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Chittenden County, Vermont

Chittenden County, Vermont
Chittenden County Superior Court in Burlington
Map of Vermont highlighting Chittenden County
Location in the state of Vermont
Map of the United States highlighting Vermont
Vermont's location in the U.S.
Founded October 22, 1787
Shire Town Burlington
Largest city Burlington
 • Total 619 sq mi (1,603 km2)
 • Land 537 sq mi (1,391 km2)
 • Water 83 sq mi (215 km2), 13%
 • (2014 Estimate) 160,531
 • Density 298.4/sq mi (115/km²)
Congressional district At-large
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Chittenden County is a county located in the U.S. state of Vermont. As of the 2010 census, the population was 156,545.[1] The estimate for 2014 is 160,531. Its shire town is Burlington,[2] the most populous city in the state. Home to nearly a quarter of Vermont's total population, Chittenden is the most populous county in the state, with more than twice as many residents as Vermont's second-most populous county, Rutland. It is named after Vermont's first governor and one of the framers of its constitution as a republic and state, Thomas Chittenden.

Chittenden County is part of the Burlington-South Burlington, VT Metropolitan Statistical Area.


  • Geography 1
    • Adjacent counties 1.1
  • Demographics 2
  • Government 3
    • Judicial 3.1
    • Elections 3.2
  • Economy 4
    • Personal income 4.1
    • Industry 4.2
      • Retailing 4.2.1
      • Real estate 4.2.2
  • Education 5
    • Higher education 5.1
  • Personal health and safety 6
  • Infrastructure 7
    • Solid waste 7.1
    • Roads 7.2
  • Athletics 8
  • Communities 9
    • Cities 9.1
    • Towns 9.2
    • Villages 9.3
    • Census-designated places 9.4
    • Unincorporated communities 9.5
  • See also 10
  • Footnotes 11
  • External links 12


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 619 square miles (1,600 km2), of which 537 square miles (1,390 km2) is land and 83 square miles (210 km2) (13%) is water.[3] It is the third-smallest county in Vermont by area.

Originally, Chittenden County contained parts of other counties. It included all of today's Franklin, Grand Isle, and Lamoille counties, and parts of today's Orleans, Washington, and Addison counties.[4]

Adjacent counties


As of the census[10] of 2010, there were 156,545 people, 62,587 households, and 35,169 families residing in the county. The population density was 272 people per square mile (105/km²). There were 61,302 housing units at an average density of 109 per square mile (42/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 93.21% White, 1.71% Black or African American, 0.27% Native American, 2.44% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.42% from other races, and 1.77% from two or more races. 1.63% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 13.9% were of Irish, 12.7% English, 12.0% French Canadian, 11.9% French, 7.4% German, 6.9% American and 6.3% Italian ancestry according to the 2000 census. 92.5% spoke English, 2.7% French and 1.2% Spanish as a first language.

2014 U.S. Census Estimates

In 2014, there were 160,531 people, and 67,271 households. The racial makeup of the county was 91.7% White, 2.4% Black or African American, 0.33% Native American, 3.5% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, and 2.1% from two or more races. 2.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. [11]

There were 67,271 households of which 36.23% had children under age 18 living with them, 52.9% were married couples living together, 7.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.70% were non-families. 24.31% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.72% had someone living alone who was age 65 or older. Average household size was 2.67 and average family size was 3.13.

In the county, age distribution was as follows: 18.7% under the age of 18, 15.23% from 18 to 24, 32.05% from 25 to 44, 20.82% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 94.06 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.30 males.

In 2008, 19% described their ancestry as Irish, 17% English, 14% French and 9% French-Canadian.[12]

In 2007, census department estimates that Chittenden had the youngest average age in the state, 37.5. This compares with the actual census in 2000 of 34.2 years.[12]

In 2008, about 29% of the population lives alone. 59% of households consist of families. 38% of men and 35% of women, age 15 or older, have never married. 6% of the population were born in a foreign country, 8% of residents speak a language other than English at home. Half the population has a college degree.[12]

From 2000 to 2008, residents left Chittenden in high numbers for places outside Vermont. Still, population increased slightly, in part from immigration from foreign countries.[13]


As in all Vermont counties, there is a small executive function which is mostly consolidated at the state level. Remaining county government is judicial. There are no "county taxes."

In 2007, median property taxes in the county were $3,809, placing it 265 out of 1,817 counties in the nation with populations over 20,000. It stood first in Vermont.[14]


The State Attorney (elected) is T. J. Donovan. In 2008, he said that "Alcohol is involved in most of our cases."[15]


Presidential election results[16]
Year Democratic Republican
2012 69.6% 53,626 28% 21,571
2008 71.4% 59,611 26.7% 22,237
2004 63.5% 49,369 34.0% 26,422
2000 54.4% 39,156 36.3% 26,105


Personal income

According to the US Census, the median household income for the years 2007 and 2011 was $62,260. The per capita income for the same period was $32,533. [17]

As of the 2010 US Census, the median income for a household in the county was $63,989, and the median income for a family was $59,460. Males had a median income of $38,541 versus $27,853 for females. The per capita income for the county was $33,281. About 4.90% of families and 8.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.00% of those under age 18 and 8.20% of those age 65 or over.[18]


Burton Snowboards is headquartered in Burlington.

GlobalFoundries (a former IBM microelectronics business[19]), in Essex Junction, is Vermont's largest private employer. While it was IBM, it provided 25% of all manufacturing jobs in Vermont. It was responsible for $1 billion of the state's annual economy.[20]

Burton Snowboards employs 500 people with a payroll of $28 million in 2008.[21]


The Church Street Marketplace in downtown Burlington

One measure of economic activity is retail sales. In 2007, Chittenden led the state with 29% of sales, as measured by sales tax reports. This amounted to US$1.52 billion.[22] Four local cities stood among the top five areas in the state: 1- Williston, 2-South Burlington, 4-Colchester, and 5-Burlington.

Real estate

In 2008, a vacancy rate for office space reached 11%, called "historic".[23]


There are several school districts within the county, including Burlington, Winooski and Chittenden East.[24] Teachers salaries in 2007–8 varied from lows of $33,000 to $38,000 annually. Top salaries ranged from $66,000 to $79,000. Teachers pay from 10–20% of their health premiums with many contracts at 12%.[25]

Higher education

The University of Vermont is Vermont's flagship public research university and is located in Burlington.

Chittenden County is home to the University of Vermont, Champlain College, and Burlington College all located in Burlington; Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Vermont's first pharmacy school and Saint Michael's College located in Colchester; a branch of the Community College of Vermont located in Winooski; and a branch of Vermont Technical College located in Williston.

Personal health and safety

In the first national survey by Robert Wood Johnson and the University of Wisconsin in 2010, Vermont ranked the highest in the country for health outcomes. The top county in Vermont was Chittenden.[26]


Consistent with the rest of New England, Vermont (and Chittenden) have little formal county government. There are a few agencies that serve county-wide. One is the Chittenden County Solid Waste District.

Solid waste

In 2008, the Solid Waste District announced that it would charge trash haulers $17/ton for recyclables. Formerly it was paying $7/ton. The global economy has reduced the demand for recycled materials.[27]


Interstate 89 crosses Chittenden County initially from east to west, then makes a northward turn in South Burlington to run north along the Lake Champlain shoreline. The full trajectory is generally from southeast to northwest. There are seven interchanges within the county. Four of the interchanges provide direct access to U.S. Route 2, which parallels the interstate throughout most of the county. U.S. Route 7, the county's main north-south surface route, is also directly accessible from two interchanges.

In 2009, the National Department of Transportation measured 105.5 miles (169.8 km) of "major arteries" in the county. Of these 24.5% were considered to be in "not acceptable" condition, the worst percentage in the state.[28]

The Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization measures traffic, analyzes road conditions, and allocates federal and state funds accordingly.[29]


There is a private, amateur Champlain Valley Swim League with nine members, mostly from Chittenden.[30]





Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

In Vermont, gores and grants are unincorporated portions of a county which are not part of any town and have limited self-government (if any, as many are uninhabited).

See also


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 30, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2015. 
  4. ^ [2] Archived October 24, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 28, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 28, 2015. 
  8. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 28, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved June 28, 2015. 
  10. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  11. ^ "US Census State & County Quickfacts". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  12. ^ a b c Sutkowski, Matt (August 7, 2008). Census: State older, a little more diverse. Burlington Free Press. 
  13. ^ Sutkowski, Matt (July 2, 2009). CENSUS: Vermont grows slowly. Burlington Free Press. 
  14. ^ McLean, Dan (December 17, 2008). Property tax bills among highest. Burlington Free Press. 
  15. ^ Sutkowski, Matt (December 7, 2008). Mixed drinks, mixed feelings. Burlington Free Press. 
  16. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved 2011-06-11. 
  17. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  18. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  19. ^ "Global Foundries Takes Over IBM's Workforce and 16,000 Patents". Vermont Journalism Trust. Retrieved 2015-08-09. 
  20. ^ The Burlington Free Press, February 28, 2007, page 8C, "IBM:Enriching economy for 50 years."
  21. ^ Carpenter, Jake Burton (November 30, 2008). Letter to the Editor (My Turn): Protests do no credit to Vermont. Burlington Free Press. 
  22. ^ McLean, Dan (July 13, 2008). Retail Sales By The Numbers. Burlington Free Press. 
  23. ^ McLean, Don (December 11, 2008). Vacant office space hits record high. Burlington Free Press. 
  24. ^ Richmond, Huntingdon, Undeerhill, Bolton and Jericho
  25. ^ Walsh, Molly (August 24, 2008). Teachers unions working on contracts. Burlington Free Press. 
  26. ^ "County Health Rankings: National Comparisons". Robert Wood Johnson and the University of Wisconsin. 2010. 
  27. ^ Burlington Free Press, Waste district raises recycling fees, Page, Candace, November 12, 2008
  28. ^ "Funds bypass worst roads". Burlington, Vermont: Burlington Free Press. 25 September 2009. pp. 1A. 
  29. ^ Shamy, Ed (16 August 2007). "Watch backside when entering this intersection". Burlington, Vermont: Burlington Free Press. pp. 1B. 
  30. ^ Wells, Alison (26 July 2009). "Tight duel in the pool". Burlington, Vermont: Burlington Free Press. pp. 1C. 

External links

  • Chittenden County Sheriff's Department
  • National Register of Historic Places listing for Chittenden Co., Vermont
  • Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce Business and tourism information.

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