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Demographics

Sources: 2000 U.S. Census and 2015 American Community Survey; ACS 2016 1-year estimates, Table S0101

The shift in the makeup of Vermont’s age groups, or cohorts, over the last fifteen years has been remarkable. As the baby boomer cohorts have aged an already small base of younger Vermonters has not been augmented by significant in-migration and births. Reductions in the share of 35-49 year olds are particularly remarkable.

Source: US Census (Decennial and 2015 Population Estimates); ACS 2016 1-year estimates, Table S0101

Vermont grew rapidly in the late 1700s and early 1800s.From the mid 1800s to 1900s the population remained relatively flat, then grew again in the 1960s-1990s. Growth was fueled by baby boomers and facilitated by developments like the interstate highway system. Since the 1990s Vermont’s population has flattened out again. From 2015 to 2016 Vermont lost 1,448 people according to Census estimates. Although people move in and out of Vermont all the time, net gains are mainly in older cohorts.

Source: United States Census; ACS 2016 1-year estimates, Table PEPTCOMP

Population growth comes from “natural increase” (births versus deaths) and migration which is typically from other states (and to a much lesser extent in Vermont, foreign countries). Annual net change 2015-2016 was negative. While births continue to outpace deaths, the difference continues to decrease (696 natural increase in 2015; 488 in 2016). At the same time, net migration continues to accelerate; losing 1,309 in 2015 and 1,910 in 2016.