Vermont, a small state with a population of slightly over 600,000, ranks as the second least populous state in the United States. Despite its size, certain cities within Vermont have witnessed notable population increases in the last ten years, particularly in the Burlington metropolitan area.
Out of the 100 largest cities in Vermont, the city experiencing the most rapid growth is South Burlington, which has seen a 15.5% increase in its population since 2010. What factors contribute to the appeal of this city for both newcomers and long-time residents? Here are some potential explanations:
Location and Economy
South Burlington, situated in Chittenden County, Vermont, thrives as the most populous and economically vibrant county in the state. The city shares its border with Burlington, which serves as the largest city and the central hub for culture and commerce in Vermont.
Benefiting from its close proximity to Burlington, South Burlington enjoys easy access to amenities like the University of Vermont, Burlington International Airport, the scenic Lake Champlain waterfront, and the bustling Church Street Marketplace.
Additionally, South Burlington boasts its own attractions, including the University Mall, the Vermont National Country Club, and the renowned Magic Hat Brewing Company.
The city is a bustling hub for various industries, particularly in technology, education, healthcare, and retail. Noteworthy employers in South Burlington encompass GE Healthcare, Ben & Jerry’s, Burton Snowboards, Seventh Generation, and Dealer.com.
South Burlington proudly hosts the headquarters of both the Vermont Air National Guard and the Vermont Army National Guard. The city maintains a commendably low unemployment rate of 2.4%, surpassing the state average of 3.1% and the national average of 5.2%.
Quality of Life and Education
South Burlington provides its residents with a high standard of living, boasting a median household income of $72,282. This exceeds both the state average of $60,782 and the national average of $62,843.
The city also maintains a low poverty rate at 7.1%, in contrast to the state average of 10.2% and the national average of 13.4%. Furthermore, South Burlington enjoys a low crime rate, with a violent crime rate of 1.4 per 1,000 residents and a property crime rate of 12.9 per 1,000 residents, both falling below state and national averages.
In terms of education, South Burlington is home to a top-notch public school system, comprising four elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school.
South Burlington High School, in particular, holds the distinction of being ranked as the best public high school in Vermont by U.S. News & World Report, boasting a graduation rate of 96% and an Advanced Placement participation rate of 58%.
Additionally, the city offers a range of private schooling options, including institutions like the Vermont Commons School and the Lake Champlain Waldorf School.
Diversity and Culture
South Burlington, Vermont, boasts a diverse population, with 85.4% identifying as white, 6.2% as Asian, 3.8% as Black or African American, 2.4% as Hispanic or Latino, and 2.2% belonging to other races or identifying as two or more races.
Furthermore, the city has a significant immigrant presence, with 14.4% of its residents hailing from outside the United States. This stands in contrast to the state average of 4.6% and the national average of 13.7%.
The community in South Burlington is known for its warmth and inclusivity, hosting a range of cultural events and festivals like the South Burlington CityFest, the South Burlington Rotary Craft Fair, and the South Burlington Winterfest.