Vermont has a prosperous economy and 1 more...less...


% of population living at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level


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Story Behind the Curve

The percent of Vermonters living at or below this specific measure of poverty has dropped over the last decade. This is a promising sign, although the full story is more complex. The level of poverty varies among towns and counties in Vermont, and between different population characteristics, such as race and ethnicity, gender, and level of education. And though the data trend for the next few years may see changes resulting from economic disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the current downward trend is a positive sign that the economic situation for many Vermonters has improved.

This measure is an important indicator for our state, as poverty has a significant impact on overall wellbeing. The effects of poverty do not only impact individuals, but whole communities. 

Updated in September, 2022


A vast number of partners throughout the state are engaged in work to reduce the percentage of Vermonters living below the federal poverty level. There are many organizations that increase access to housing, food, medical care, childcare, and other services specifically for those with limited economic means. Additionally there are organizations that support people in getting and retaining employment, providing additional supports and customized services for those who may experience increased barriers.

This work could not take place without partnerships within the Agency of Human Services, the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, and many other agencies within the State of Vermont.

What Works

It takes a multifaceted and multidisciplinary approach to reduce poverty rates with interventions that provide services, increase jobs, reduce barriers to education, and more.

The National Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends the following types of intervention to reduce disparities and decrease poverty:

  • Center-based early childhood education
  • Tenant-based rental assistance programs
  • Out-of-school-time academic programs (general, math-focused, and reading-focused)
  • High school completion programs
  • Full-day kindergarten programs
Notes on Methodology

This data is taken from the U.S. Census American Community Survey 1-year estimates. This measure was not calculated as usual for 2020 due to interruptions in normal processes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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