Vermont is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, progressive politics, and high quality of life. Nevertheless, not every town in the state boasts the same allure and opportunities for its residents.
Several towns grapple with significant challenges, including economic downturns, dwindling populations, environmental degradation, and social issues. These factors have prompted a considerable number of individuals to relocate in search of better prospects. Here are five Vermont towns that residents are departing as swiftly as possible:
Rutland, the second-largest city in Vermont with a population of approximately 15,000, has been experiencing a decline since 2010.
Many residents have departed due to a dearth of employment opportunities, elevated crime rates, meager incomes, and subpar education. Rutland grapples with a heroin epidemic leading to increased overdoses, violence, and homelessness. Environmental concerns, such as air pollution, water contamination, and flooding, further contribute to the town’s challenges.
Situated in Windsor County, Springfield, with a population of around 9,000, was once a thriving industrial center known for producing machine tools, precision instruments, and firearms.
However, the town now contends with a stagnant economy, heightened unemployment, low wages, and a diminishing tax base following the decline of manufacturing and the closure of numerous factories. Social issues, including poverty, drug abuse, and crime, exacerbate the town’s difficulties.
Bennington, the largest town in southern Vermont with a population of about 15,000, serves as a historic and cultural hub. Nonetheless, it grapples with population decline, economic downturns, and environmental issues.
The closure of businesses, departure of young and educated residents, and water contamination by the toxic chemical PFOA contribute to Bennington’s challenges. The town also contends with a high poverty rate, a low median household income, and a steep cost of living.
Nestled in Orleans County, Newport, with a population of approximately 4,000, sits along the scenic Lake Memphremagog. However, it faces population decline, economic stagnation, and social challenges.
The city endured setbacks from a fraudulent development project, intended to revitalize the area and generate numerous jobs. Newport also contends with a high poverty rate, a low median household income, and an elevated crime rate.
St. Johnsbury, located in Caledonia County with a population of around 7,000, stands as the largest town in northeastern Vermont and a cultural and educational center. Nevertheless, it has witnessed a decline in population, economic vitality, and environmental quality.
The town grapples with challenges stemming from the diminishing paper industry, loss of young and skilled workers, and the deterioration of historic buildings and infrastructure. Issues like poverty, drug addiction, and homelessness further compound St. Johnsbury’s difficulties.