Chittenden County
Chittenden County Superior Court in Burlington
Chittenden County Superior Court in Burlington
Map of Vermont highlighting Chittenden County
Location within the U.S. state of Vermont
Map of the United States highlighting Vermont
Vermont's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 44°28′32″N 73°07′38″W / 44.475681°N 73.127274°W / 44.475681; -73.127274
Country United States
State Vermont
FoundedOctober 22, 1787
Named forThomas Chittenden
Shire TownBurlington
Largest cityBurlington
Area
 • Total619 sq mi (1,600 km2)
 • Land537 sq mi (1,390 km2)
 • Water83 sq mi (210 km2)  13%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total168,323
 • Density270/sq mi (100/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districtAt-large

Chittenden County (/ˈɪtəndən/) is the most populous county in the U.S. state of Vermont. As of the 2020 census, the population was 168,323.[1] The county seat is Vermont's most populous municipality, the city of Burlington. The county has over a quarter of Vermont's population and more than twice the population of Vermont's second most populous county, Rutland. The county also has more than twice the population density of Vermont's second most dense county, Washington. The county is named for Vermont's first governor and one of the framers of its constitution as an independent republic and later U.S. state, Thomas Chittenden.

The county has most of Vermont's fastest growing municipalities. It is one of the three counties that comprise the Burlington metropolitan area, along with the counties of Franklin and Grand Isle to the north and northwest, respectively. The University of Vermont (UVM), Vermont's largest university, is located in the county, as well as its affiliated hospital, the UVM Medical Center (which is Vermont's largest hospital and collectively forms the largest employer in the state along with the university). Vermont's largest private employer (GlobalFoundries) and largest airport (Burlington International Airport) are in the localities of Essex Junction and South Burlington, respectively.

The Vermont Army National Guard is based at Camp Johnson in the town of Colchester. The Vermont Air National Guard is based at the Burlington Air National Guard Base on the grounds of the Burlington International Airport in South Burlington.

Geography

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.[2] 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.[3]

Western face of Mount Mansfield from Underhill, Vermont
Western face of Mount Mansfield from Underhill, Vermont

The town of Underhill in Chittenden County is home to the highest summit within the state, Mount Mansfield, which has a peak elevation of 4,393 feet (1,339 m) above sea level.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
17907,287
180012,77875.4%
181018,12041.8%
182016,955−6.4%
183021,76528.4%
184022,9775.6%
185029,03626.4%
186028,171−3.0%
187036,48029.5%
188032,792−10.1%
189035,3897.9%
190039,60011.9%
191042,4477.2%
192043,7083.0%
193047,4718.6%
194052,0989.7%
195062,57020.1%
196074,42518.9%
197099,13133.2%
1980115,53416.5%
1990131,76114.0%
2000146,57111.2%
2010156,5456.8%
2020168,3237.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]
1790–1960[5] 1900–1990[6]
1990–2000[7] 2010–2018[1]

2018 U.S. census estimates

In 2018, there were 164,572 people, and 67,271 households. 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 2014, the county was 91.7% White, 2.4% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American and Alaska Native, 3.5% Asian, 0.01% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander and 2.1% Two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race made up 2.2% of the population.

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 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.[8]

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.

From 2000 to 2008, residents left Chittenden in high numbers for places outside Vermont. Still, population increased slightly, in part due to immigration from foreign countries.[9]

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 156,545 people, 61,827 households, and 36,582 families residing in the county.[10] The population density was 291.7 inhabitants per square mile (112.6/km2). There were 65,722 housing units at an average density of 122.5 per square mile (47.3/km2).[11]

Of the 61,827 households, 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.4% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 40.8% were non-families, and 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.92. The median age was 36.2 years.[10]

The median income for a household in the county was $59,878 and the median income for a family was $78,283. Males had a median income of $49,991 versus $39,213 for females. The per capita income for the county was $31,095. About 6.6% of families and 10.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.8% of those under age 18 and 6.8% of those age 65 or over.[12]

Government

As in all Vermont counties, there is a small executive function which is mostly consolidated at the state level. There is a county sheriff and county sheriff's department. The elected sheriff is Kevin McLaughlin.[13] Remaining county government is judicial. There are no "county taxes."

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

Judicial

The elected state's attorney is Sarah George.[15]

Elections

In 1828, Chittenden County voted for National Republican Party candidate John Quincy Adams and in 1832 voted for Henry Clay.

From William Henry Harrison in 1836 to Winfield Scott in 1852, the county would vote the Whig Party candidates.

From John C. Frémont in 1856 to Calvin Coolidge in 1924, the Republican Party would have a 68-year winning streak in the county.

In 1928, Chittenden County was won by Democrat Al Smith, making him the first Democratic candidate to carry the county. The county would also vote for Franklin D. Roosevelt in all four of his presidential runs from 1932 to 1944. During that time, Chittenden County, along with Franklin and Grand Isle counties would become Democratic enclaves in an otherwise Republican-voting Vermont. The county would also be won by Harry S. Truman in 1948.

Dwight D. Eisenhower was able to win back Chittenden County for the Republicans during the 1952 and 1956 elections.

The county would go to Democratic candidates John F. Kennedy in 1960, Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 and Hubert H. Humphrey in 1968.

Incumbent President Richard Nixon would carry the county in 1972, as would Gerald Ford in 1976.

In 1980, Jimmy Carter would narrowly win the county.

In 1984, Ronald Reagan would become the last Republican presidential candidate to win Chittenden County.

Since Michael Dukakis won the county in 1988, it has been won by Democratic candidates and, along with Windham County, has been considered one of the bluest counties in the state of Vermont. In recent years, the GOP has turned in some of its worst showings in memory. Since Bill Clinton won the county by a nearly two-to-one margin in 1992, no Republican has managed 40 percent of the county’s vote.

In 2020, Chittenden was the bluest county in the bluest state, backing Joe Biden by a 54% margin.

In gubernatorial elections, Chittenden County is slightly more competitive, as Vermont Republicans are generally far more moderate than at a nationwide level. In the past ten gubernatorial elections, the county has voted for the Democratic candidate for governor six times and for the Republican candidate four times. Most recently, incumbent Republican governor Phil Scott won nearly 67 percent of the county's votes in the 2020 Vermont gubernatorial election.

United States presidential election results for Chittenden County, Vermont[16]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 21,017 21.25% 74,961 75.78% 2,937 2.97%
2016 18,601 22.30% 54,814 65.71% 10,001 11.99%
2012 21,571 27.99% 53,626 69.57% 1,883 2.44%
2008 22,237 26.65% 59,611 71.44% 1,592 1.91%
2004 26,422 34.01% 49,369 63.54% 1,905 2.45%
2000 26,105 36.25% 39,156 54.37% 6,756 9.38%
1996 19,020 29.78% 36,299 56.84% 8,541 13.37%
1992 19,093 27.23% 35,314 50.36% 15,714 22.41%
1988 27,380 47.75% 29,185 50.89% 781 1.36%
1984 30,217 54.11% 24,830 44.46% 798 1.43%
1980 18,310 39.00% 18,967 40.40% 9,666 20.59%
1976 22,013 53.23% 17,992 43.51% 1,351 3.27%
1972 23,063 58.09% 16,163 40.71% 477 1.20%
1968 14,621 45.34% 16,420 50.91% 1,209 3.75%
1964 9,050 29.32% 21,817 70.68% 0 0.00%
1960 13,072 43.53% 16,959 56.47% 0 0.00%
1956 14,108 57.39% 10,474 42.61% 0 0.00%
1952 13,533 57.87% 9,746 41.68% 106 0.45%
1948 8,509 47.97% 8,903 50.19% 327 1.84%
1944 7,513 41.05% 10,788 58.95% 0 0.00%
1940 7,926 41.58% 11,069 58.07% 66 0.35%
1936 7,757 41.32% 10,962 58.39% 56 0.30%
1932 7,208 43.86% 9,104 55.39% 123 0.75%
1928 8,156 47.32% 9,052 52.52% 27 0.16%
1924 8,008 70.96% 2,658 23.55% 620 5.49%
1920 7,215 66.41% 3,564 32.80% 86 0.79%
1916 3,786 56.85% 2,772 41.62% 102 1.53%
1912 2,368 36.80% 2,266 35.21% 1,801 27.99%
1908 3,806 68.29% 1,650 29.61% 117 2.10%
1904 3,848 70.61% 1,432 26.28% 170 3.12%
1900 3,907 67.26% 1,822 31.37% 80 1.38%
1896 4,743 75.26% 1,416 22.47% 143 2.27%
1892 3,418 62.58% 1,952 35.74% 92 1.68%
1888 4,149 65.59% 1,940 30.67% 237 3.75%
1884 3,629 64.57% 1,875 33.36% 116 2.06%
1880 3,902 64.86% 2,020 33.58% 94 1.56%


Economy

Personal income

According to the U.S. 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 U.S. 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]

Industry

Burton Snowboards is headquartered in Burlington.
Burton Snowboards is headquartered in Burlington.

Essex Junction is home to GlobalFoundries' Burlington Design Center and 200 mm wafer fabrication plant. GlobalFoundries is the largest private employer in the state of Vermont, with approximately 3,000 employees.[19]

Burton Snowboards employs 500 people with a payroll of $28 million in 2008.[20]

Retailing

The Church Street Marketplace in downtown Burlington
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.[21] 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%, and was called "historic."[22]

Education

There are several school districts within the county, including Burlington, Winooski and Chittenden East.[23] 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 to 20% of their health premiums with many contracts at 12%.[24]

Higher education

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

Chittenden County is home to the University of Vermont and Champlain College, which are located in the city of Burlington. Saint Michael's College, the Vermont Center of Southern New Hampshire University, and a branch campus of Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (Vermont's first pharmacy school) are in the town of Colchester. A branch of the Community College of Vermont is located in Winooski and a satellite campus of Vermont Technical College is 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.[25]

Infrastructure

Consistent with the rest of New England and other counties in the state of Vermont, the county has 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.[26]

Roads

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.

The Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization measures traffic, analyzes road conditions, and allocates federal and state funds accordingly.[27]

Interstate 89 Exit 17 in Colchester (June 5, 2015)
Interstate 89 Exit 17 in Colchester (June 5, 2015)

Athletics

There is a private, amateur Champlain Valley Swim League with nine members, mostly from Chittenden.[28]

Communities

Cities

Towns

Villages

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

References

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  2. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  3. ^ http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~vtgenweb/vtchitte/1790ChittendenCoVTCensusIndex.html Archived October 24, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  5. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  6. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  7. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  8. ^ Sutkowski, Matt (August 7, 2008). Census: State older, a little more diverse. Burlington Free Press.
  9. ^ Sutkowski, Matt (July 2, 2009). CENSUS: Vermont grows slowly. Burlington Free Press.
  10. ^ a b "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  11. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  12. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  13. ^ "Chittenden County Sheriff's Office".
  14. ^ McLean, Dan (December 17, 2008). Property tax bills among highest. Burlington Free Press.
  15. ^ "Meet Sarah George, new Chittenden County State's Attorney".
  16. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  17. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  18. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  19. ^ Mansfield, Erin (July 1, 2015). "GlobalFoundries takes over IBM's workforce and 16,000 patents". VTDigger.org. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
  20. ^ Carpenter, Jake Burton (November 30, 2008). Letter to the Editor (My Turn): Protests do no credit to Vermont. Burlington Free Press.
  21. ^ McLean, Dan (July 13, 2008). Retail Sales By The Numbers. Burlington Free Press.
  22. ^ McLean, Don (December 11, 2008). Vacant office space hits record high. Burlington Free Press.
  23. ^ Bolton, Huntington, Jericho, Richmond, and Underhill
  24. ^ Walsh, Molly (August 24, 2008). Teachers unions working on contracts. Burlington Free Press.
  25. ^ "County Health Rankings: National Comparisons". Robert Wood Johnson and the University of Wisconsin. 2010. Archived from the original on February 20, 2010.
  26. ^ Burlington Free Press, Waste district raises recycling fees, Page, Candace, November 12, 2008
  27. ^ Shamy, Ed (August 16, 2007). "Watch backside when entering this intersection". Burlington Free Press. Burlington, Vermont. pp. 1B.
  28. ^ Wells, Alison (July 26, 2009). "Tight duel in the pool". Burlington Free Press. Burlington, Vermont. pp. 1C.

Coordinates: 44°27′N 73°05′W / 44.45°N 73.09°W / 44.45; -73.09