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 21 of the state’s most populous cities (over 1,100 people), we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in Vermont:
- Enosburg Falls
- Bellows Falls
- St. Albans (Photos)
- Barre (Photos)
- North Bennington
- Winooski (Photos)
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. Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2018.
How we determined the worst places to live in Vermont for 2018
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 1,100 people were considered — leaving 21 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 21 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 — Johnson. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Vermont.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
Population: 1,424Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Values: $155,400 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.0% (1st worst)
Johnson seems to be the have’s and have not’s. While the annual average income levels here are respectful ($32,868), about 1 in 12.5 people here are without jobs. Homes are valued at only $155,400.
But the biggest eye opener is the sheer crime here. It seems as if just about everyone in town without a job is pillaging the community. Johnson has the 2nd highest crime rate in Vermont, where 1 in 108 people has a statistic chance of being attacked, raped or murdered each year.
Plus, 1 in 5.5 people are robbed.
If you’re headed past Johnson and stop for gas, make sure you lock your doors.
Population: 2,270Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Values: $180,500 (11th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (13th worst)
Tthe small town of Morrisville has the 6th lowest income levels in the entire state. At $37,939, many of the people are having trouble making ends meet, and the unemployment rate is 5.1%. Additionally, 1630.0% of the population lives below the poverty line.
The cost of a home here is bottom barrell at $180,500.
At least the crime is very minimal here.
Population: 4,426Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Home Values: $130,000 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (2nd worst)
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.
4. Enosburg Falls
Population: 1,310 Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Home Values: $170,700 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 1.7% (21st worst)
This may or may not be a surprise to you, but Enosburg Falls 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 15.3 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 Enosburg Falls 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 Enosburg Falls are really low. People here earn about $39,500 a year per household.
Additionally, the public schools in Enosburg Falls 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 Enosburg Falls.
5. Bellows Falls
Population: 3,032Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Home Values: $128,300 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (9th worst)
Bellows Falls ranks as the 5th worst place to live in Vermont for 2015.
The issues Bellows Falls has is with its local economy. The unemployment rate is the 10th highest in Vermont (5.7%), and as you might expect, the household salaries and home prices are both towards the bottom of Vermont.
6. St. Albans
Population: 6,858Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Home Values: $173,100 (9th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.8% (7th worst)
We’re pretty sure Vermont residents value a good education. In terms of outright public education, the kids in St. Albans get the least amount of spending, per student, than those in the rest of the state. It’s still higher than the national average.
The student-teacher ratio is above average, however.
Crime is the 7th highest in the state, and homes are the 10th cheapest.
St. Albans is near Lake Champlain. That must be beautiful most of the year. But again, science doesn’t measure beauty. It measures facts, and the fact is St. Albans has some of the lowest stats in the state when it comes to desirability based on what people say they want.
Population: 8,831Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 5)
Home Values: $151,100 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (5th worst)
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 2015, according to the FBI. That’s amazingly low.
Barre also has the 8th lowest home values and a below average publicly funded education system.
8. North Bennington
Population: 1,688 Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Home Values: $185,900 (12th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (14th worst)
Welcome to North Bennington, where criminals go to make a living. North Bennington has the 3rd highest crime rate in the state. When you’re within North Bennington city limits, you have a 1 in 10.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime such as a car break in or home invasion robbery every year.
Plus, there were 15 violent crimes here in 2015. For a city of 1,688 people, that’s absolutely off the charts high. You have a 1 in 111 chance of being raped, attacked or killed when you’re in North Bennington every year as well.
Population: 7,209Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Home Values: $223,700 (14th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (8th worst)
Winooski is also a pretty crummy place to live, when you look at the numbers. Yes, we’re aware that it’s beautiful and “fun”. But that ignores important things like jobs and income.
Winooski residents earn the 13th-lowest salaries in the state. At $49,596 a year, people here most likely have a hard time getting ahead in life. And the average home costs are $223,700, which means there isn’t a lot of demand.
Crime is the 15th highest in Vermont per capita, and the unemployment rate here is 8th highest in the state, at 6.2%.
Population: 2,712Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 4)
Home Values: $176,000 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (18th worst)
You can’t blame them for living in Swanton since it’s really beautiful, but there are sacrifices you make to live in the boonies. One of them is income.
Not only is the unemployment rate the 18th highest in the state here (3.6%), the residents in Swanton earn the smallest household income in the state of Vermont. At a combined income of $41,330, families of four are barely above the poverty line.
In addition, the crime here is really high for a small city in Vermont. Swanton has the 8th highest crime rate in the state.
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, Johnson ranks as the worst city to live in Vermont for 2018.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Vermont:
- South Burlington (Pop. 18,704)
- Woodstock (Pop. 1,054)
- Essex Junction (Pop. 9,922)
For more Vermont reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Drunkest Cities In Vermont – RoadSnacks
- If You’re From Vermont This Will Be The Most Jaw-Dropping Thing You See All Day. Guaranteed.
- These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Vermont – RoadSnacks
Detailed List Of The Worst Cities In Vermont