safest Places In Vermont
- Best Cities For Singles In Vermont
Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Vermont?