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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 25 of the state's most populous cities (over 2,200 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 Newport.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2021.
For more Vermont reading, check out:
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Vermont For 2021
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.
This may or may not be a surprise to you, but Springfield 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 23.9 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 Springfield 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 Springfield are really low. People here earn about $37,273 a year per household.
Additionally, the public schools in Springfield 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 Springfield.
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.
When you're looking at the worst places you could live in Vermont, Morrisville ranks 4th worst. Let's see why.
Here in Morrisville, crime is the highest in the state, and 1 out of 4.2 residents was robbed here according to the latest FBI numbers.
That's not the first place you think of making home, is it?
Additionally, you have a 1 in 201 chance of being the victim of a violent crime, which includes rapes, attacks or murders. That's really high.
When you look at adult education in Vermont, the folks in Morrisville have the 15th highest drop out rate. And other factors that make Morrisville undesirable are the low median incomes and home prices.
The unemployment rate is the 5th highest in Vermont, at 7.2%. That's actually on par with the national average, which means Vermont has some hard workers.
Brattleboro needs some tough love.
Years ago, someone told me the sun never shines in Brattleboro. That's not true, of course, but you can understand why she might say that when you analyze certain facts about Brattleboro. Of the 25 cities considered in this ranking, Brattleboro had the least to be proud of across the board.
Not only does Brattleboro have Vermont's 16th lowest home value rank, but it also had the 7th and 4th 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 Brattleboro, tag them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.
If you live in West Brattleboro, you're either going to fiercely protect your town, or you agree that it should be on this list. Either way, it doesn't matter, because science says it's the 6th worst place to live in the state.
You've got the 4th highest crime rate in Vermont, which saw 80 violent crimes last year. You have a 1 in 10.6 chance of being robbed and a 1 in 135 chance of being attacked, raped or killed here for every year you spend in the city limits of West Brattleboro.
Plus, folks are simply out of work. West Brattleboro sports the state's 18th highest unemployment rate (3.6%), and families bring in a combined $31,918 a year, which is far below the state average.
No wonder homes are cheap; you can get one yourself for only $167,400.
Randolph is one of the poorest cities in the state of Vermont. This city has 8.3% of its residents out of work, and those who have jobs earn under $48,636 a year.
Cities can be charming, but not when they are dangerous. Randolph has the 12th highest crime rate in Vermont. While the numbers aren't staggering (Vermont is a relatively safe place when you compare it to the rest of the country), it's still undesirable when you consider that there are far safer (and more stimulating) places to make your home in the Green Mountain State.
Here in Swanton, you have some of the highest crime and the highest unemployment rates in Vermont. That's not a good combination.
Located in Franklin County, you have a 1 in 40.8 chance of being the victim of a property crime when inside Swanton city limits every year. Some of those crimes might be due to the relatively high unemployment rate (7.6%). That's good for the 3rd highest unemployment rate in 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 2021, according to the FBI. That's amazingly low.
Barre also has the 8th lowest home values and a below average publicly funded education system.
Milton is the 7th most dangerous place in the state of Vermont. That's part of the reason it's the 10th worst place in Vermont.
The fact remains, that when you're within Milton city limits, you have a 1 in 21.4 chance of being robbed or having something you own vandalized.Does that sound like a fun place to live?
Did you know Milton also has the highest unemployment rate in the state at 8.9%? Or that homes are only valued at $255,400?
Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there's little demand to live in Milton.
How we determined the worst places to live in Vermont for 2021
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 25 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 25 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 -- Newport. 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, Newport ranks as the worst city to live in Vermont for 2021.
If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Vermont:
- Vergennes (Pop. 2,596)
- Montpelier (Pop. 7,477)
- South Burlington (Pop. 19,162)
For more Vermont reading, check out:
Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Vermont?