Living in Vermont is more expensive than it is on average across the U.S. as a whole. According to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, goods and services in the state cost 3.0% more than they do on average nationwide. Compared with all other states, Vermont has the 11th highest overall cost of living.
In general, living in dense, urban metro areas is more expensive than living in more rural areas. Vermont is home to just one metropolitan area. In the Burlington-South Burlington metro area, the cost of goods and services is 5.7% higher than the national average and 2.7% higher than the statewide average.
Vermont Housing Costs
Housing is one of the largest components of cost of living. In Vermont, the typical home is worth $223,700, $18,800 more than the national median home value of $204,900. Across the state, the median price of a home built in 1939 or earlier is $197,200, while the median value of a home built in 2014 or later is $337,500.
The typical renter in Vermont spends $972 a month on housing, $51 less than the $1,023 national median monthly rent. Monthly rent for a one-bedroom in the state is $800, while the typical rent for a unit with five or more bedrooms is $1,215.
Across the state, 29.3% of occupied homes are rented, less than the 36.2% national average and the eighth lowest renter rate of any state.
Vermont Transportation Costs
Transportation can also be a significant component of cost of living. In Vermont, 84.6% of commuters drive to work, compared to 85.5% of commuters nationwide. On average, the typical motorist in the state drives 11,888 miles a year. Taking into account average fuel economy and the average cost of gas -- regular fuel cost an average of $2.18 a gallon in Vermont in mid-2020 -- the average motorist in the state can expect to spend $1,072 on gas alone in one year.
Other transportation costs, like car insurance premiums, can vary by state. In Vermont, the average car insurance premium is $1,451, less than the $1,517 national average, according to data from Insure.com. And according to data from the EPI, the average single adult in the state spends $10,874 a year on transportation.
Vermont Health Care Costs
Out-of-pocket costs and insurance premiums for health care -- assuming at least a basic level of health insurance coverage -- are relatively high in Vermont. Average health care costs for a single adult in the state total $5,514 per year, compared to the national average of $4,266. For a family of four, average annual health care costs total $15,818 -- $2,868 more than the comparable national average of $12,950.
Vermont Food Costs
Food is another every day expense that has a significant impact on the overall cost of living in an area. Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that the cost of food varies from state to state.
In Vermont, a single adult spends an average of $3,835 on food annually, and a family of four spends $11,076 on average. For context, the nationwide average annual food expenditure is $3,240 for a single adult and $9,354 for a family of four. These estimates are calculated for a nutritionally adequate diet of food purchased at a grocery store for at home preparation.
Vermont Child Care Costs
For families, child care adds thousands of dollars to overall annual spending. The average annual cost of child care for a 4 year old child in Vermont is $9,323, in line with the national average of $8,903. However, it costs an average of $15,150 to care for a 4 year old child and an 8 year old child per year in Vermont compared to the national average of $15,853.
Few expenses vary as much from state to state as taxes. Accounting for state and federal income taxes, as well as Social Security contributions and Medicare payroll, the average adult working in Vermont pays $7,322 annually in taxes -- above the national average of $6,542.
Excluding federal taxes and incorporating state and local taxes such as property and sales taxes -- the state and local tax burden in Vermont is greater than the average across the U.S. as a whole. Per capita state tax collections in Vermont come out to $5,244 per year, compared to the $3,151 average across all states.
Cost of Living by County or County Equivalent
Just as cost of living varies from state to state, it also varies from place to place within states. In Vermont, Chittenden County, home to the city of Burlington, has the highest overall cost of living for a family of four at $107,767 per year, well above the statewide average of $94,045 per year.
Meanwhile, Orleans County is the least expensive place in Vermont. The average annual cost of living for a family of four in the area is just $81,467, $12,578 less than it is across the state as a whole. Newport is the most populous community in Orleans County.
Note that monetary figures are rounded to the nearest dollar and calculated differences may not always add up perfectly to the nearest dollar.
Read More About Cost of Living
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