Vermont
State of Vermont
Nickname(s): 
The Green Mountain State
Motto(s): 
Freedom and Unity and Stella quarta decima fulgeat (May the 14th star shine bright)
Anthem: These Green Mountains
Map of the United States with Vermont highlighted
Map of the United States with Vermont highlighted
CountryUnited States
Before statehoodVermont Republic
Admitted to the UnionMarch 4, 1791 (14th)
CapitalMontpelier
Largest cityBurlington
Largest metroGreater Burlington
Government
 • GovernorPhil Scott (R)
 • Lieutenant GovernorDavid Zuckerman (P)
LegislatureGeneral Assembly
 • Upper houseSenate
 • Lower houseHouse of Representatives
JudiciaryVermont Supreme Court
U.S. senatorsPatrick Leahy (D)
Bernie Sanders (I)[1]
U.S. House delegationPeter Welch (D) (list)
Area
 • Total9,616 sq mi (24,923 km2)
 • Land9,250 sq mi (23,957.39 km2)
 • Water382 sq mi (989 km2)  4.1%
Area rank45th
Dimensions
 • Length160 mi (260 km)
 • Width80 mi (130 km)
Elevation
1,000 ft (300 m)
Highest elevation4,395 ft (1,340 m)
Lowest elevation95 to 100 ft (29 to 30 m)
Population
 (2019)
 • Total623,989
 • Rank49th
 • Density67.7/sq mi (26.1/km2)
 • Density rank30th
 • Median household income
$57,513[5]
 • Income rank
28th
Demonym(s)Vermonter
Language
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (EDT)
USPS abbreviation
VT
ISO 3166 codeUS-VT
Trad. abbreviationVt.
Latitude42°44′ N to 45°1′ N
Longitude71°28′ W to 73°26′ W
Websitewww.vermont.gov
Vermont state symbols
Flag of Vermont.svg
Vermont state seal.svg
Coat of arms of Vermont.svg
Living insignia
AmphibianNorthern leopard frog
Rana pipiens
BirdHermit thrush
Catharus guttatus
FishBrook trout
Salvelinus fontinalis
Walleye
Sander vitreous vitreous
FlowerRed clover
Trifolium pratense
InsectWestern honey bee
Apis mellifera
MammalMorgan horse
ReptilePainted turtle
TreeSugar maple
Acer saccharum
Inanimate insignia
BeverageMilk
FoodApple pie
FossilBeluga whale[6]
GemstoneGrossular garnet
MineralTalc
RockGranite, marble, slate
SoilTunbridge
State route marker
Vermont state route marker
State quarter
Vermont quarter dollar coin
Released in 2001
Lists of United States state symbols

Vermont (/vərˈmɒnt/ (About this soundlisten))[7] is a northeastern state in the New England region of the United States. It borders the states of Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, and New York to the west, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. Vermont is the only state in New England that does not border the Atlantic Ocean. Vermont is the second-least-populated U.S. state and the sixth-smallest by area of the 50 U.S. states. The state capital is Montpelier, the least-populous state capital in the United States. The most-populous city, Burlington, is the least-populous city to be the most-populous city in a state.

For some 12,000 years, indigenous peoples inhabited this area. The historically competitive tribes of the Algonquian-speaking Abenaki and Iroquoian-speaking Mohawk were active in the area at the time of European encounter.

During the 17th century, French colonists claimed the territory as part of the Kingdom of France's colony of New France. After the Kingdom of Great Britain began to settle colonies to the south along the Atlantic coast, the two nations competed in North America in addition to Europe. For years, each country enlisted Native American allies in continuous raiding and warfare between the New England and New France colonies. This produced an active trade in captives taken during such raids, often held for ransom, although some captives were adopted by families into the Mohawk or Abenaki tribes.

After being defeated in 1763 in the Seven Years' War, France ceded its territory east of the Mississippi River to Great Britain. Thereafter, the nearby British Thirteen Colonies, especially the provinces of New Hampshire and New York, disputed the extent of the area called the New Hampshire Grants to the west of the Connecticut River, encompassing present-day Vermont. The provincial government of New York sold land grants to settlers in the region, which conflicted with earlier grants from the government of New Hampshire. The Green Mountain Boys militia protected the interests of the established New Hampshire land grant settlers against the newly arrived settlers with land titles granted by New York.

Ultimately, a group of settlers with New Hampshire land grant titles established the Vermont Republic in 1777 as an independent state during the American Revolutionary War. The Vermont Republic abolished slavery before any of the other states.[8][9] Vermont was also the first state to produce an African-American university graduate, Alexander Twilight, in 1823.

Vermont was admitted to the newly established United States as the fourteenth state in 1791. Vermont is one of the four U.S. states that were previously sovereign states (along with Texas, California, and Hawaii).

During the mid-19th century, Vermont was a strong source of abolitionist sentiment, although it was also tied to King Cotton through the development of textile mills in the region, which relied on southern cotton. It sent a significant contingent of soldiers to participate in the American Civil War.

The geography of the state is marked by the Green Mountains, which run north–south up the middle of the state, separating Lake Champlain and other valley terrain on the west from the Connecticut River valley that defines much of its eastern border. A majority of its terrain is forested with hardwoods and conifers, and a majority of its open land is devoted to agriculture. The state's climate is characterized by warm, humid summers and cold, snowy winters.

Vermont's economic activity of $34 billion in 2018 ranked 52nd on the list of U.S. states and territories by GDP (every state plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico were larger), but 34th in GDP per capita. In 1960, Vermonters' politics started to shift from being reliably Republican toward favoring Democratic candidates. Starting in 1963, Vermont voters have alternated between electing Republican and Democratic governors. Since 2007, Vermont has elected only Democrats and independents to Congress. In 2000, the state legislature was the first to recognize civil unions for same-sex couples. In 2011–2012, the state officially recognized four Abenaki tribes.

Etymology

Samuel de Champlain claimed the area around what is now Lake Champlain, giving the name, Verd Mont (Green Mountain) to the region he found, on a 1647 map.[10] Evidence suggests that this name came into use among English settlers, before it morphed to "Vermont", ca. 1760.[11][12] In 1777, Thomas Young introduced the name in writing with a broadside "To the Inhabitants of Vermont, a Free and Independent State".[11]

Geography

Map of Vermont showing cities, roads, and rivers
Western face of Camel's Hump Mountain (elevation 4,079 feet (1,243 m)).[13]
Population density of Vermont

Vermont is located in the New England region of the Northeastern United States and comprises 9,614 square miles (24,900 km2), making it the 45th-largest state. It is the only state that does not have any buildings taller than 124 feet (38 m).[14] Land comprises 9,250 square miles (24,000 km2) and water comprises 365 square miles (950 km2), making it the 43rd-largest in land area and the 47th in water area. In total area, it is larger than El Salvador and smaller than Haiti. It is the only landlocked state in New England, and it is the easternmost and the smallest in area of all landlocked states.

The Green Mountains in Vermont form a north–south spine running most of the length of the state, slightly west of its center. In the southwest portion of the state are located the Taconic Mountains.[15] In the northwest, near Lake Champlain, is the fertile Champlain Valley. In the south of the valley is Lake Bomoseen.

The west bank of the Connecticut River marks the state's eastern border with New Hampshire, though much of the river flows within New Hampshire's territory.[16] 41% of Vermont's land area is part of the Connecticut River's watershed.[17]

Lake Champlain, the sixth-largest body of fresh water in the United States, separates Vermont from New York in the northwest portion of the state. From north to south, Vermont is 159 miles (256 km) long. Its greatest width, from east to west, is 89 miles (143 km) at the Canada–U.S. border; the narrowest width is 37 miles (60 km) near the Massachusetts border. The width averages 60.5 miles (97.4 km). The state's geographic center is approximately three miles (5 km) east of Roxbury, in Washington County. There are fifteen U.S. federal border crossings between Vermont and Canada.

Several mountains have timberlines with delicate year-round alpine ecosystems, including Mount Mansfield, the highest mountain in the state; Killington Peak, the second-highest; Camel's Hump, the state's third-highest; and Mount Abraham, the fifth-highest peak.[18] Areas in Vermont administered by the National Park Service include the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park (in Woodstock) and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.[19]

Cities

Vermont has nine incorporated cities.

City populations (2010 Census)
City Population
Burlington
42,417
South Burlington
17,904
Rutland
16,495
Barre
9,052
Montpelier
7,855
Winooski
7,267
St. Albans
6,918
Newport
5,005
Vergennes
2,741

The most populous city in Vermont is Burlington. Its metropolitan area is also the most populous in the state, with an estimate of 218,395 as of 2017.

Largest towns

Although these towns are large enough to be considered cities, they are not incorporated as such.

Large town populations (2010 Census)
Town Population
Essex
19,587
Colchester
17,067
Bennington
15,764
Brattleboro
12,046
Milton
10,352
Hartford
9,952
Springfield
9,373
Williston
8,698
Middlebury
8,496
Barre
7,924
St. Johnsbury
7,603
Shelburne
7,144

Climate

Vermont winter landscape

The annual mean temperature for the state is 43 °F (6 °C).[20] Vermont has a humid continental climate, with muddy springs, in general a mild early summer, hot Augusts; it has colorful autumns: Vermont's hills reveal red, orange, and (on sugar maples) gold foliage as cold weather approaches.[21] Winters are colder at higher elevations.[22] It has a Köppen climate classification of Dfb, a warm humid continental climate.[23]

The rural northeastern section known as the "Northeast Kingdom" often averages 10 °F (5.6 °C) colder than the southern areas of the state during winter. The annual snowfall averages between 60 and 100 inches (1,500 and 2,500 mm) depending on elevation. Vermont is the seventh coldest state in the country.[24]

The highest recorded temperature was 105 °F (41 °C), at Vernon, on July 4, 1911. The lowest recorded temperature was −50 °F (−46 °C), at Bloomfield, on December 30, 1933; this is the lowest temperature recorded in New England alongside Big Black River, which recorded a verified −50 °F (−46 °C) in 2009.[25][26] The agricultural growing season ranges from 120 to 180 days.[27] The United States Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones for the state range between zone 3b, no colder than −35 °F (−37 °C), in the Northeast Kingdom and northern part of the state and zone 5b, no colder than −15 °F (−26 °C), in the southern part of the state.[28] The state receives between 2,200 and 2,400 hours of sunshine annually. New England as a whole receives a range of less than 2,000 hours of sunshine in part of New Hampshire to as much as 2,600 hours of sunshine per year in Connecticut and Rhode Island.[29]

Climate change

Köppen climate types in Vermont, showing that nearly the entire state is now warm-summer humid continental.

Climate change in Vermont encompasses the effects of climate change, attributed to man-made increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, in the U.S. state of Vermont.

The state is already seeing effects of climate change that affect its ecosystems, economy and public health. According to the Vermont state government, rainfall has significantly increased in the last 50 years, storms and flooding have increased, and winters have become warmer and shorter.[30] These changes have led to significant impacts on both the winter tourism industry,[31] and a decline in critical agricultural and woodland industries like maple sugaring.[32]

The state openly acknowledges and is developing programs that respond to global warming.[33] Vermont was one of the first states in the United States to adopt greenhouse gas emissions goals in 2006.

Geology

There are five distinct physiographic regions of Vermont.[34] Categorized by geological and physical attributes, they are the Northeastern Highlands, the Green Mountains, the Taconic Mountains, the Champlain Lowlands, and the Vermont Piedmont.[35]

About 500 million years ago, Vermont was part of Laurentia and located in the tropics.[36] The central and southern Green Mountain range include the oldest rocks in Vermont, formed about one billion years ago during the first mountain building period (or orogeny). Subsequently, about 400 million years ago, the second mountain building period created Green Mountain peaks that were 15,000–20,000 feet (4,600–6,100 m) tall, three to four times their current height and comparable to the Himalayas. The geological pressures that created those peaks remain evident as the Champlain Thrust, running north–south to the west of the mountains (now the eastern shore of Lake Champlain). It is an example of geological fault thrusting where bedrock is pushed over the newer rock formation.

As a result of tectonic formation, Vermont east of the Green Mountains tends to be formed from rocks produced in the Silurian and Devonian periods, and western Vermont mainly from the older Pre-Cambrian and Cambrian material.[37] Several large deposits within the state contain granite.[38] The remains of the Chazy Formation can be observed in Isle La Motte. It was one of the first tropical reefs. It is the site of the limestone Fisk Quarry, which contains a collection of ancient marine fossils, such as stromatoporoids, that date to 200 million years ago. At one point, Vermont is believed to have been connected to Africa (Pangaea); the fossils found and the rock formations found on the coasts in both Africa and America are evidence affirming the Pangaea theory.[39][40][41]

In the past four centuries, Vermont has experienced a few earthquakes, rarely centered under the state. The highest ranked, in 1952, had a Richter magnitude scale 6.0 and was based in Canada.[42]

Fauna

The hermit thrush, the state bird of Vermont

The state contains 41 species of reptiles and amphibians, 89 species of fish, of which 12 are non native;[43] 193 species of breeding birds, 58 species of mammals, more than 15,000 insect species, and 2,000 higher plant species, plus fungi, algae, and 75 different types of natural communities.[44] Vermont contains one species of venomous snake, the timber rattlesnake, which is confined to a few acres in western Rutland County.[45]

Wildlife has suffered because of human development of the state. By the mid-19th century, wild turkeys were exterminated in the state through overhunting and destruction of habitat. Sixteen were re-introduced in 1969, and had grown to a flock estimated to number 45,000 in 2009.[46] In 2013, hunters killed 6,968 of these.[47] Since 1970, reduction of farmland has resulted in reduced environment for, and resulted in a decline in numbers of various shrubland birds, including the American woodcock, brown thrasher, eastern towhee, willow flycatcher, golden-winged warbler, blue-winged warbler, field sparrow, and Baltimore oriole.[48]

The use of DDT for insect control resulted in ospreys laying eggs that were too thin to support the development of young. This species disappeared from the state. It began to reappear in 1998, when ospreys were observed again locally. As of 2010, they were no longer endangered in the state.[49]

From 2008 to 2010, White-nose syndrome killed an estimated two-thirds of all cave-wintering bats in the state.[50]

The New England cottontail disappeared from the state in the early 1970s, out-competed by the eastern cottontail rabbit, imported in the 1800s for hunting. It is better able to detect and avoid predators.[51]

Out of a total of 33 species of bumblebee, by 2013 the number declined to 19 or 20 species in the state. Bombus terricola (the yellow-banded bumblebee), although once common in Vermont, has not been seen in most of its range since 1999 and is now absent from the state.[52] For honey bees, colony collapse disorder has affected bee population in the state, as elsewhere.[53]

Invasive species included the Asian spotted-wing drosophila, which started damaging berry crops in 2012. Vermont was the initial point of invasion in New England.[54]

Since 2010, the Vermont Department of Health has worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct blood serum surveys of the state's deer and moose populations. Tests for eastern equine encephalitis virus antibodies were positive in moose or deer in each of Vermont's counties. In 2012, 12% of deer and 2.4% of moose tested positive.[55]

Flora

Vermont is in the temperate broadleaf and mixed forests biome. Much of the state, in particular the Green Mountains, is covered by the conifers and northern hardwoods of the New England-Acadian forests. The western border with New York and the area around Lake Champlain lies within the Eastern Great Lakes lowland forests. The southwest corner of the state and parts of the Connecticut River are covered by northeastern coastal forests of mixed oak.[56]

Invasive wild honeysuckle has been deemed a threat to the state's forests, native species of plants, and wildlife.[57] Many of Vermont's rivers, including the Winooski River, have been subjected to man-made barriers to prevent flooding.[citation needed]

Climate change appears to be affecting the maple sugar industry. Sugar maples have been subject to stress by acid rain, asian longhorn beetles, and pear thrips. In 2011 the deer herd had grown too large for habitat, and many resorted to eating bark to survive the winter, destroying trees in the process. In addition, the sugar maples need a certain period of cold to produce sap for maple syrup. The time to tap these trees has shrunk to one week in some years. The tree may be replaced by the more aggressive Norway maples, in effect forcing the sugar maples to "migrate" north to Canada.[58]

History

Native American

Between 8500 and 7000 BCE, at the time of the Champlain Sea, Native Americans inhabited and hunted in present-day Vermont. During the Archaic period, from the 8th millennium BCE to 1000 BCE, Native Americans migrated year-round. During the Woodland period, from 1000 BCE to 1600 CE, they established villages and trade networks, and developed ceramic and bow and arrow technology. Their population in 1500 CE was estimated to be around 10,000 people.[59]

During colonial times, where encounters and settlement were initiated by French colonists, the territory was occupied mainly by an Abenaki tribe known as the Sokoki, or Missisquois. The eastern part of the state may have also been occupied by the Androscoggin and Pennacook peoples.[59]

To the west, the Missisquois competed with the Iroquoian Mohawk, based in the Mohawk valley but with a large territory, and the Algonquin Mohican peoples.[59] Many of the tribes later formed the Wabanaki Confederacy during King Philip's War. The warfare by English colonists defeated and scattered most of the surviving Abenaki tribes.[60]

Colonial

The Old Constitution House at Windsor, where the Constitution of Vermont was adopted on July 8, 1777
A circa 1775 flag used by the Green Mountain Boys

The first European to see Vermont is thought to have been French explorer Jacques Cartier in 1535. On July 30, 1609, French explorer Samuel de Champlain claimed this territory as part of New France. In 1666, French settlers erected Fort Sainte Anne on Isle La Motte,[61] the first European settlement in Vermont.

The "violent" 1638 New Hampshire earthquake was centered in the St. Lawrence Valley and reported throughout New England. This was the first seismic event noted in Vermont.[42] In 1690, a group of Dutch-British settlers from Albany established a settlement and trading post at Chimney Point, 8 miles (13 km) west of present-day Addison.[citation needed] During Dummer's War, the first permanent English settlement was established in 1724 with the construction of Fort Dummer. It was intended to protect the nearby settlements of Dummerston and Brattleboro.[62]

From 1731 to 1734, the French constructed Fort St. Frédéric, which gave them control of the New France–Vermont frontier region in the Lake Champlain Valley. With the outbreak of the French and Indian War in 1754, the North American front of the Seven Years' War between the French and British, the French began construction in 1755 of Fort Carillon at present-day Ticonderoga, New York. The British failed to take either fort between 1755 and 1758. In 1759 a combined force of 12,000 British regular and provincial troops under Sir Jeffery Amherst captured Carillon, after which the French abandoned Fort St. Frédéric. Amherst constructed Fort Crown Point next to the remains of the Fort St. Frédéric, securing British control over the area.[citation needed]

Following France's loss in the French and Indian War, through the 1763 Treaty of Paris, it ceded control of land east of the Mississippi River to the British. The Crown attempted to limit colonial settlement to lands east of the Appalachians, in order to prohibit encroachment on Native American lands. The territory of Vermont was divided nearly in half in a jagged line running from Fort William Henry in Lake George diagonally north-eastward to Lake Memphremagog.[citation needed] With the end of the war, new settlers arrived in Vermont. Ultimately, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York all claimed this frontier area.[citation needed]

On July 20, 1764, King George III established the boundary between New Hampshire and New York along the west bank of the Connecticut River, north of Massachusetts, and south of 45 degrees north latitude.[63] New York refused to recognize the land titles known as the New Hampshire Grants (towns created by land grants sold by New Hampshire Governor Benning Wentworth) and dissatisfied New Hampshire settlers organized in opposition. In 1770 Ethan Allen, his brothers Ira and Levi, and the Allens' cousins Seth Warner and Remember Baker, recruited an informal militia known as the Green Mountain Boys to protect the interests of the original New Hampshire settlers against newcomers from New York.[citation needed]

In 1775, after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, the Green Mountain Boys assisted a force from Connecticut, led by Benedict Arnold, in capturing the British fort at Ticonderoga. Thereafter, the Continental Congress in Philadelphia directed the New York colony's revolutionary congress to fund and equip Allen's militia as a ranger regiment of the Continental Army, which it did. Seth Warner was chosen by the men of the regiment to lead, while Ethan Allen later served as a colonel in Schuyler's Army of Northern New York.[64]

Sovereignty

On January 15, 1777, representatives of the New Hampshire Grants declared the independence of Vermont.[65] For the first six months of its existence, it was called the Republic of New Connecticut.[66]

On June 2, 1777, a second convention of 72 delegates met and adopted the name "Vermont." This was on the advice of a friendly Pennsylvanian, Dr. Thomas Young, friend and mentor of Ethan Allen. He was advising them on how to achieve admission into the newly independent United States of America as the 14th state.[66] On July 4, they completed the drafting of the Constitution of Vermont at the Windsor Tavern, and adopted it on July 8. This was the first written constitution in North America to ban adult slavery,[67] saying male slaves become free at the age of 21 and females at 18. It provided for universal adult male suffrage and required support of public schools. It was in effect from 1777 to 1786.[68]

Revolutionary War

The Battle of Bennington, fought on August 16, 1777, was a seminal event in the history of the state of Vermont and the United States. A combined American force, under General John Stark's command, attacked the Hessian column at Hoosick, New York, just across the border from Bennington. It killed or captured virtually the entire Hessian detachment. General Burgoyne never recovered from this loss and eventually surrendered the remainder of his 6,000-man force at Saratoga, New York, on October 17 that year.[69]

The battles of Bennington and Saratoga together are recognized as the turning point in the Revolutionary War because they were the first major defeat of a British army. The anniversary of the battle is still celebrated in Vermont as a legal holiday.

The Battle of Hubbardton (July 7, 1777) was the only Revolutionary battle within the present boundaries of Vermont. Although the Continental forces were technically defeated, the British forces were damaged to the point that they did not pursue the Americans (retreating from Fort Ticonderoga) any further.

Admission to the Union

1791 Act of Congress admitting Vermont into the Union

Vermont continued to govern itself as a sovereign entity based in the eastern town of Windsor for 14 years. The independent state of Vermont issued its own coinage from 1785 to 1788[70] and operated a national postal service. Thomas Chittenden was the Governor in 1778–89 and in 1790–91.

Because the state of New York continued to assert a disputed claim that Vermont was a part of New York, Vermont could not be admitted to the Union under Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution until the legislature of New York consented. On March 6, 1790, the legislature made its consent contingent upon a negotiated agreement on the precise boundary between the two states. When commissioners from New York and Vermont met to decide on the boundary, Vermont's negotiators insisted on also settling the property ownership disputes with New Yorkers, rather than leaving that to be decided later in a federal court.[71] The negotiations were successfully concluded in October 1790 with an agreement that Vermont would pay $30,000 to New York to be distributed among New Yorkers who claimed land in Vermont under New York land patents.[72] In January 1791, a convention in Vermont voted 105–4[73] to petition Congress to become a state in the federal union. Congress acted on February 18, 1791, to admit Vermont to the Union as the 14th state as of March 4, 1791.[74] Vermont became the first to enter the Union after the original 13 states.

The revised constitution of 1786, which established a greater separation of powers, continued in effect until 1793, two years after Vermont's admission to the Union.

Under the Act "To Secure Freedom to All Persons Within This State,"[75] Slavery was officially banned by state law on November 25, 1858, less than three years before the American Civil War.[76][77][78] Vermonters provided refuge in several sites for escaped slaves, fleeing to Canada, as part of what was called the Underground Railroad.[79]

Civil War

Vermont in 1827. The county boundaries have since changed.

From the mid-1850s on, some Vermonters became activists opposing slavery, which they had previously worked to contain in the South. Abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens was born in Vermont and later represented a district in Pennsylvania in Congress. He developed as a national leader and later promoted Radical Republican goals after the American Civil War. While the Whig Party shriveled, and the Republican Party emerged, Vermont supported Republican candidates. In 1860 it voted for Abraham Lincoln, giving him the largest margin of victory of any state.[80]

During the American Civil War, Vermont sent 33,288 men into United States service. 5,224 Vermonters (more than 15 percent) were killed.[81]

The northernmost land action of the war was the St. Albans Raid—the robbery of three St. Albans banks, perpetrated in October 1864 by 21 Confederate agents. A posse pursued the Confederate raiders into Canada and captured several of them. They had to turn their captives over to Canadian officials. Canada reimbursed the banks, released, and later re-arrested some of the perpetrators.[82][83]

Postbellum era to present

Demographic changes and rise of eugenics in 20th century

As English speakers came to dominate the population in Vermont, they anglicized the names of many ethnic French residents and often discriminated against them. In the mid-20th century, descendants began to reclaim their French names, especially surnames.

Beginning in the mid-19th century, Vermont industries attracted numerous Irish, Scots-Irish and Italian immigrants, adding to its residents of mostly English and some French-Canadian ancestry. Many of the immigrants migrated to Barre, where the men worked as stonecutters of granite, for which there was a national market. Vermont granite was used in major public buildings in many states.

In this period, many Italian and Scottish women operated boarding houses to support their families. Such facilities also helped absorb new residents and help them learn the new culture; European immigrants peaked in number between 1890 and 1900. Typically immigrants boarded with people of their own language and ethnicity, but sometimes they boarded with others.[84]

Gradually the new immigrants were absorbed into the state. Times of tension aroused divisions. In the early 20th century, some people in Vermont became alarmed about what they considered to be a decline in rural areas; people left farming to move to cities and others seemed unable to fit within society. In addition, there was a wave of immigration by French Canadians, and those of Protestant Yankee stock feared being overtaken by the new people, who added to the Catholic population of Irish and Italians. Based on the colonial past, some Yankee residents considered the French Canadians to have intermarried too frequently with Native Americans.[85]

In an era influenced by ideas of Social Darwinism, some Vermont leaders promoted eugenics, an idea that the population could be managed and improved by limiting marriage and reproduction by certain members classified as unfit or defective. It passed a marriage law, to limit marriage by people considered unfit. In 1915 the Brandon State School opened, the beginning of a related effort to segregate and control those judged unfit to reproduce.[85]

The state followed efforts to improve children's welfare by establishing other institutions to house the mentally ill or disabled. From 1925 to 1928 the Eugenics Survey of Vermont conducted research and recorded the histories of families it determined were degenerate or dependent. It also attempted to educate the public about why restrictive measures, including voluntary sterilization, were desirable. Review by current historians reveals the results were socially prejudiced, as the surveys tended to target the poor and disenfranchised minorities, including French Canadians, Abenaki, and disabled.[85]

In 1931 Vermont was the 29th state to pass a eugenics law. Vermont like other states, sterilized some patients in institutions and persons it had identified through surveys as degenerate or unfit. It nominally had permission from the patients or their guardians, but abuses have been documented. Two-thirds of the sterilizations were done on women, and poor, unwed mothers were targeted, among others. The surgery was performed at institutions and hospitals in the state supposedly devoted to care of people in need. There is disagreement about how many sterilizations were performed; most were completed from 1931 to 1941, but such procedures were recorded as late as 1970.[85]

Natural disasters

In addition to the increased intensity and flooding caused by climate change,[86] the state has suffered several extreme natural disasters in the 20th and 21st centuries related to hurricanes, and extensive rain and flooding.

Large-scale flooding occurred in early November 1927. During this incident, 84 people died, including the state's lieutenant governor.[87]

The 1938 New England hurricane in the fall of that year blew down 15,000,000 acres (61,000 km2) of trees, one-third of the total forest at the time in New England. Three billion board feet were salvaged. Today many of the older trees in Vermont are about 75 years old, dating from after this storm.[88]

A major flood occurred in 1973, causing the deaths of two people and millions of dollars in property damage.[89]

The state suffered severe flooding in late August 2011 caused by Tropical Storm Irene. Heavy rains caused flooding in many towns built along narrow river valleys. The governor described it as one of the worst natural disasters of the 20th and 21st centuries, second only to the flood of 1927. The state was classified as a federal disaster area.[90]

Political changes

Vermont approved women's suffrage decades before it became part of the national constitution. Women were first allowed to vote in the elections of December 18, 1880, when women were granted limited suffrage. They were first allowed to vote in town elections, and later in state legislative races.

In 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Reynolds v. Sims required "one man, one vote" redistricting in all states. It had found that many state legislatures had not redistricted and were unjustly dominated by rural interests, years after the development of densely populated and industrial urban areas. In addition, it found that many states had an upper house based on geographical jurisdictions, such as counties. This gave disproportionate power to rural and lightly populated counties. The court ruled there was no basis for such a structure. Major changes in political apportionment took place in Vermont and other affected states.

This ruling required districts to be reassessed after every census and to be based on roughly equal population, rather than geography (such as counties). Under redistricting, residents in urban areas were to gain an equitable share of apportionment in both houses in every state. Vermont and some other northern states had long been dominated by rural districts, as were several Southern states in those years, who had not redistricted since the turn of the century.[91] Until that time, apportionment of upper houses was often based on county jurisdictions, which had given more power to rural counties and failed to acknowledge the increased population in urban areas. This arrangement had meant that urban areas did not have proportionate political power and often suffered from underinvestment in needed infrastructure; other urban issues were also neglected by rural-dominated legislatures.[91]

In July 2000, Vermont became the first state to introduce civil unions. In 2009, Vermont became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, unforced by court challenge or ruling.[92]

Since the late 20th century, Abenaki peoples in Vermont lobbied for recognition. In 2011 the state officially recognized their continued presence in the region by recognizing the Elnu Tribe of the Abenaki and the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation; in 2012 it recognized the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi and the Koasek Traditional Band of the Koos Abenaki Nation. In 2016 the state governor proclaimed Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day.[93]

On January 22, 2018, Vermont became the first of the United States to legalize cannabis for recreational use by legislative action, and the ninth state in the United States to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. This law was signed by Republican Governor Phil Scott.[94]

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
179085,425
1800154,46580.8%
1810217,89541.1%
1820235,9818.3%
1830280,65218.9%
1840291,9484.0%
1850314,1207.6%
1860315,0980.3%
1870330,5514.9%
1880332,2860.5%
1890332,4220.0%
1900343,6413.4%
1910355,9563.6%
1920352,428−1.0%
1930359,6112.0%
1940359,231−0.1%
1950377,7475.2%
1960389,8813.2%
1970444,33014.0%
1980511,45615.1%
1990562,75810.0%
2000608,8278.2%
2010625,7412.8%
Est. 2019623,989−0.3%
Source: 1910–2010[95]
2019 estimate[96]

Racial/ethnic makeup of Vermont, treating Hispanics as a separate category (2017)[97]

  White non-Hispanic (92.79%)
  Black non-Hispanic (1.24%)
  Native American non-Hispanic (0.32%)
  Asian non-Hispanic (1.78%)
  Pacific Islander non-Hispanic (0.03%)
  Other non-Hispanic (0.05%)
  Two or more races non-Hispanic (1.89%)
  Hispanic any race (1.91%)

Population changes

According to the United States Census Bureau, as of July 1, 2019, Vermont had an estimated population of 623,989.[98] This included a natural increase 3,178 (31,716 births minus 28,538 deaths) and a decrease due to net migration of 2,432 people out of the state.[99] In 2006 it had the second lowest birthrate in the nation, 42/1000 women.[100] The center of population of Vermont is located in Washington County, in the town of Warren.[101]

As of 2014, 51.3% of Vermont's population was born in the state (compared with 58.7% for the United States).[102] The changing demographics between those with multi-generational ties to the state and those who are newcomers, bringing different values with them, has resulted in a degree of tension between the two perspectives. This tension is expressed in the terms, "Woodchuck", being applied to those established in the state, and "Flatlander", applied to the newcomers.[103] Vermont is the least populous New England state. As of 2012, Vermont was one of only two states in the U.S. with fewer people than the District of Columbia (Wyoming was the other).[104]

From 2010 to 2013, 16 out of Vermont's 251 towns experienced an increase in population. All towns in Chittenden increased with the exception of Burlington. More than 180 towns experienced a decrease, which hadn't happened since the mid-19th century.[105]

Birth data

Note: Births in table do not add up, because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number.

Live births by single race/ethnicity of mother
Race 2013[106] 2014[107] 2015[108] 2016[109] 2017[110] 2018[111]
White: 5,696 (95.3%) 5,825 (95.0%) 5,554 (94.1%) ... ... ...
> Non-Hispanic White 5,597 (93.7%) 5,724 (93.4%) 5,370 (91.0%) 5,208 (90.5%) 5,134 (90.8%) 4,934 (90.8%)
Asian 153 (2.6%) 163 (2.7%) 175 (3.0%) 154 (2.7%) 159 (2.8%) 152 (2.8%)
Black 115 (1.9%) 126 (2.1%) 149 (2.5%) 70 (1.2%) 115 (2.0%) 118 (2.2%)
American Indian 11 (0.2%) 16 (0.3%) 25 (0.4%) 11 (0.2%) 16 (0.3%) 12 (0.2%)
Hispanic (of any race) 92 (1.5%) 92 (1.5%) 139 (2.3%) 136 (2.3%) 123 (2.2%) 121 (2.2%)
Total Vermont 5,975 (100%) 6,130 (100%) 5,903 (100%) 5,756 (100%) 5,655 (100%) 5,432 (100%)

Economy

  • Total employment (2016): 262,705
  • Total employer establishments (2016): 21,174[127]

In 2015, Vermont was ranked by Forbes magazine as the 42nd best state in which to do business.[128] It was 32nd in 2007, and 30th in 2006.[129] In 2008 an economist said that the state had "a really stagnant economy, which is what we are forecasting for Vermont for the next 30 years."[130] In May 2010 Vermont's 6.2% unemployment rate was the fourth lowest in the nation.[131] This rate reflects the second sharpest decline among the 50 states since the prior May.[132]

As of 2017, Vermont's gross regional domestic product (GDP) was $19.3 billion, making it the second smallest among the 50 states. Its per capita GDP was $51,600, ranking it 34th among the states.[133]

Components of GSP were:[134][135]

  • Government $3 billion (13.4%)
  • Real estate, rental, and leasing $2.6 billion (11.6%)
  • Durable goods manufacturing $2.2 billion (9.6%)
  • Health care and social assistance $2.1 billion (9.4%)
  • Retail trade $1.9 billion (8.4%)
  • Finance and insurance $1.3 billion (5.9%)
  • Construction $1.2 billion (5.5%)
  • Professional and technical services $1.2 billion (5.5%)
  • Wholesale trade $1.1 billion (5.1%)
  • Accommodations and food services $1 billion (4.5%)
  • Information $958 million (4.2%)
  • Non-durable goods manufacturing $711 million (3.1%)
  • Other services $563 million (2.4%)
  • Utilities $553 million (2.4%)
  • Educational services $478 million (2.1%)
  • Transportation and warehousing $484 million (2.1%)
  • Administrative and waste services $436 million (1.9%)
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting $375 million (1.6%)
  • Arts, entertainment, and recreation $194 million (.8%)
  • Mining $100 million (.4%)
  • Management of companies $35 million (.2%)

Canada was Vermont's largest foreign trade partner in 2007. The state's second-largest foreign trade partner was Taiwan.[136] The state had $4 billion worth of commerce with Quebec.[137]

One measure of economic activity is retail sales. The state had $5.2 billion in 2007.[138] In 2008, 8,631 new businesses were registered in Vermont, a decline of 500 from 2007.[139]

Personal income

The median household income from 2002 to 2004 was $45,692. This was 15th nationally.[140] The median wage in the state in 2008 was $15.31 hourly or $31,845 annually.[141] In 2007 about 80% of the 68,000 Vermonters who qualify for food stamps received them.[142] 40% of seniors 75 years or older live on annual incomes of $21,660 or less.[143] In 2011, 15.2% of Vermonters received food stamps. This compares to 14.8% nationally.[144]

In 2011, 91,000 seniors received an annual average of $14,000 from Social Security. This was 59% of the average senior's income. This contributed $1.7 billion to the state's economy.[145]

Agriculture

Fall foliage seen from Hogback Mountain, Wilmington

Agriculture contributed 2.2% of the state's domestic product in 2000.[146] In 2000 about 3% of the state's working population engaged in agriculture.[147] As of 2014, the Pew Research Center estimated that farms in the state employed fewer than 5,000 illegal immigrants.[148] In 2017, Vermont Governor Phil Scott announce that the state was "exploring a legal challenge" to the executive order signed by President Donald Trump for Vermont law enforcement authorities to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and "perform the functions of immigration officers in relation to the investigation, apprehension, or detention of aliens".[149]

Dairy farming

Dairy farming is the primary source of agricultural income. In the second half of the 20th century, developers had plans to build condos and houses on what was relatively inexpensive, open land. Vermont's government responded with a series of laws controlling development and with some pioneering initiatives to prevent the loss of Vermont's dairy industry. Still, the number of Vermont dairy farms has declined more than 85% from the 11,206 dairy farms operating in 1947. In 2003 there were fewer than 1,500 dairy farms in the state; in 2006 there were 1,138; in 2019 there were 658.[150] The number of dairy farms has been diminishing by 10% annually.[151] 80% of open land is controlled by dairy farms.[150]

The number of cattle in Vermont had declined by 40%; however, milk production has doubled in the same period due to tripling the production per cow.[152] While milk production rose, Vermont's market share declined. Within a group of states supplying the Boston and New York City markets (called "Federal order Class I"),[153] Vermont was third in market share, with 10.6%; New York has 44.9% and Pennsylvania has 32.9%.[154] In 2007 dairy farmers received a record $23.60 for 100 pounds (45 kg) (11.63 gallons at $2.03/gallon) of milk. This dropped in 2008 to $17 ($1.46/gallon).[155] The average dairy farm produced 1.3 million pounds of milk annually in 2008.[156]

The dairy barn remains an iconic image of Vermont, but the 87% decrease in active dairy farms between 1947 and 2003[157] means that preservation of the dairy barns has increasingly become dependent upon a commitment to maintaining a legacy rather than basic need in the agricultural economy. The Vermont Barn Census, organized by a collaboration of educational and nonprofit state and local historic preservation programs, has developed educational and administrative systems for recording the number, condition, and features of barns throughout Vermont.[158]

In 2009, there were 543 organic farms. Twenty percent of the dairy farms were organic and 23% (128) vegetable farms were organic. Organic farming increased in 2006–07, but leveled off in 2008–09.[159]

A significant amount of milk is shipped into the Boston market. Therefore the Commonwealth of Massachusetts certifies that Vermont farms meet Massachusetts sanitary standards. Without this certification, a farmer may not sell milk for distribution into the bulk market.[160] In 2019, two-thirds of all milk in New England was produced by Vermont dairies.[150]

Forestry

Forest products have always been a staple to the economy, comprising 1% of the total gross state output and 9% of total manufacturing as of 2013.[161] In 2007, Windham County contained the largest concentration of kilns for drying lumber east of the Mississippi River. The decline of farms has resulted in a regrowth of Vermont's forests due to ecological succession. Today, most of Vermont's forests are secondary. The state and non-profit organizations are actively encouraging regrowth and careful forest management. Over 78% of the land area of the state is forested compared to only 37% in the 1880s, when sheep farming was at its peak and large amounts of acreage were cleared for grazing.[162] Over 85% of that area is non-industrial, private forestland owned by individuals or families. In 2013, 73,054 million cubic feet (2,068.7 million cubic meters) of wood was harvested in Vermont.[163] A large amount of Vermont forest products are exports with 21,504 million feet (6.554×109 meters) being shipped overseas plus an additional 16,384 million cubic feet (463.9 million cubic meters) to Canada.[163] Most of it was processed within the state. In this century the manufacture of wood products has fallen by almost half. The annual net growth has been estimated at 172,810 million cubic feet (4,893 million cubic meters).[163] The USDA estimates that 8,584 billion cubic feet (243.1 billion cubic meters) remain in the state.[163] Forest products also add to carbon sequestration since lumber and timber used in houses and furniture hold carbon for long periods of time while the trees that were removed are replaced overtime with new growing stock.[164]

In 2017, the price of wood products had either plummeted or remained the same when compared to previous decades, which meant there was cause for concern with jobs in the industry. For example, in 1994, the price of a thousand board feet was $300, the same as it was in 2017. The price of wood chips has halved in the same time frame. In 1980, the price for a cord of wood was $50; in 2017, $25. For lack of demand, Vermont's forests are growing twice as fast as they are being cut.[165]

Other

An important and growing part of Vermont's economy is the manufacture and sale of artisan foods, fancy foods, and novelty items trading in part upon the Vermont "brand," which the state manages and defends. Examples of these specialty exports include Cabot Cheese, the Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Fine Paints of Europe, Vermont Butter and Cheese Company, several microbreweries, ginseng growers, Burton Snowboards, King Arthur Flour, and Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream.

As of 2019, Vermont was the leading producer of maple syrup in the United States.[166] There were about 2,000 maple products producers in 2010.[167] Production rose to 920,000 US gallons (3,500,000 l; 770,000 imp gal) in 2009.[168] The state's share of the nation's production rose to 42% in 2013. It had the second lowest price at $33.40/gallon.[169]

The wine industry in Vermont started in 1985. As of 2007, there were 14 wineries.[170]

Manufacturing

As of 2015, GlobalFoundries was the largest private employer in the state and provides jobs to 3,000 employees at its plant in the village of Essex Junction within Chittenden County.[171]

A 2010 University of Connecticut study reported that Vermont, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire tied as the most costly states in the U.S. for manufacturers.[172]

Health

An increasingly aging population is expected to improve the position of aging services and health care in the state economy. The University of Vermont Medical Center, with approximately 6,400 employees, is the largest employer in the state.[173]

In 2010, all of Vermont's hospitals billed patients $3.76 billion, and collected $2 billion.[174] 92,000 people are enrolled in Medicare. In 2011, Medicare spent $740 million on health care in the state.[145]

Housing

In 2007, Vermont was the 17th highest state in the nation for mortgage affordability. However, in 41 other states, inhabitants contributed within plus or minus 4% of Vermont's 18.4% of household income to a mortgage.[175]

Because housing prices did not rise much during the early 2000s, the collapse in real estate values was not that precipitous either. While foreclosure rose significantly in 2007, the state stood 50th—the most favorable—in ratio of foreclosure filings to households.[176] While housing sales dropped annually from 2004 to 2008, prices continued to rise.[177]

In 2007, Vermont was best in the country for construction of new energy efficient homes as evaluated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under the Energy Star program.[178] However, about 60% of Vermont homes were heated with oil in 2008.[179] In August 2008, the cost in Vermont of various heating sources per 1 million BTU ranged from $14.39 for cord wood to $43.50 for kerosene.

While the number of houses sold in the state has dropped from 8,318 in 2004 to 8,120 in 2005, 6,919 in 2006, and 5,820 in 2007, the average price has continued to rise to $202,500 in 2008 ($200,000 in 2007).[180]

In 2009, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment was $920 per month. Rental vacancy was 5.4%, the lowest in the nation. 2,800 people were counted as homeless in January 2010, 22% more than in 2008.[181]

In 2011, Vermont was fifth among the states with the greatest backlog of foreclosures needing court processing, taking an estimated 18 years. The national average was eight years.[182]

Labor

In 2009, the state attained a high of 361,290 workers.[183]

As of 2006, there were 305,000 workers in Vermont. Eleven percent of these are unionized.[184][185] Out of a workforce of 299,200 workers, 52,000 were government jobs, federal, state, and local.[186]

A modern high unemployment rate of 9% was reached in June 1976. A modern low of 2.4% was measured in February 2000.[187] As of October 2019, the unemployment rate was 2.2%.[188]

Employment grew 7.5% from 2000 to 2006. From 1980 to 2000, employment grew by 3.4%; nationally it was up 4.6%. Real wages were $33,385 in 2006 constant dollars and remained there in 2010; the nation, $36,871.[189]

Insurance

Captive insurance plays an increasingly large role in Vermont's economy. With this form of alternative insurance, large corporations or industry associations form standalone insurance companies to insure their own risks, thereby substantially reducing their insurance premiums and gaining a significant measure of control over types of risks to be covered. There are also significant tax advantages to be gained from the formation and operation of captive insurance companies. According to the Insurance Information Institute, Vermont in 2009 was the world's third-largest domicile for captive insurance companies, following Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.[190] In 2009, there were 560 such companies.[191] In 2010, the state had 900 such companies.[192]

Tourism

Summer camps such as camp Abenaki, camp Billings, camp Dudley, and camp Hochelaga contribute to Vermont's tourist economy.

In 2005, visitors made an estimated 13.4 million trips to the state, spending $1.57 billion.[193] In 2012, fall accounted for $460 million of income, about one-quarter of all tourism.[194]

In 2011, the state government earned $274 million in taxes and fees from tourism. 89% of the money came from out-of-state visitors. Tourism supported over 26,000 jobs, 7.2% of total employment.[195]

According to the 2000 Census, almost 15% of all housing units in Vermont were vacant and classified "for seasonal, recreational, or occasional use".[196][clarification needed] This was the second highest percentage nationwide, after Maine. In some Vermont cities, vacation homes owned by wealthy residents of New England and New York constitute the bulk of all housing stock. According to one estimate, as of 2009, 84% of all houses in Ludlow were owned by out-of-state residents.[197] Other notable vacation-home resorts include Manchester and Stowe.

Autumn

Autumn in Vermont

Hunting is controlled for black bear, wild turkeys, deer, and moose.[198] There are 5,500 bears in the state. The goal is to keep the numbers between 4,500 and 6,000.[199] In 2010, there were about 141,000 deer in the state, which is in range of government goals. However, these are distributed unevenly and when in excess of 10–15 per square mile (4–6/km2), negatively impact timber growth.[200]

In 2012, hunting of migratory birds was limited to October 13 to December 16. Waterfowl hunting is also controlled by federal law.[201]

Winter

Stowe Resort Village

Some of the largest ski areas in New England are located in Vermont. Skiers and snowboarders visit Burke Mountain Ski Area, Bolton Valley, Smugglers' Notch, Killington Ski Resort, Mad River Glen, Stowe Mountain Resort, Cochrans Ski Area, Sugarbush, Stratton, Jay Peak, Okemo, Suicide Six, Mount Snow, Bromley, and Magic Mountain Ski Area. Summer visitors tour resort towns like Stowe, Manchester, Quechee, Wilmington and Woodstock. The effects of global warming have been predicted to shorten the length of the ski season across Vermont, which would continue the contraction and consolidation of the ski industry in Vermont and threaten individual ski businesses and communities that rely on ski tourism.[202]

In winter, Nordic and backcountry skiers visit to travel the length of the state on the Catamount Trail. Several horse shows are annual events. Vermont's state parks, historic sites, museums, golf courses, and new boutique hotels with spas were designed to attract tourists.

In 2000–01, there were 4,579,719 skier and snowboarder visits to the state. There were 4,125,082 visits in 2009–2010, a rise from recent years.[203]

In 2008, there were 35,000 members of 138 snowmobiling clubs in Vermont. The combined association of clubs maintains 6,000 miles (9,700 km) of trail often over private lands. The industry is said to generate "hundreds of millions of dollars worth of business."[204]

Quarrying

The towns of Rutland and Barre are the traditional centers of marble and granite quarrying and carving in the U.S. For many years Vermont was also the headquarters of the smallest union in the U.S., the Stonecutters Association, of about 500 members. The first marble quarry in America was on Mount Aeolus overlooking East Dorset.[205] The granite industry attracted numerous skilled stonecutters in the late 19th century from Italy, Scotland, and Ireland. Barre is the location of the Rock of Ages quarry, the largest dimension stone granite quarry in the United States. Vermont is the largest producer of slate in the country. The highest quarrying revenues result from the production of dimension stone.[citation needed] The Rock of Ages quarry in Barre is one of the leading exporters of granite in the country. The work of the sculptors of this corporation can be seen 3 miles (4.8 km) down the road at the Hope Cemetery, where there are gravestones and mausoleums.[citation needed]

Non-profits and volunteerism

There were 2,682 non-profit organizations in Vermont in 2008, with $2.8 billion in revenue.[206] The state ranked ninth in the country for volunteerism for the period 2005–08. 35.6% of the population volunteered during this period. The national average was 26.4%.[207]

Transportation

Vermont welcome sign in Addison on Route 17 just over the New York border over the Champlain Bridge

Vermont's main mode of travel is by automobile. 5.7% of Vermont households did not own a car in 2008.[208] In 2012, there were 605,000 motor vehicles registered, nearly one car for every person in the state. This is similar to average car ownership nationwide.[209] In 2012, about half the carbon emissions in the state resulted from vehicles.[210]

In 2007, Vermont was ranked the third safest state for highway fatalities.[211] One third of these fatal crashes involved a drunken driver.[212] On average, 20–25 people die each year from drunk driving incidents, and 70–80 people are in fatal car crashes in the state.[213] In northern Vermont particularly, moose are not uncommon, including in urban areas.[214] They constitute a traffic threat since they are unaware of vehicles. There are several deaths each year from automobiles striking moose.

In 2009, 93% of Vermont motorists were insured, tying the state with Pennsylvania for the highest percentage.[215] In 2008, Vermont was the fifth best state for fewest uninsured motorists—6%.[216]

In 2010, Vermont owned 2,840 miles (4,570 km) of highway. This was the third smallest quantity among the 50 states. 2.5% of the highways were listed as "congested," the 5th lowest in the country. The highway fatality rate was one per 100,000,000 miles (160,000,000 km), tenth lowest in the nation. The highways cost $28,669 per mile ($17,814/km) to maintain, the 17th highest in the states. 34.4% of its bridges were rated deficient or obsolete, the 8th worst in the nation.[217]

Individual communities and counties have public transit, but their breadth of coverage is frequently limited. Greyhound Lines services a number of small towns. Two Amtrak trains serve Vermont, the Vermonter[218] and the Ethan Allen Express.[219] In early 2011, Amtrak evaluated the track used by the Ethan Allen Express between Rutland and Whitehall as the worst in the nation,[220] but subsequent improvements to the track later in 2011 vastly improved its performance going forward.[221]

Trucks weighing less than 80,000 pounds (36,000 kg) can use Vermont's interstate highways. The limit for state roads is 99,000 pounds (45,000 kg). This means that vehicles too heavy for the interstates can legally use only secondary roads.[222][223]

In 1968, Vermont outlawed the use of billboards for advertisement along its roads. It is one of four states in the U.S. to have done this, along with Hawaii, Maine, and Alaska.[224][225]

Major routes

The state has 2,843 miles (4,575 km) of highways under its control.[226] Three Interstate highways and five U.S. highways enter Vermont, in addition to its own state highway network.

North–south routes