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 1,200 people), we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in Vermont:
- Johnson (Photos)
- Morrisville (Photos)
- Newport (Photos)
- Barre (Photos)
- Enosburg Falls (Photos)
- Poultney (Photos)
- Bellows Falls (Photos)
- Lyndonville (Photos)
- Winooski (Photos)
- Rutland (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. And the worst place to live in Vermont? That would be Johnson.
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 1,000 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.
If you’re looking to live in Vermont, Johnson might not be the best choice as it places 1st in our ranking of the worst places to live for 2019.
The unemployment rate here is 7.1%, and households bring in a combined $32,330 a year in income. That’s not too far from the poverty line, even though money goes a lot further in the boonies of Vermont.
Crime is the 2nd highest in the state in Johnson as well. Just not a very desirable place at all to make home.
Morrisville needs some tough love as it ranks as the 2nd worst city to live in Vermont for 2019. 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 Morrisville is the 2nd highest in the state, where 1 in 4.5 people have a chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the latest FBI numbers.
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.
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.
Enosburg Falls is just a tiny place in the middle of nowhere where people have a hard time making ends meet. Folks here earn barely more than $47,083 a year, which is barely over the poverty line. And for Vermont, a 2.7% unemployment rate is really high.
Crime is also the 6th highest in Vermont here. Meaning people need to stop breaking into homes and start looking for jobs.
Poultney places 6th in our ranking of the worst places to live in Vermont.
You can imagine it’s a pretty simple life down there. Which is fine, unless you look closely at the data.
Homes are the 4th cheapest in the state, and at $136,300, just about anyone with a pulse can buy a home here. However, the unemployment rate (5.6%) is the 9th highest in Vermont, and income levels are far below the state average. And 18.4% of the population lives below the poverty line.
Would you have guessed that the area around Poultney has one of the highest crime rates, per capita in Vermont?
Things are starting to get progressively more ‘modern’ and in line with what you expect in a great state such as Vermont when we get to Bellows Falls. Sure, the unemployment rate is at 4.6% (which is really high), and the median income is $34,199. But the homes are at least above the $100,000 mark, and the schools aren’t a complete mess.
Lyndonville is a hot mess right now. There are some big economic problems here AND crime is really high. In fact, Lyndonville is the 19th most dangerous place you can live in Vermont.
Residents in Lyndonville have a 1 in 69.5 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 Lyndonville, where average homes are valued at only$132,300. That’s the 2nd-lowest in the state. But residents earn far less than in other cities, so their mortgage payments might still seem overwhelming.
Winooski needs some tough love.
Years ago, someone told me the sun never shines in Winooski. That’s not true, of course, but you can understand why she might say that when you analyze certain facts about Winooski. Of the 21 cities considered in this ranking, Winooski had the least to be proud of across the board.
Not only does Winooski have Vermont’s 14th lowest home value rank, but it also had the 7th and 13th 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 Winooski, tag them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.
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.
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 2019.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Vermont:
- Essex Junction (Pop. 10,132)
- South Burlington (Pop. 18,773)
- Woodstock (Pop. 1,156)
For more Vermont reading, check out:
- 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