According to the most recent state and county population data from the U.S. Census Bureau, as shown in Chart 1, Vermont had a shrinking population in 2015 and, correspondingly, the third worst population change in the country. Vermont’s population shrank by -0.1 percent (-725 people) between 2014 and 2015.
Their shrinking population growth is due exclusively to having a negative net domestic migration rate—the 6th worst in the country.
As shown in Chart 2, Vermont’s net natural population rate, as a percent of total population, was 0.11 percent in 2015—the 4th lowest growth rate in the country. The below average net natural population rate is due to a lower than average birth rate (0.96 percent, 2nd lowest) while the death rate (0.85 percent, 22nd highest) was average.
Additionally, as shown in Chart 3, Vermont’s net migration rate, as a percent of total population, was -0.21 percent—the 6th lowest rate in the country. This out-migration is due to exclusively to the U.S. domestic migration rate which was -0.36 percent—the 13th lowest rate in the country. In contrast, the international migration rate was 0.15 percent which was the 10th lowest in the country and not nearly high enough to overcome the negative domestic migration rate.
Of course, the population change within Vermont is not distributed equally. Vermont only has 14 counties as shown below ranked in order of the highest rate of population change between 2014 and 2015 include:
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J. Scott Moody has nearly 20 years experience as a public policy economist with a specialty in tax policy and has over 180 publications. He has worked for numerous national and state-based think tanks such as the American Conservative Union Foundation, Federalism In Action, Tax Foundation, Heritage Foundation, and The Maine Heritage Policy Center.