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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 ranks as the worst city in Vermont. Located in Lamoille County, Morrisville has the 9th lowest income levels in the state of Vermont ($42,583), and some of the lowest number of doctors in the state. Crime is above average, and the unemployment rate is 5.7%.
According to science, Fair Haven is the 2nd worst place you can live in Vermont.
Let's see why. Fair Haven has the 12th-highest crime rate in the state, surprisingly. In terms of number of crimes per person, Fair Haven is certainly up there.
Factor in a very low housing cost ($143,500), and the 14th-highest unemployment rate in the state (5.0%), and across the board, Fair Haven doesn't sound like the best of the best.
Plus, there's simply not a lot to do here (unless you count having a Walmart and a Piggly Wiggly as fun). We're aware that people enjoy outdoor activities, but in terms of pure entertainment, you'd have to drive a ways away.
Milton needs some tough love.
Years ago, someone told me the sun never shines in Milton. That's not true, of course, but you can understand why she might say that when you analyze certain facts about Milton. Of the 26 cities considered in this ranking, Milton had the least to be proud of across the board.
Not only does Milton have Vermont's 20th lowest home value rank, but it also had the 2nd and 7th 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 Milton, tag them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 12)
Median Home Value: $280,900 (24th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (4th worst)
More on Manchester Center: Data
You might have passed through Manchester Center once and probably throught it seems to be a relatively quiet, clean place.
Here's what science says about why Manchester Center needs some love: The unemployment rate is nearly 7.6%, residents earn about $52,155 a year, and home prices are just over $280,900. Across the board, those are in the bottom half in the state. Not absolutely horrible, but not desirable, either.
And there simply isn't anything to do in Manchester Center.
Brattleboro, VT needs a big hug right now. Residents here are underpaid, underemployed and possibly lonely.
Additionally, crime is 4th worst in the state, which is very high considering Brattleboro is so far removed from the rest of Vermont.
If you know anyone in Brattleboro, dm them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.
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.
Here in Springfield, you have some of the highest crime and the highest unemployment rates in Vermont. That's not a good combination.
Located in Windsor County, you have a 1 in 22.6 chance of being the victim of a property crime when inside Springfield city limits every year. Some of those crimes might be due to the relatively high unemployment rate (3.1%). That's good for the 25th highest unemployment rate in Vermont.
When you're looking at science and data, Randolph is the worst place you can live in Vermont. Let's see why.
The unemployment rate here is 7.4%. The schools are underfunded, and property values are well below the state average. A home costs $180,300, which is a sure sign of lack of demand.
You have a 1 in 24.0 chance of being the victim of some type of property crime here every year. That's not fun, either.
Randolph is a far drive south from Louisville.
The unemployment rate in West Brattleboro is a sky high 8.3%, which is the 3rd highest in the state. Ouch.
The median income in West Brattleboro is $40,108. That means 15.8% of the population is living below the poverty line. Crime isn't horrible here, but you have a 1 in 14.8 chance of being the victim of a property crime when you're within city limits every year.
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:
- Best Places To Retire In Vermont
- Richest Cities In Vermont
- Safest Places In Vermont
- Best Cities For Singles In Vermont
Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Vermont?