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Updated November 30, 2023 | Infoplease Staff
Vermont flag


Vermont State Information

Capital: Montpelier

Official Name: State of Vermont

Organized as a territory/republic: January 15, 1777

Entered Union (rank): March 4, 1791 (14th state)

Present constitution adopted: July 9, 1793, amended in 2021

State abbreviation/Postal code: Vt./VT

State Area Code: 802

Fun Facts About Vermont

Nickname: “The Green Mountain State”

Origin of name: Derived from the French words for green, vert, and -mont, from mountain. 

Motto: “Freedom and unity”

Slogan: "Vermont, Naturally"

State symbols

Flower: Red clover (1895) 

Tree: Sugar maple (1949) 

Animal: Morgan Horse (1961)

Bird: Hermit thrush (1941) 

Fish: Brook trout (cold-water fish); Walleye (warm-water fish) (1978 and 2011)

Vegetables: Gilfeather turnip (2016)

Gem: Grossular garnet (1991)

Song: “These Green Mountains” (2000)

Fossil: Beluga skeleton at the University of Vermont's Perkins Geology Museum (1993)

Dinosaur: Delphinapterus leucas (1993)

Insect: Honeybee (1978)


Governor: Phil Scott (Jan. 2025) 

Lieut. Governor: David Zuckerman (Jan. 2025)

Secretary of State: Sarah Copeland Hanzas (Jan. 2025)

State Treasurer: Mike Pieciak (Jan. 2025) 

Atty. General: Charity Clark (Jan. 2025) 

U.S. Representatives: 1

Senators: Bernie Sanders, I (to Jan. 2025); Peter Welch, D (to Jan. 2029).

State website & contact information:


Residents: Vermonter 

Resident population: 647,064 (49th largest state, 2022) 

10 largest cities (2023): Burlington, 44,597; South Burlington, 20,332; Rutland, 15,865; Essex Junction, 11,142; Winooski, 8.976; Barre, 8,437; Montpelier, 7,988; St. Albans, 7,105; St. Albans, 7,105; Newport, 4,426; Bellows Falls, 2,826.

Race/Ethnicity: White (94%); Black or African American (1.5%); American Indian and Alaska Native (0.4%); Asian (2%); Two or More Races (2.1%); Hispanic or Latino (2.2%).

Religion: Unaffiliated (37%); Catholic (22%); Mainline Protestant (19%); Evangelical Christian (11%); Jewish (2%); Orthodox Christian (1%); Buddhist (1%); Hindu (1%).

Sex: Male (50.7%); Female (50.3%)

Age: Under 18 (22.5%); 18-64 (56.9%); 65 and over (20.6%). Median Age: 42.8 years


GDP: 32.4 billion dollars (41st in the U.S., 2022) 

Unemployment: 2.4% (2023)


Land area: 9,616 sq mi. (24,923 sq km)

Geographic center: In Washington Co., 3 mi. east of Roxbury

Number of counties: 14

Largest county by population and area: Chittenden County, 169,301 (2022); Windsor County, 58,142 sq mi. 

State parks/recreation areas: 58

See additional census data

Tourism office


Vermont, a constituent state of the United States of America, is one of six New England states in the northwestern region of the country. It joined the Union on March 4, 1791, as the 14th state. Vermont is the second smallest state by population.

Although Vermont is sparsely populated, millions of people visit the state each year, drawn in by the state’s small-town reputation, historical preservation, and natural beauty. Many people from the surrounding states maintain second homes in Vermont. The natural beauty of the state has inspired artists, poets, and novelists for centuries. 

Vermont is an unassuming state with a vibrant, progressive past. The state consistently ranks near the top of health and well-being studies. It also consistently ranked high on lists of the best states to live in, with positive education numbers, low crime rates, and high equality and opportunity ratings.

Vermont Geography

Vermont is located in the New England region of the United States. It is bordered by New York to the west, the province of Quebec and the rest of Canada to the north, New Hampshire to the east, and Massachusetts to the south. The Connecticut River borders the state to the east, separating it from New Hampshire. Lake Champlain separates northwestern Vermont from the northeastern section of New York. 

The Green Mountains, which run north to south through the middle of the state, are the state’s most defining geographic characteristic. The Lake Chaplain Valley and the Connecticut River Valley define the western and eastern borders of the state. A majority of the terrain is characterized by hardwood and coniferous forests. Most of the soil is rocky, making agriculture difficult. Many hilly regions have been cleared and are used for dairying.

Vermont is about 159 miles long. It is 89 miles wide in northern Vermont and 37 miles in southern Vermont.

Pine, spruce, fir, and hemlock, as well as maple and birch, are among the most common trees. Ferns and wildflowers also populate the region. Vermont is home to a huge deer population. Bears are common, and there is a growing moose population. Small birds and mammals are also native. Fish are plentiful in the state’s many lakes, rivers, and streams.  

Vermont experiences a wet continental climate. Temperatures are generally mild in the spring and summer, while fall and winter are cold. Temperatures in the winter can get as low as -34 degrees Fahrenheit and climb as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. Precipitation varies between the mountains and non-mountainous regions of the state. Because frost can come as early as September, giving the state a very short growing season — about 120 days. 

Vermont People and Population

The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2022 estimates of Vermont’s population give the state a population of 647,064. Vermont’s demographics have not changed significantly since its founding. Most residents are of European descent, with white citizens making up 94% of the population. African Americans, American Indians, Asians, and people of Latino descent represent the remaining 6% of the population. 4.4% of Vermonters are foreign-born. The median household income in 2021 was $67,674, and the per capita (individual) income was $37,903. Vermont has a poverty rate of 10.3%. 

Vermont has a high percentage of people who are unaffiliated and non-religious at 37% of the population. Despite this, Catholicism and Mainline Protestant religions are the most practiced religions in the state, making up 41% of the population. Nearly every Protestant denomination is represented in Vermont. 

Most Vermonters live in Burlington and the surrounding cities. Burlington, South Burlington, and Essex are the three largest cities. Montpellier, the state capital, is the least populated state capital in the United States. Despite the high population in cities, Vermont is characterized by its vast number of small towns and villages.

State Government

The state of Vermont is known for its progressive politics. Vermont was one of the first states to recognize same-sex civil unions and marriage, the first to legalize recreational marijuana, and boasts 99.9% renewable energy usage. Despite its reputation for progressive policies, Vermont has some of the least restrictive gun-control laws in the country. 

From 1856 to 1992, Vermont voted Republican in every presidential election, except in 1964, when the state voted for Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson. Since the 1992 presidential election, Vermont has supported Democrats in federal elections. This political shift can be attributed to an influx of more liberal people moving into the state in the 1980s and 1990s and a shift in the national Republican party to the right.

The Vermont legislature, the General Assembly, is a bicameral system made up of the Senate and House of Representatives. All members of the executive and legislative branches serve 2-year terms, and there are no term limits. 30 state senators and 150 representatives comprise the General Assembly. The Judiciary of Vermont leads the judicial branch of Vermont’s government.  

Vermont’s governor, Phil Scott, a Republican, was first elected in 2016. Vermonters elect their governor and lieutenant governor on separate tickets. David Zuckerman has served as Lieutenant Governor twice; the first time from 2017-2021, and most recently in 2023. The remainder of the state government’s executive officers are Secretary of State Sarah Copelans-Hanzas (D), Attorney General Charity Clark (D), State Treasurer Mike Pieciak (D), and State Auditor Doug Hoffer (D). 

The executive branch oversees the state’s agencies, which are divided into seven commissions, each of which oversees certain commissions. The seven commissions are the Administration Agency, Agriculture Agency, Commerce and Community Development Agency, Digital Services, Human Services Agency, Natural Resources Agency, and Transportation Agency. 

Senators Bernie Sanders (I) and Peter Welch (D) represent Vermont in the federal government. Vermont has one representative in the House of Representatives, Becca Balint (D).

Local governments operate in four different ways. City governments represent municipalities that are incorporated as cities and have a city-style government. Towns are municipalities incorporated as such and generally operate under a town hall-style of government. There are several large towns with a large enough population to qualify as a city, but choose not to, such as Colchester, Brattleboro, Middlebury, and Springfield. Unincorporated towns have had their charters revoked due to low population and are not governed by a town government, but rather by a state-appointed supervisor. Gores are regions that are unincorporated parts of counties that may be unpopulated. There is limited self-government in these regions.

Vermont Economy

The state economy of Vermont relies heavily on the service sector. Because tourism is a  large component of the state economy, service-based jobs drive local and state-wide employment. 

Manufacturing is one of the largest industries in Vermont. GlobalFoundries in Essex Junction was the state’s largest private employer in 2015. A growing component in this sector is the sale and development of artisanal foods and novelty items. Notable Vermont exports are Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, Burton Snowboards, Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Cabot Cheese, and King Arthur Flour. 

Dairy farming has consistently been a major source of agricultural development. While the number of farms has decreased significantly since the 1950s, Vermont leads New England in milk production. Vermont leads the nation in maple syrup production, contributing 50.7% of the nation’s production. 

Tourism drives most of Vermont’s economy. The state’s vast natural resources and environment draw tourists for hunting, skiing and snowboarding, and historical tourism. Vermont is home to many ski areas including Killington Ski Resort, Stowe Mountain Resort, Jay Peak, Sugarbush, Smugglers’ Notch, and Stratton. Resort towns like Stowe, Manchester, Quechee, Wilmington, and Woodstock attract tourists in the summer. Among the many points of interest are the Green Mountain National Forest, Bennington Battle Monument, the Calvin Coolidge Homestead at Plymouth, and the Marble Exhibit in Proctor.

Other major industries include healthcare, with the University of Vermont Medical Center leading the state in employment with over 8,000 employees, energy, and mining. 

Vermont boasts a relatively high standard of living for its citizens. In 2021, 93.9% of Vermonters were high school graduates. 40.9% of Vermonters have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Vermont is home to several prominent colleges including The University of Vermont, Saint Michael’s College, Middlebury College, Norwich University, and Castleton University. The median household income in 2021 was $67,674 and the poverty rate was 10.3%. 

Vermont Interesting Facts

Vermont is well-known for its quaint, rural character and strong historical preservation. Many artists have made their home in Vermont, and strong folk art and music permeate the art and music scene in the state. Additionally, The Vermont Council on the Arts and the Vermont Historical Society work together to bring local artists and craftspeople to perform demonstrations around the state.

The Arts

Vermont is home to many art venues, including the Southern Vermont Art Center in Manchester, the Chaffee Center for the Visual Arts in Rutland, and the T. W. Wood Gallery and Arts Center. The state also hosts several arts festivals such as the Vermont International Film Festival in Burlington, the Marlboro Music Festival, and the Green Mountain Film Festival in Montpelier. The Vermont Theatre Company, based in Brattleboro, hosts an annual summer Shakespeare festival. 

Folk arts are important, bringing tourists and visitors to the various festivals held around the state. Additionally, folk craftsmanship and art connect Vermont’s history and culture uniquely and creatively. Folk art is featured at the Vermont Folk Art Gallery in Brandon and the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne.

The best-known musical artists from Vermont are Phish, Grace Potter, and Dispatch. All three have strong influences from rock and folk music. 

Historical Preservation

The Shelburne Museum, known as “The Museum of the American Spirit,” is one of several museums that work to preserve Vermont's heritage and history. Its historic buildings sit on 45 acres of land and hold a wealth of artifacts related to the history and culture of Vermont. The museum celebrates the early American and folk lifestyle, and Vermont’s dairy history, and holds a large collection of Native American artifacts. The Bennington Museum features 13 gallery spaces that celebrate Vermont’s strong art history by featuring Grandma Moses, a self-taught folk artist, the Battle of Bennington, and art depicting life in Vermont through various ages. 

Vermont has 18 National Historical Sites including Brown Bridge, a covered bridge, the Calvin Coolidge Homestead District, Robert Frost Farm, and Round Church. The Agency of Commerce and Community Development works to preserve historic sites around the state. Additionally, the Vermont Historical Society often partners with other government agencies and nonprofit organizations to preserve Vermont’s history. Vermont has about 150 historical societies and statewide organizations.

Covered Bridges

Vermont boasts more than 100 covered bridges, many of which were built before 1912 and has more covered bridges per square mile than any other state. Covered bridges are wooden bridges whose trusses are protected by a roof, decking, and siding. This design protects the trusses from weathering and damage, allowing them to last for long periods. 

The oldest bridges date from 1820, the Pulp Mill Bridge in Middlebury being one of the oldest. The Windsor Cornish Covered Bridge is the longest wooden bridge in the United States and the longest two-span covered bridge in the world. The bridge spans 465 feet over the Connecticut River and connects Vermont and New Hampshire. 

Vermont History

Vermont has been inhabited for nearly 11,000 years. Extensive archaeological evidence demonstrates the thriving cultures of the pre-exploration era. Since white settlers began inhabiting Vermont, the state has had an independent streak, often passing initiatives and laws that can be considered ahead of their time. 

Pre-Colonial History

At the end of the last ice age, about 11,000 years ago, groups of hunter-gatherers migrated into the region following herds of animals through the Champlain Valley. This era is known as the Paleo-Indian Period.  About 8,000 years ago, at the beginning of the Archaic period, the Champlain Sea became freshwater, forming Lake Champlain. This change also brought a more temperate climate than the earlier tundra environment, leading to diverse flora and fauna. This period continued as large mammals went extinct or migrated north, leading the people to rely on small game and plants. They developed fishing equipment and stone cookware. 

3,000 years ago, the Woodland Period began. Food primarily came from domesticated plants. This allowed for a more sedentary lifestyle and led to the creation of pottery, tools, and canoes. By the time of European contact, in the 1600s, about 10,000 indigenous peoples lived in the land of Vermont. 75-90% were killed by diseases. The remaining moved north into New France or assimilated with the Europeans.

Colonial History

In 1609, French explorer Samuel de Champlain explored Lake Champlain and claimed the land for New France. Vermont remained a part of New France until 1763 when France ceded its claims east of the Mississippi River to Great Britain. During the French occupation, the French had a military presence in the region, but it remained unpopulated due to warfare and raiding. 

Once Great Britain gained control of the area, the land between the Connecticut River and Lake Champlain remained unsettled and disputed by the colonies of New Hampshire and New York. New Hampshire governor, Benning Wentworth, auctioned land in this region in 1749. These land grants, known as New Hampshire Grants, were a point of contention between New Hampshire and New York colonies, with New York also issuing grants. King George III granted control of the land to New York in 1764. This led to conflict between existing and new settlers. Ethan Allen formed a militia, the Green Mountain Boys, to attack New York settlers and land speculators. This group would go on to fight in the American Revolution and aid in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga. 

In 1777, residents of the New Hampshire Grants declared independence. The same year, they drafted the first Constitution of Vermont. This was the first constitution to ban adult slavery, freeing male slaves at 21 and females at 18. It also granted universal suffrage to white men and established a public school system. 

During the American Revolution, the Green Mountain Boys fought against the British. The Battle of Bennington fought just across the border at Hoosick, New York, is considered a major turning point of the war along with the Battle of Saratoga. In this battle, American forces captured or killed almost every Hessian under General John Burgoyne. Two months later, he surrendered at Saratoga. 

The only battle to be fought in the current boundary of Vermont was the Battle of Hubbardton. This was a loss for the Continental forces, but the British forces did not pursue the Americans due to suffering extensive damage. 

Vermont was admitted to the Union on March 4, 1971, as the 14th state after contentious negotiations with New York. 

Pre-Civil War History

In the years after earning statehood, Vermont saw a steady increase in population. Most people initially migrated from New York or other New England states. Small communities were slow to organize. In the mid-1800s, railway connections brought increased economic opportunities to the state, as well as increased immigration. While the vast majority of immigrants came from England, a large influx of Italian immigrants moved to Barre to work in the quarry. 

Vermont had a long history of supporting abolitionist policies. Abolitionist Thaddeus Stevenson was born in Vermont. Vermont’s legislature banned slavery in 1777 and 1858, adding a stronger anti-slavery amendment to its constitution. Despite these measures, free blacks were often subjected to legal and social difficulties that prevented them from achieving full equality.

Vermont sent 33,288 troops to fight in the Civil War. The only action Vermont saw during the war was in the St. Albans Raid, the northernmost action of the Civil War. Confederate agents robbed three banks in 1864 in St. Albans. A group followed the agents into Canada where they were captured and turned over to Canadian authorities. The Canadian government repaid the banks, released and then re-arrested the perpetrators. 

Post-Civil War History 

In the years after the Civil War, Vermont continued to see immigration from Ireland, Scotland, and Italy. While many immigrants assimilated well, concerns and tensions arose between native Vermonters and immigrants. Some Vermonters worried that the influx of Catholic immigrants from Ireland and French Canada would overtake the Protestant population. Additionally, many worried about the exodus of people from the rural regions to the cities.

In the early 20th century in Vermont and ethnic tensions were based on eugenics. While some Vermont leaders sought to convince the public that monitoring, institutionalizing, and sterilizing those deemed unfit to reproduce was a positive measure, historians generally agree that these practices were prejudiced. 

Vermont granted women’s suffrage on December 18, 1880, 40 years before the passage of the 19th Amendment. While women’s voting rights were initially restricted to town elections, they were later able to vote in state elections. 

Modern History

Redistricting in 1964 began a shift of power in Vermont politics. Before the supreme court case, Reynolds vs. Sims state legislative districts tended to favor rural populations over cities because districts were based on geographic regions rather than population. This has led to a political shift from the Republican Party to the Democrat Party. 

In the latter half of the 20th century and into the 21st century, Vermont is known for its political progressivism. Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent, self-identifies as a Democratic Socialist. He supports measures such as universal health care in the form of Medicare for all, a Green New Deal, increased taxes, and the cancellation of student loan debt. Vermont was the first state to recognize same-sex civil unions, same-sex marriages, and recreational marijuana. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci touted Vermont as a model for handling the pandemic, crediting the head of the Vermont Department of Health, Dr. Mark Levine, for successfully guiding the state through the earliest months. The state had some of the lowest case numbers in the latter half of 2020. As of April 2023, 80% of Vermonters completed a primary series for the COVID-19 vaccine.

People Also Ask…

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What Is the State of Vermont Known For?

Vermont is largely known for its natural beauty, small-town feel, and maple syrup. Additionally, Vermont is known for Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, the Vermont Teddy Bear Company, and Cabot Cheese. Vermont is also home to some of the largest ski resorts in New England. Green Mountain Coffee, a nationally known coffee brand, gets its name from the Green Mountains in Vermont. 

Is Vermont a Good Place To Live?

Vermont is considered one of the safest states in the United States. They rank number three in the country for incarceration rates and number four for crime rates. Additionally, Vermont has a captive health insurance policy which allows companies to create custom plans for its employees which helps reduce costs. Its beauty and small-town charm are also major draws for the state. 

What Is Vermont’s Nickname?

Vermont is nicknamed “The Green Mountain State” because of the mountain range that runs north to south in the center of the state. The state’s name is a combination of the French word for green, “vert,” and “-mont” for mountain. Coffee company, Green Mountain Coffee, also derives its name from this nickname. 

See more on Vermont:
Encyclopedia: Vermont
Encyclopedia: Geography
Encyclopedia: Economy
Encyclopedia: Government
Encyclopedia: History
Monthly Temperature Extremes

Selected famous natives and residents:

The 50 States of America | U.S. State Information
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