Thousands of People Moved From These States Into Vermont

Vermont is a small state in the northeastern United States, known for its natural beauty, progressive politics, and high quality of life. In recent years, Vermont has also become a popular destination for people who want to escape the urban hustle, the pandemic stress, or the political turmoil of other states. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Vermont had the highest rate of net migration in the country in 2020, with more than 8,000 people moving into the state.

Where did they come from?

The majority of the newcomers to Vermont came from neighboring states in the Northeast, such as New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. These states have some of the highest population densities, cost of living, and COVID-19 cases in the country, which may have motivated some people to seek a quieter and safer place to live. For example, New York City, which was hit hard by the pandemic, lost more than 300,000 residents in 2020, many of whom moved to Vermont and other nearby states.

However, Vermont also attracted people from other regions of the country, such as the South, the Midwest, and the West. Some of these migrants were drawn by Vermont’s reputation as a progressive and environmentally friendly state, especially in contrast to the conservative and climate-skeptical policies of some of their home states.

For instance, Vermont was one of the first states to legalize same-sex marriage, marijuana, and physician-assisted suicide, and has one of the lowest carbon footprints in the nation. Others were lured by Vermont’s economic opportunities, especially in the fields of health care, education, and technology, which have been relatively resilient during the recession.

What did they bring with them?

The influx of people from different states into Vermont has had both positive and negative impacts on the state’s economy, society, and culture. On the one hand, the newcomers have brought with them skills, talents, diversity, and spending power, which have boosted Vermont’s labor force, tax base, innovation, and tourism. For example, some of the migrants have started or joined businesses, nonprofits, or community organizations that have created jobs, provided services, or addressed social issues in Vermont.

On the other hand, the newcomers have also brought with them challenges, conflicts, and pressures, which have strained Vermont’s infrastructure, resources, and identity. For example, some of the migrants have driven up the demand and prices for housing, land, and utilities, which have made it harder for locals, especially low-income and young Vermonters, to afford or access them. Moreover, some of the migrants have clashed with the natives over political, cultural, or environmental values, such as gun rights, school choice, or development plans, which have sparked tensions or resentment among some Vermonters.

What does it mean for the future?

The trend of people moving from other states into Vermont is likely to continue in the near future, as the pandemic, the economy, and the climate change the way people live, work, and travel. Vermont has a lot to offer and to gain from these migrants, but also a lot to protect and to balance. Therefore, Vermont needs to plan and prepare for the opportunities and challenges that come with being a magnet state, and to foster a sense of belonging and cooperation among its diverse and dynamic population.

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