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 2,100 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 2019.
For more Vermont reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Vermont
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Vermont
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Vermont
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Vermont For 2019
Morrisville’s situation is very similar to others on the list; bottom of the barrel scores in unemployment, income, and crime, with decent education statistics keeping it from the very top of this list.
Morrisville has the 1st worst crime index of any place in Vermont, and has the 7th lowest income.
Fair Haven is a really small, densely populated place in Vermont.
The unemployment rate here is sky high at 6.3%, and income levels are the 12th lowest in Vermont. Homes sell for an average of $146,100.
If you’re trying to have some sort of professional career in Vermont, this is one of the last places you would want to live.
You can sure expect that Milton is going to be a pretty rough place to live, it comes in 3rd in our analysis. It is. In fact, Milton has the 10th-highest crime rate in the state. Probably no surprises there.
There were 8 violent crimes here in 2019, and residents have a 1 in 22.7 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That means, most likely, if you live in Milton, either you or someone on your block had their home or car broken into last year.
You can also imagine that the economy here is in the pits — the unemployment rate sits at 9.2% which is the 2nd worst in Vermont.
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $151,800 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (4th worst)
More on West Rutland: Data
When you’re looking at things from purely a scientific standpoint, West Rutland is the 4th worst place in the state of Vermont.
The U.S. defines the poverty line at $24,600 a year for a family of four. West Rutland is right on the verge of that when you look at what the average citizen there earns a year. And the home values are eye-opening low. On average, the home value in West Rutland are the 8th lowest in the entire state.
And when you factor in high crime and a high tax rate, it really can’t get much worse in Vermont.
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.
West Brattleboro takes the 6th worst place spot on this list for a number of reasons — below average education, income, unemployment, and student expenditure statistics.
But what gives West Brattleboro its main thrust toward the top of this shameful list is its crime index — the 6th worst in the whole state.
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 2019, according to the FBI. That’s amazingly low.
Barre also has the 8th lowest home values and a below average publicly funded education system.
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.
Springfield ranks as the 9th worst city in Vermont. Located in Windsor County, Springfield has the 3rd lowest income levels in the state of Vermont ($35,463), and some of the lowest number of doctors in the state. Crime is above average, and the unemployment rate is 4.2%.
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $196,800 (17th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (7th worst)
More on White River Junction: Data
While numbers in Vermont are clearly better when you compare them to the rest of the nation, the fact is when you compare Vermont cities against one another, you see big differences.
Home values in White River Junction average $196,800, which is the 17th lowest in the state. Say what you want about ‘cheap living,’ the fact is homes are priced by demand, and there’s not a lot of demand to live in White River Junction.
Plus, 15.7% of the population here lives below the poverty line.
Plus, the crime rate is the 8th highest in the state here. Every year, when you’re within White River Junction city limits, you have a 1 in 22.6 chance of being robbed. That’s a lot of broken into cars and homes.
How we determined the worst places to live in Vermont for 2019
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.
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 2019.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Vermont:
- Essex Junction (Pop. 10,132)
- Montpelier (Pop. 7,584)
- South Burlington (Pop. 18,773)
For more Vermont reading, check out: