These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Vermont


These are the cream of the crop in the Green Mountain State.

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Where are the best places in the state of Vermont? They are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places where people have the best jobs, where residents are happily married, and where the sun shines the most.

And certainly, since crime is really low, every one wants to be there. It’s, literally, all sunshine and rainbows.

We looked at the 17 most populated cities in the Green Mountain State for this study. The cities at the top are places where things are going swimmingly right now, at least according to data, which measures the good things that people say they want in a Vermont city.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against. We had more than 10 million people read our worst cities in a state series, which was featured in hundreds of media outlets, including an NPR feature.

So we know what we’re talking about.

Here are the 10 best places to live in Vermont:

  1. Shelburne
  2. Essex
  3. Williston
  4. Essex Junction
  5. Colchester
  6. South Burlington
  7. Winooski
  8. Burlington
  9. Morristown
  10. Middlebury

We understand there’s a lot of good in every place. However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty, ‘friendly people’ and community involvement), these are the best options in Vermont for making a place home.

The worst city to live in Vermont? St. Albans. More on that later.

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How do you decide if a place is amazeballs or not?

In order to rank Vermont’s best cities, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, good weather, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we crunched the numbers for Vermont

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the government census, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Sperling’s Best Places, this is the criteria we used:

  • Strong schools
  • Low unemployment rates
  • High incomes
  • High home prices
  • Lots of sunny days a year
  • Low crime
  • Low cost of living

If you’d like to see the complete list of cities in Vermont, scroll to the bottom of this post to see a link to the entire data set.

Note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. This list is based on data, and is entirely unbiased. The cost of living numbers are based on an average of 100, so anything lower than 100 is more affordable.

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1. Shelburne

Best Vermont

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,265
Crime Index: 53
Cost Of Living Index: 113

This town is truly a remarkable place to live, situated along Lake Champlain, south of Burlington.

2. Essex

Best Vermont

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 19,678
Crime Index: 63
Cost Of Living Index: 127

The largest town in Vermont, this cute place is located in Chittenden County. It’s relatively expensive, but well worth it.

3. Williston

Best Vermont

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,723
Crime Index: 63
Cost Of Living Index: 130

This little town is on the eastern side of Burlington. It’s even more expensive than Essex, but all other numbers make it one of the best places to live in the state.

4. Essex Junction

Best Vermont

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,298
Crime Index: 63
Cost Of Living Index: 123

Essex Village is a little village in the town of Essex, which is an eastern Burlington suburb.

5. Colchester

Best Vermont

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 17,139
Crime Index: 91
Cost Of Living Index: 115

Colchester sits along Lake Champlain, and is one of the prettiest areas in the state. It’s a short drive north of Burlington.

6. South Burlington

Best Vermont

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 17,913
Crime Index: 87
Cost Of Living Index: 121

South Burlington sits between Lake Champlain and the Burlington airport. It’s relatively safe, but a bit more affordable than some other smaller areas outside of the greater Burlington area.

7. Winooski

Best Vermont

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,223
Crime Index: 118
Cost Of Living Index: 120

This small town is connected to the north side of Burlington.

8. Burlington

Best Vermont

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 42,259
Crime Index: 105
Cost Of Living Index: 124

Home of the University of Vermont, and at the edge of Lake Champlain, Burlington is not only one of the best cities in the state, it’s one of the finest large cities in all of New England.

9. Morristown

Best Vermont

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,231
Crime Index: 50
Cost Of Living Index: 128

This is a small town way out in the center of the state. It’s a great option for those who want country living.

10. Middlebury

Best Vermont

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,518
Crime Index: 93
Cost Of Living Index: 120

This small town is far south of Burlington, and is on the edge of the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forest.

There You Have It

Looking at the data, you can tell that anything within a 30-minute drive of Burlington is the most desirable, according to science and data. But as most Vermont residents would agree, almost every place here is awesome.

Other notable cities:
3rd Worst: Barre
2nd Worst: St. Johnsbury
Worst: St. Albans

We also wrote about the 10 worst places to live in Vermont if you’re interested in that study.

Detailed List Of Best Places To Live In Vermont

City Rank Population Crime Index Cost Of Living Index
Shelburne 1 7,265 53 113
Essex 2 19,678 63 127
Williston 3 8,723 63 130
Essex Junction 4 9,298 63 123
Colchester 5 17,139 91 115
South Burlington 6 17,913 87 121
Winooski 7 7,223 118 120
Burlington 8 42,259 105 124
Morristown 9 5,231 50 128
Middlebury 10 6,518 93 120
Montpelier 11 7,847 100 115
Rockingham 12 5,242 91 108
Lyndon 13 5,953 67 149
Rutland 14 16,478 97 105
Barre 15 9,044 107 103
St. Johnsbury 16 6,420 66 96
St. Albans 17 6,944 105 105

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