Castleton Poll Finds Vermonters Happy with Quality of Life

A report from the Castleton Polling Institute finds that 90 percent of Vermont residents are satisfied with life in the Green Mountain State. The recent poll surveyed 629 Vermonters about their perceptions of healthcare, K-12 education, quality of local and state government, the economy, recreation, arts, and cultural opportunities.

Currently, more than 4-in-5 residents say Vermont is either an excellent (40%) or good (44%) place to call home, compared to 2-in-10 who rate it as only fair (13%) or poor (4%). This 84% positive rating is consistent with a CNBC report published in July 2012, which ranked Vermont third in the U.S. in quality of life.

Other components of the survey include positive ratings of one’s local government as excellent (10%) or good (44%) and state government as excellent (10%) or good (40%). Results remained fairly consistent for nearly every demographic group, with only a couple of regional differences worth noting. Sixty-five percent of Chittenden County residents are very satisfied with living in Vermont, while 37% of residents in Addison, Washington, and Orange counties reported that they were very satisfied.  

Vermonters are either very satisfied or satisfied with fire and rescue services (93%), access to art and cultural opportunities (82%), quality of health care (81%) and law enforcement (77%). Residents reported that they were somewhat dissatisfied or very dissatisfied (51%) with employment opportunities.  


Other findings:

  • Residents living all or most of their lives in Vermont report a lower level of satisfaction (41%, very satisfied) than those moving to the state more recently (59%, very satisfied). 
  • Satisfaction with K-12 schools is highest in Chittenden County (51%, very satisfied), compared to state-wide (37%, very satisfied).  Additionally, residents with a household income below $20,000 are twice as likely to say that they are very satisfied with the schools in their communities. 
  • Vermonters differ in their perceptions of the quality of the state government. Eight percent of those living in the state more than 15 years rate the quality as excellent, while 20% living in the state less than 5 years hold the same rating. 

The Vermont Quality of Life survey was created by the Castleton Polling Institute to serve as a resident-based indicator of the quality of life offered by the state of Vermont. The survey is based on a series of poll questions. The poll was conducted by telephone with 629 Vermont adults from June 3 to June 20, 2013. The sample has a margin of error of +/-4 percent at the 95% confidence level.

The Castleton Polling Institute has a mission to provide systematic, objective public opinion research for Vermont. In accordance with that mission, Castleton aims to give voice to the public on important policy matters and issues pertaining to political, social and economic life in Vermont.

For more information about this poll or any of the work of the Castleton Polling Institute, please contact Castleton Polling Institute Director Rich Clark, 802-468-1306 or You can also follow Rich on Twitter@VTPollster.

Review full results.
Results as a pdf:
        Complete results.
        By age and gender.
        By income.
        By region.
        By percent of life lived in Vermont.