Listing the Most Worst City to Live in Vermont for 2024

Vermont is a truly beautiful state, with its stunning attractions and delightful towns. However, there are certain areas in the Green Mountain State that do not have the same level of safety, prosperity, or livability. Barre is considered the least desirable place to live in Vermont, based on a range of social and economic indicators including crime, poverty, education, and health.

Barre: A Hub of Granite Production

Barre, a charming city nestled in central Vermont near the state capital Montpelier, is home to around 8,500 residents, as reported by the 2020 census. Barre is known as the “Granite Center of the World” due to its thriving granite quarrying and carving industry, which has played a significant role in its history. The city’s architecture, landmarks, and artwork, made from local granite, give it a unique and artistic charm. However, behind the stone facade, Barre faces various challenges and predicaments that make it a difficult place to live for many residents.

Increase in Criminal Activity

One of the main concerns in Barre is its high crime rate. Based on the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, Barre experienced 57 violent crimes and 166 property crimes in 2020. This translates to 6.74 violent crimes and 19.63 property crimes per 1,000 residents. These figures are much higher than the state averages of 1.76 and 14.35, respectively. Barre has the highest crime rate per square mile in Vermont, with 80 crimes per square mile, which is significantly higher than the state average of 5.

Typical offenses in Barre consist of assault, robbery, burglary, theft, and vandalism. The city faces significant challenges with drug abuse and trafficking, specifically related to opioids and methamphetamine. Unfortunately, it had the highest number of opioid-related deaths in the state in 2019, with 13 fatalities.

Challenges of Financial Constraints and Increased Poverty

Barre’s quality of life has been negatively impacted by its low income and high poverty rates. In 2019, Barre had a median household income of $42,031, which was considerably lower than the state median of $63,001. In Barre, the poverty rate was 19.4%, which is more than double the state rate of 9.1%. A significant number of children in Barre (28%) and seniors (15%) live below the poverty line.

The decline of the granite industry has had a significant impact on Barre’s economy, leading to low income and high poverty rates. Job losses and reduced wages have been a result of increased competition from cost-effective materials and foreign imports. The city’s lack of economic diversification makes it even more difficult to attract new businesses and industries that can drive growth and create opportunities.

Also read: Listing These 7 States with Most Black Americans

Inadequate Education and Health Outcomes

Barre struggles with below-average education and health outcomes, which continue to limit the opportunities and overall well-being of its residents. The city falls behind state averages in terms of educational attainment, with only 86.5% of adults holding a high school diploma or higher, and merely 19.9% possessing a bachelor’s degree or higher. State averages stand at 92.3% and 37.6%, respectively. The high dropout rate of 4.6% in 2019, which is higher than the state average of 2.3%, adds to the existing educational challenges.

Health-wise, Barre has higher rates of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer compared to the state averages. The city’s health concerns are exacerbated by higher rates of smoking, obesity, and substance abuse. Barre’s life expectancy of 77.9 years, which is lower than the state average of 80.5 years, highlights the existing health disparities. In addition, the city has limited access to healthcare, with a lower number of doctors, dentists, and mental health providers per person compared to the state averages.

In summary

Barre has a fascinating history and vibrant culture, but it also faces a range of complex challenges that make it less desirable as a place to live in Vermont. The city faces numerous challenges, including elevated crime rates, low income, high poverty, inadequate education, and compromised health outcomes. It is crucial for Barre to address these issues in order to improve the quality of life for its residents and avoid falling behind the rest of the state and the nation.

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