Avoid Shifting to this Worst City in Vermont to Live

Vermont is a really beautiful state, with breathtaking sites and charming towns. However, not all sections of Green Mountain State are equally safe, prosperous, or livable. Barre is regarded as the least attractive area to live in Vermont, according to a variety of social and economic indices such as crime, poverty, education, and health.

Barre: A Center of Granite Production

Barre, a lovely community in central Vermont near the state capital Montpelier, has a population of approximately 8,500 people, according to the 2020 census. Barre is renowned as the “Granite Center of the World” because of its strong granite mining and carving industry, which has played an important role throughout its history.

The city’s architecture, landmarks, and artwork, all made of local granite, lend it a distinct and artistic character. However, behind the stone veneer, Barre suffers a number of obstacles and predicaments that make it difficult for many citizens to live.

Increase in criminal activity

One of the primary worries of Barre is the high crime rate. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, Barre had 57 violent crimes and 166 property crimes in 2020. This equates to 6.74 violent crimes and 19.63 property crimes per thousand residents.

These values are significantly 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, well exceeding the state average of 5.

Assault, robbery, burglary, theft, and vandalism are among the most common crimes in Barre. The city faces considerable issues in terms of drug abuse and trafficking, particularly opioids and methamphetamines. Unfortunately, it recorded the most opioid-related deaths in the state in 2019, with 13 fatalities.

Avoid Shifting to this Worst City in Vermont to Live

Financial constraints and increased poverty pose significant challenges

The low income and high poverty rates in Barre have had a severe impact on the quality of life. In 2019, Barre’s median household income was $42,031, much less than the state norm of $63,001. In Barre, the poverty rate was 19.4%, more than twice the state figure of 9.1%. A large proportion of Barre’s children (28%) and elders (15%) live below the poverty level.

The loss of the granite industry has had a tremendous impact on Barre’s economy, resulting in low wages and high poverty rates. Increased competition from low-cost commodities and international imports has resulted in job losses and wage reductions. The city’s lack of economic variety makes it even more difficult to recruit new enterprises and industries that can stimulate growth and provide opportunities.

Inadequate educational and health outcomes

Barre continues to struggle with below-average education and health outcomes, limiting its citizens’ possibilities and overall well-being. In terms of educational achievement, the city lags behind state standards, with only 86.5% of adults holding a high school diploma or above, and 19.9% holding a bachelor’s degree or higher.

State averages are 92.3% and 37.6%, respectively. The 2019 dropout rate of 4.6%, which is greater than the state average of 2.3%, exacerbates already difficult educational conditions.

Health-wise, Barre has higher incidences of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer than the state average. The city’s health problems are aggravated by increased rates of smoking, obesity, and substance addiction.

Barre’s life expectancy of 77.9 years, which is less than the state average of 80.5 years, demonstrates the current health inequities. In addition, the city has inadequate access to healthcare, with fewer doctors, dentists, and mental health practitioners per person than the state average.


While Barre has a rich history and lively culture, it also faces a number of difficult challenges that make it less suitable for living in Vermont. The city faces various issues, including high crime rates, low income, poverty, insufficient education, and poor health results. Barre must solve these concerns in order to improve the quality of life for its citizens and avoid slipping behind the rest of the state and country.

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