10 Pros and Cons of Living in Vermont

Thinking of moving to Vermont? Consider these pros and cons before you pack your bags.
Written by David Ghanizadeh-Khoob
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
If you love spending time exploring the natural world, small-town vibes, and craft beer, then you might love living in Vermont. However, if you hate the winter and long drives in often poor driving conditions, then you might be better off in another state.
Before any big move, it is important to consider what your new life will look like before you pull the trigger. Vermont offers a unique culture and way of living that can’t be found in many other states. It’s up to you whether that way of life is the right fit.
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Pro: Beautiful landscape and endless outdoor recreation

We couldn’t have a list of pros and cons without emphasizing the beauty of Vermont’s landscape, accessibility of the natural spaces, and variety of outdoor activities
Pick your poison. Hiking, biking, fishing, rock climbing, hunting, water sports, skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, ice climbing…do we need to keep going? 
There’s a lifetime’s worth of exploring to be done in the Green Mountains and around Lake Champlain. Plus, there is excellent infrastructure in place to provide access to these areas.
Still, if you’re looking to thrive in Vermont, you can’t shy away from getting outdoors even in the thick of winter.

Con: The weather

Much like a Vermont pro and con list has to start with the natural spaces, it also has to include mention of the weather. The climate here could be a major draw or it could be a dealbreaker.
Vermont experiences long winters, muddy springs, lovely summers, and vibrant autumns. If you aren’t a fan of distinct seasonality or if you can’t cope with sub-zero temperatures, big snow dumps, and the conditions that come with them (good and bad), then Vermont can be a tough sell.
Okay, sure. The winters are long, but newcomers to Vermont should also be prepared for mud season and bug season. From April into May, much of the state becomes a one-of-a-kind mud-scape thanks to the snow melt. 
Then, while Vermont summers are some of the most pleasant in the country (temperatures consistently dance between 75°F and 85°F), they are also accompanied by an abundance of mosquitoes, black flies, and ticks.

Pro: Low crime rate

A major pro of living in Vermont is that it is generally a very safe place. Vermont consistently ranks among the lowest crime rates in the country, with both violent and property crime averaging well below the national average. 
There tends to be an air of people looking after each other in Vermont, which means you might have to be especially polite in public, but it also means you can generally feel safe in your hometown.

Con: High cost of living and tax rates 

One of the biggest cons of living in Vermont is the cost of living. While housing prices are relatively reasonable—the average home value
according to Zillow
is around $362,000, comparable to the national average—many other things in Vermont are rather expensive. 
Vermont has a cost of living index of 114.5 (with the national average being 100), ranking it as the 39th most affordable state in America. According to
MIT’s living wage calculator
, a single adult in Vermont needs to earn at least $37,000 per year before taxes to live comfortably. 
In speaking of taxes, part of what makes the cost of living so high in Vermont is that it has comparatively high tax rates. Vermont’s graduated income tax ranges from 3.35% to 8.75%, state sales tax is 6.00%, and average property tax is 1.90%.
MORE: Title transfer in Vermont
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Pro: Great education system and access to healthcare

Vermont does put those high taxes to use, as the state has some of the best-funded public education and healthcare systems in the country. 
Thanks in part to the funding, public schools in Vermont consistently rank in the top five in the nation, adding another strong tick in the “pro” box for anyone looking to raise a family in Vermont.
As for healthcare, Vermont has the third-highest healthcare spending in the country, helping it rank in the top five for healthcare accessibility. Healthcare access combined with a tendency toward healthy lifestyles helps Vermonters rank among the healthiest states.

Con: The job market

An undeniable downside of living in Vermont is that it can be hard to find a well-paying job. Since the state lacks a lot of the opportunities that can be found in bigger cities, finding secure, well-paying work can be a struggle. 
If you are thinking about moving to Vermont, it is recommended that you have a job lined up, are able to work remotely, or have substantial savings to support yourself.

Pro: Small towns and a more traditional lifestyle

For those that love small-town or rural living, Vermont is the place to be. It is the second least populous state in the country. 
The largest city in Vermont is Burlington, with a population of around 44,000. Vermonters tend to enjoy a more traditional lifestyle with a “make-your-own-adventure” mindset. 
The dispersed population means people have more space to produce for themselves, making self-sustainability exceedingly popular in the state. Many people have livestock and gardens, brew their own beer, and make their own crafts. If this sounds like how you want to live, then Vermont offers a prime opportunity to dive in.

Con: Lacking amenities and big-city entertainment

This comes with the territory of being a largely remote and dispersed state. While the small-town, self-sufficient lifestyle brings a lot of charm and opportunity for personal freedom, Vermont definitely lacks some of the features that you would find in big cities. 
The nightlife in most towns leaves something to be desired, and finding good internet or cell service can even be a struggle.
Fortunately, if you are craving a dose of city lights, you only need to drive for a few hours to get to large metro areas like Boston, New York, or Montreal, depending on where you’re starting. 
MORE: What is the cost of living in Vermont?
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Pro: All things locally produced

With so many people producing their own goods and foods, Vermont has a strong culture of supporting local.
While you won’t find a ton of bars or museums in Vermont, you will find plentiful farmers' markets, top-notch farm-to-table restaurants, and a booming craft brewing scene
Vermonters would rather back a local business than a chain restaurant or major department store—not that you won’t find a Walmart if you need it, but they will be fewer and further in between.
All of this gives Vermont a sort of charm and community that is hard to find in many other states.

Con: It can be hard to build your community

The people of Vermont are very kind, welcoming, and engaged, all stepping stones to fostering a strong sense of community. However, Vermonters also tend to be more reserved—something you might expect from people who like to be self-sufficient and enjoy the solitude of nature. 
This means that it can take time to find your people and you might have to go out of your way to grow your community more than in other places.

Is Vermont a good state to live in?

Vermont can be a great state to live in, but it’s not for everyone. Each state has its pros and cons that should be taken into account before making the move.
Vermont is a great state for:
  • Nature lovers 
  • People who want a small-town or rural environment
  • People willing to drive long distances, often in poor condition, to get around
However, if you love city life or hate the winter, then Vermont might not be the place for you.

How to upgrade your car insurance in Vermont

If you’re about to move states, you will have to update your
car insurance
. This makes for a great opportunity to shop around to find the best rates available—and the
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FAQs

Winters in Vermont are long, cold, and snowy. Temperature lows average around 0-10°F and highs around 20-30°F. Snow is common from November to March. The average annual snowfall in Vermont is around 81 inches but varies depending on where you are.
Vermont is one of the least racially diverse states in the US, with an
estimated 94.0%
of the population identifying as white.
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