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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 26 of the state's most populous cities (over 2,000 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 2020.
For more Vermont reading, check out:
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Vermont For 2020
Morrisville is the most dangerous place in the state of Vermont. That's part of the reason it's the worst place in Vermont.
The fact remains, that when you're within Morrisville city limits, you have a 1 in 5.5 chance of being robbed or having something you own vandalized.Does that sound like a fun place to live?
Did you know Morrisville also has the 12th highest unemployment rate in the state at 5.7%? Or that homes are only valued at $169,700?
Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there's little demand to live in Morrisville.
Fair Haven is in a bad place. Again, the household incomes here are really, really low, and the average home value is $143,500. That means it ranks as the 5th lowest in Vermont.
You can make a case that based on the fact that Fair Haven has no real indoor entertainment, and crime is the 12th worst in the state, it's one of the worst places you can live in Vermont.
What the heck is going on in little Milton? The crime is the 7th highest in the state of Vermont. Here, residents have a 1 in 21.3 chance of being robbed. That means if you live here, and didn't have something stolen from you, there's a good chance your neighbor did.
That ratio is one of the highest we've seen in the nation. Perhaps the high unemployment rate has something to do with it. More than 9.9% of Milton residents were without jobs in the latest numbers we collected, which is the 2nd highest in the state.
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 12)
Median Home Value: $280,900 (24th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (4th worst)
More on Manchester Center: Data
Manchester Center, where there's absolutely nothing to do unless you enjoy bowling, ranks as the 4th worst city in Vermont.
Besides the lack of pure amenities, Manchester Center has some real economic problems to contend with. The unemployment rate hovers near 7.6%, and families earn around $52,155 a year. It's also the 6th highest in Vermont for crime, where 1 in 16.1 people gets robbed every year.
Does living in a place where people who come to visit are robbed sound like fun?
The same problems that plague other cities on the list also affect Brattleboro. The only real difference is Brattleboro is a tiny bit safer, and the schools are rated a lot higher in terms of resources for students.
However, the unemployment rate in Brattleboro is at 10.0%, which is the worst in Vermont. And households earn a combined $40,056 a year, which is far below the state average. An average home in Brattleboro is merely $193,300.
Brattleboro is across the Tangier Sound on Route 50.
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.
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.
When you're looking at the worst places you could live in Vermont, Springfield came in 8th. Let's see why.
The city has very bad crime (10th worst) and an employment rate that's nearly the highest for cities of its size 3.1%. On the bright side, K-12 student spending is highest here than in the entire state.
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 Randolph average $180,300, which is the 15th 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 Randolph.
Plus, 14.2% of the population here lives below the poverty line.
Plus, the crime rate is the 11th highest in the state here. Every year, when you're within Randolph city limits, you have a 1 in 24.0 chance of being robbed. That's a lot of broken into cars and homes.
Say what you want about how beautiful West Brattleboro might be. The fact is that the economy here is one of the worst in the state.
The unemployment rate rankss 3rd highest in the state at 8.3%. Homes are the 10th lowest priced ($161,300), and the median income per household is just a tad over $40,108.
The fact is most of the people who live here are having a hard time making ends meet, when you consider their earned incomes and lack of jobs.
How we determined the worst places to live in Vermont for 2020
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. 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, Morrisville ranks as the worst city to live in Vermont for 2020.
If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Vermont:
- Vergennes (Pop. 2,612)
- Montpelier (Pop. 7,547)
- South Burlington (Pop. 18,975)
For more Vermont reading, check out:
Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Vermont?