This Vermont City Has Been Named the Most Miserable in the State

Vermont is known for its natural beauty, progressive politics, and high quality of life. But not every city in the Green Mountain State is a paradise. According to a recent analysis by RoadSnacks, a website that ranks places based on various criteria, one city in Vermont stands out as the most miserable in the state: Brattleboro.

What makes Brattleboro so miserable?

RoadSnacks used a combination of factors to determine the misery index of each city in Vermont, such as unemployment, poverty, crime, education, income, and commute. Based on these metrics, Brattleboro scored the worst among the 23 cities analyzed, with a population of 12,256.

Brattleboro has the highest property crime rate in the state, with 6,094 incidents per 100,000 people. It also has the fifth-highest violent crime rate, with 489 incidents per 100,000 people. In 2023, Brattleboro recorded one murder, which is rare for a small city in Vermont.

Brattleboro also suffers from economic woes, such as low median income, high poverty rate, and high unemployment rate. The median household income in Brattleboro is $45,590, which is below the state average of $63,001. The poverty rate in Brattleboro is 18.4%, which is above the state average of 11.3%. The unemployment rate in Brattleboro is 5.9%, which is above the state average of 4.1%.

Brattleboro also has low educational attainment, with only 28.9% of adults having a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to the state average of 37.6%. The city also has a long average commute time of 19.4 minutes, which is above the state average of 18.7 minutes.

Are there any redeeming qualities of Brattleboro?

Despite its misery index, Brattleboro is not without its charms. The city is located on the banks of the Connecticut River, and has a vibrant downtown area with shops, restaurants, galleries, and museums. Brattleboro is also home to the Brattleboro Retreat, a mental health and addiction treatment center that dates back to 1834.

Brattleboro also hosts several cultural events throughout the year, such as the Strolling of the Heifers, a parade and festival that celebrates local agriculture and food; the Brattleboro Literary Festival, a four-day event that features readings, workshops, and panels by authors; and the Brattleboro Music Center, a nonprofit organization that offers concerts, classes, and outreach programs.

Brattleboro also has a reputation for being a progressive and diverse community, with a history of social activism and environmentalism. The city was the first in Vermont to ban plastic bags in 2018, and the first in the nation to vote to impeach President George W. Bush in 2006. Brattleboro also has a high percentage of LGBTQ+ residents, and hosts an annual Pride Week in June.


Brattleboro may be the most miserable city in Vermont according to RoadSnacks, but it is not a hopeless place. The city has many assets and attractions that make it a unique and interesting place to live or visit. Brattleboro may have its challenges, but it also has its opportunities and potential. As the city’s motto says, “Brattleboro: A Better Place to Be.”

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