These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Vermont For 2019


We used science and data to determine which cities in the Green Mountain State are the worst.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the worst places to live in Vermont.

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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 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:

  1. Johnson (Photos)
  2. Morrisville (Photos)
  3. Newport (Photos)
  4. Barre (Photos)
  5. Enosburg Falls (Photos)
  6. Poultney (Photos)
  7. Bellows Falls (Photos)
  8. Lyndonville (Photos)
  9. Winooski (Photos)
  10. 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.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

For more Vermont reading, check out:

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

The data comes from the Census’s most recent American Community Survey and from the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

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.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,462
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $157,700 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (2nd worst)
More on Johnson:  Data | Photos

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, VT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,128
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $177,100 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (10th worst)
More on Morrisville:  Data | Photos

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, VT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 4,372
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $129,800 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (1st worst)
More on Newport:  Data | Photos

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.

Barre, VT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,778
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $151,500 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (2nd worst)
More on Barre:  Data | Photos

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, VT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,306
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $166,500 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 2.7% (19th worst)
More on Enosburg Falls:  Data | Photos

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, VT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,510
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 8)
Median Home Value: $136,300 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.6% (9th worst)
More on Poultney:  Data | Photos

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?

Bellows Falls, VT

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 3,013
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $133,900 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (13th worst)
More on Bellows Falls:  Data | Photos

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, VT

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 1,390
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $132,300 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (6th worst)
More on Lyndonville:  Data | Photos

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, VT

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 7,203
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $217,100 (14th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (7th worst)
More on Winooski:  Data | Photos

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, VT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 15,740
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $150,900 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (12th worst)
More on Rutland:  Data | Photos

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:

  1. Essex Junction (Pop. 10,132)
  2. South Burlington (Pop. 18,773)
  3. Woodstock (Pop. 1,156)

For more Vermont reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Places To Live In Vermont

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Johnson 1,462 7.1% $157,700
2 Morrisville 2,128 5.4% $177,100
3 Newport 4,372 7.6% $129,800
4 Barre 8,778 7.1% $151,500
5 Enosburg Falls 1,306 2.7% $166,500
6 Poultney 1,510 5.6% $136,300
7 Bellows Falls 3,013 4.6% $133,900
8 Lyndonville 1,390 6.5% $132,300
9 Winooski 7,203 6.1% $217,100
10 Rutland 15,740 4.7% $150,900
11 St. Albans 6,847 6.5% $172,400
12 North Bennington 1,685 4.0% $191,200
13 Waterbury 1,832 4.7% $246,300
14 Burlington 42,453 5.8% $267,500
15 Swanton 2,632 3.0% $179,000
16 Vergennes 2,606 7.0% $217,000
17 Jericho 1,420 2.1% $259,300
18 Montpelier 7,584 3.2% $235,300
19 Essex Junction 10,132 4.5% $272,400
20 South Burlington 18,773 3.0% $280,800
21 Woodstock 1,156 2.0% $386,700

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24 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Vermont For 2019

  1. In the time it takes to drive from Charlotte to Burlington (since NOTHING happens in Charlotte), someone in Bennington could be in Albany, NY. I’m also not sure why low home prices is a negative thing – they’re actually affordable, unlike that top list. Also, anyone who calls these towns cities, is clearly not from around here.

  2. The reason some places didn’t make the list was probably population, they said they had a baseline number. Another reason some beautiful places didn’t make the list is because beauty was not a factor only science and numbers. As far as the article itself if the people writing it went to any of the underfunded schools, there’s your answer. They said at the beginning of the article that it was for entertainment and not to get bent.

  3. My good friend, I’m proud to say my home town of Highgate is in the TOP 50 best cites to live in in Vermont. Highgate is 30 minutes to downtown Burlington and 45 minutes (depending on border time) to downtown Montreal. Not a lot of places in Vermont or New England can boast that. Too bad your science didn’t include proximity to Major Cities, throw that into the ol’ processor as see what happens. Fun read never the less.

  4. I am surprised that Burlington wasn’t on the top 10 worse places in Vermont list there is so much criminal activity that goes on there and I just don’t feel that you are looking deep enough I mean come on get a clue the drug Population is ridiculous the heroin epidemic is over the charts and crimes there are higher than what’s being told I’m just Saying that it could be alot worse then saint albans so I do believe you should do your science and Day again before you put places that aren’t really that bad

  5. TRY LIVING IN MASS, CONN, NY, I LIVED IN VERMONT FOR 8 YRS AND STILL REMEMBER IT AS THE MOST WONDERFUL PLACE TO LIVE , MAYBE ITS COLD , BUT TO SEE DARK AND DINGEY GHETTOS SPREAD ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES , VERMONT IS THE BEST PLACE TO LIVE ,

    1. I just visited my son and brother in Perkinsville, VT and fell in love with this state. I thought Woodstock was a quaint little town with extremely friendly people. I’ve lived in Maine, Mass and New Hampshire but never visited Vermont up until now and I’m so happy I did. I currently live in Florida and plan to make my way to Vermont within a year. I’ll be renting an apartment once there, any towns you recommend just outside of perkinsville for decent pricing?

  6. I lived in bennington for 25 years and can honestly say I would never move back, high rent, low paying jobs, not a place to raise a family, little to nothing to do.but if ya like winter and freezing for seven months out of the year have at it.

  7. So, Bennington is the 12th most dangerous town in the state which ranks second out of fifty for lowest crime. It’s obvious! Stay away from Bennington! You’re in danger there!

  8. Vermont is a shithole. The people are unwelcoming, insular assholes. Can’t wait to get the hell out of here. Relocating here from the mid-atlantic for a job opportunity was one of the worst mistakes of my life.

  9. Totally agree with Barre. It’s a shithole all on it’s own with people with some sort of street/gang mentality. Thinking they’re tough shits walking the streets, probably haven’t walked a street in NY their whole life so they gotta settle doing it somewhere in VT. Half the neighborhoods are dumps that charge over $700+ to live in because it has had a history of abusers/druggies live in it.

    The road crew at most times are incredibly neglectful of roads in Barre, considering that some of them possess some of the worst of the potholes that makes you swerve and swerve to avoid them. Cracks and creases left in the roads for all to run into and auto garages are probably making fortunes from people with banged up suspensions and tires from these roads.

    The people in the populace mostly consist of pot smokers, druggies, alcoholics, bitter elders and young couples that look like a domestic abuse report is waiting to happen. We have over 20 churches/religious communities scattered across town, all devoted to the same religion. It’s kinda funny too because not far from them are the bars because where else can you go and who would listen to you recount a thousand mistakes at once?

    Barre does deserve to be higher but just knowing it’s acknowledged as a shit place on a list at all is good enough. It’s got no future.

  10. To say that Burlington isn’t one of the best places to live in Vermont is pretty funny. Sure the rent is high downtown, but head in any direction from 20 min and that changes quickly. Yes there has been an increase in crime, drug addiction and violence- over the last 5 year especially. But I would say it has increased at rate seemingly relative to the growth of Burlington itself.

    Burlington has been nationally touted as one of the best cities to raise a family.. in the country. It is also the epicenter of social interaction and cultural expression, which is a pretty rare thing in Vermont. And it’s a city that runs entirely on renewable energy to boot.

    I’m was born in New Haven Ct, then moved to Montgomery Vermont as a young child and grew up there, and now Burlington… I love it and there is new stuff being built everywhere you look.

  11. VT is the worst state in the usa. Cold, cloudy, rains all the time then snows. High taxes, high living expenses, no services. It totally blows. Roads suck and 55 percent are dirt. Cheap state as 1/3 of the scum are on welfare and pills. Those who work pick up the tab. If you’re a far left libby and thinks sanders is great then VT is for you. It’s the type of place you have to be born and raised in and most of those people have moved out. Lolo lol VT sucks and the people blow.

    1. I cant tell if you are high or just blind…Sure yes in the winter time Vermont can get VERY cold but its the same in most of the east coast its gonna rain a lot its gonna get cold after summer. It ain’t California where no snow or rain ever happens. I wouldn’t say its the best place for people but to say “VT sucks” And is the worst in the usa is wrong on so many levels.

    2. Well I speak for all Vermonters that live, work n make a great living, have raised law abiding, well mannered, educated, hard working children. THANK YOU FOR LEAVING OUR STATE!!! N DONT RETURN!!

  12. There’s an error in the Rutland section, it talks about Barre:

    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.

  13. My husband and I have settled on Bennington as the place we want to retire. It’s charming and affordable. We love Burlington, but the cost of real estate there is too high. Also, generally speaking, Vermont is beautiful everywhere you look.
    Bad roads? C”mon down to South Carolina. While Vermont roads might be rough here and there, generally, they are good. Here, tjey ate dangerously bad and usually have no shoulders. As for crime, I have to laugh. Y’all seem to be comparing Bennington’s crime rate to some abstract ideal. Where we currently live in Upstate South Carolina, the crime is horrific and deadly and frequent. Shootings, child rapes, robberies, home invasions and every kind of abuse you can and cannot imagine. One woman hung her son’s still-living dog over a fire because it chewed on her Bible. A while back, some guy in Traveler’s Rest raped a 3-month old baby. She died as a result. And surely you’ve heard of Susan Smith. She drowned her children by running her car into a lake and leaving them to drown. That happened right here. We had a serial killer who shot and killed three people for giving him lip. A few years later, he killed more people, and as you may have heard, he kept a young woman locked in an empty semi trailer for months before he was finally, recently, caught. This is everyday stuff, here. I’m not kidding. Look at the local news on WYFN 4 for a few days. And terrible car accidents are routine. As of late July, South Carolina already had toted up 530 traffic fatalties this year.
    Count your blessings, Vermont.

  14. I lived in Vermont for many years actually born in Bristol,Vt at my grandparents house. I currently live in Augusta GA. The crime rate in Vermont is no different now than what it was when I was growing up in the late 80-90s. Perhaps it was people were not so quick to report to the police and handled things a bit differently than they do now. I know that when I was wandering around town with the”gang” just some kids from school we were starting to get harassed by officers for just being kids and horsing around. I believe that is why in doubt that the drug rate has increased and the violence and just about everything else has. Everyone is different and well they way I look at it Vermont you are being an enabler. Since I have been in Georgia now going on 4 years, I am completely sober, I have become a successful business owner and am raising a little boy who is able to be just that a little boy. Thanks to the Lord and not being judged by my community I have overcome addiction, mindful that no rehab center down here did I attend. If maybe you would open your mind about situations and ways to blossom your community then you might get a better community. All I am saying is that where there’s a will there’s a way. I have come from the armpit of Vermont, been the addict and the homeless panhandler, everyone of these towns I’ve been through. Work together and don’t be so judgemental, maybe you could have a better place to call home. Vermont is very beautiful it’s the people that make it so ugly. Thanks for letting me rant. Be blessed

  15. This person obviously hasn’t been to any of these towns. I guess based on statistics you can make these claims but it doesn’t factor in that many people don’t work in the towns they live in or if you move to one you can find a job within 30-45 minutes of scenic driving. Not big city traffic. I moved to Morrisville and can tell you it is one of the best towns to live. Its small but they have enough going on that you won’t get bored. There is a bar/restaurant that has music daily and a few good restaurants. Its not far from Stowe and Waterbury but its much more affordable. 30 minutes from Stowe and Smugglers notch for skiing. Only an hour from burlington. There is a 20 mile bike path that goes thru town and isn’t finished. Once complete it will go for 90 miles across the state. That is pretty awesome. There is a park in town with community gardens and also has free music every week. The people in this town are the nicest I have ever met. Every time i meet someone i think about how great this town is. Sometimes you have to look beyond statistics and look at quality of life.

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