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:
- Morrisville (Photos)
- Fair Haven (Photos)
- Milton (Photos)
- West Rutland
- Newport (Photos)
- West Brattleboro (Photos)
- Barre (Photos)
- St. Johnsbury (Photos)
- Springfield (Photos)
- White River Junction
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
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.
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.
Here in Fair Haven, you have some of the highest crime and the highest unemployment rates in Vermont. That’s not a good combination.
Located in Rutland County, you have a 1 in 30.9 chance of being the victim of a property crime when inside Fair Haven city limits every year. Some of those crimes might be due to the relatively high unemployment rate (6.3%). That’s good for the 12th highest unemployment rate in Vermont.
Milton takes the 3rd worst place spot on this list for a number of reasons — below average education, income, unemployment, and student expenditure statistics.
But what gives Milton its main thrust toward the top of this shameful list is its crime index — the 10th worst in the whole state.
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 science and data, West Rutland is the worst place you can live in Vermont. Let’s see why.
The unemployment rate here is 7.6%. The schools are underfunded, and property values are well below the state average. A home costs $151,800, which is a sure sign of lack of demand.
You have a 1 in 30.9 chance of being the victim of some type of property crime here every year. That’s not fun, either.
West Rutland is a far drive south from Louisville.
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 ranks as the 6th worst place to live in Vermont for 2019.
The issues West Brattleboro has is with its local economy. The unemployment rate is the 7th highest in Vermont (7.1%), and as you might expect, the household salaries and home prices are both towards the bottom of Vermont.
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 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.
Springfield residents earn the 3rd-lowest salaries in the state. At $35,463 a year, people here most likely have a hard time getting ahead in life. And the average home costs are $131,300, which means there isn’t a lot of demand.
Crime is the 8th highest in Vermont per capita, and the unemployment rate here is 23rd highest in the state, at 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
White River Junction, VT needs a big hug right now. Residents here are underpaid, underemployed and possibly lonely.
Additionally, crime is 8th worst in the state, which is very high considering White River Junction is so far removed from the rest of Vermont.
If you know anyone in White River Junction, dm them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.
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:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Vermont
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Vermont
- 10 Safest Places In Vermont
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Vermont
Detailed List Of The Worst Places To Live In Vermont
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