VT Unaffordability Overshadows Unique Benefits

July 7, 2019

By David Flemming

Wallethub completed an extremely compelling survey which looks at the “best states for Millennials.” Vermont didn’t do too shabby, coming in at #13 out of 51 states and DC for those age 24-37! We ranked among the top 20 states for Education & Health, Quality of Life, Civic Engagement and Economic Health.

I am betting Vermont would be lower on Economic Health if Wallethub took into account our pension liabilities and recent credit downgrade, which are already beginning to eat away at our economic growth in the coming years. Regardless, the Affordability component paints a sobering, poignant picture of a Vermont that is out of reach to most Millennials.

We ranked #49 in Affordability for Millennials, coming in just ahead of the last 2 states, Rhode Island and Hawaii. The Affordability score is actually a composite score of several measures, including “monthly earnings,” “cost of living,” and “cost of housing.” The study did not elaborate on Vermont’s “monthly earnings” score, but I was able to find a Business Insider report on millennial income that uses Census 2017 data. Vermont’s Millennials made $38,000 on average in 2017, tied with Maine for the lowest Millennial median income in New England.

Even if you buy into Vermont’s high ranking for Education & Health, Quality of Life and Civic Engagement, I doubt that the half of the Vermont Millennials making $38,000 or less a year care all that much about such long-term considerations as education and civic engagement. If you can’t afford to live in Vermont, high voting rates and phenomenal education opportunities for your children don’t count for much.

Millennials living here can’t fully appreciate an education system and a more knowledgeable citizenry unless Vermont’s affordability improves. Millennials from other states are even more sensitive to such considerations. Vermont Millennials trying to find a more affordable house are put off by the moving costs and inconvenience may dissuade native from leaving. But out-of-state Millennials willing to consider a move to Vermont are even more sensitive to such concerns, eliminating Vermont from the running.

Vermont needs to fix its affordability problem.

David Flemming is a policy analyst at the Ethan Allen Institute


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jim August 9, 2019 at 9:29 pm

Let’s say that there is an influx of millennials, question, where would they find challenging, upwardly mobile employment? Answer is probably few and far between.


William Hays August 10, 2019 at 1:28 am

…well, they could work at IBM, GE, VTY, or Jay Peak, no?


Brent White August 10, 2019 at 3:45 pm

Umm…where did the 51st state appear from?! The sample was said to be taken from “51 states and DC.” Have I missed something?


Vincent C. Hunter August 11, 2019 at 12:57 am

Just a side bar here – the isometrics created as the variables to conduct these surveys are never adequately explicated so consumers can make a common sense evaluation of their face validity. What are they talking about?? Are they trying to communicate with us? — “top 20 states for “…Education & Health” … “Quality of Life” … “Civic Engagement” … “Economic Health” say what??? Say them… “Shut up, we are the scientific experts.” (Common language – The “social scientists” are snuckering us with their pretend empirical “truth” … and it might be prudent to suspect left-biased here, as with so much else we are bombarded with) Did I get that right?


Pat Finnie August 17, 2019 at 10:51 pm

Am I surprised that we are 49th out of 51 ? I thought that we were all about being 1st ! You eggheads in Montpelier are not bilking the working class out of enough money ! Can’t you find something else to burden us, I mean help us with ? Maybe you can tax the millionaires (like Bernie) and billionaires harder, and when you get done with them there’s always the Russian oligarchs.


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