ORIGIN OF STATE NAME: Derived from the French words vert (green) and mont (mountain).
NICKNAME: The Green Mountain State.
ENTERED UNION: 4 March 1791 (14th).
SONG: "Hail Vermont."
MOTTO: Freedom and Unity.
COAT OF ARMS: Rural Vermont is represented by a pine tree in the center, three sheaves of grain on the left, and a cow on the right, with a background of fields and mountains. A deer crests the shield. Below are crossed pine branches and the state name and motto.
FLAG: The coat of arms on a field of dark blue.
OFFICIAL SEAL: Bisecting Vermont's golden seal is a row of wooded hills above the state name. The upper half has a spearhead, pine tree, cow, and two sheaves of wheat, while two more sheaves and the state motto fill the lower half.
BIRD: Hermit thrush.
FISH: Brook trout (cold water) and walleye pike (warm water).
FLOWER: Red clover.
TREE: Sugar maple.
LEGAL HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. 3rd Monday in January; Presidents' Day, 3rd Monday in February; Town Meeting Day, 1st Tuesday in March; Memorial Day, last Monday in May; Independence Day, 4 July; Bennington Battle Day, 16 August; Labor Day, 1st Monday in September; Veterans' Day, 11 November; Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thursday in November and the day following; Christmas Day, 25 December.
TIME: 7 AM EST = noon GMT.
LOCATION, SIZE, AND EXTENT
Situated in the northeastern United States. Vermont is the second-largest of the six New England states, and ranks 43rd in size among the 50 states.
Vermont's total area of 9,614 sq mi (24,900 sq km) consists of 9,249 sq mi (23,955 sq km) of land and 365 sq mi (945 sq km) of inland water. Vermont's maximum e-w extension is 90 mi (145 km); its maximum n-s extension is 158 mi (254 km). The state resembles a wedge, wide and flat at the top and narrower at the bottom.
Vermont is bordered on the n by the Canadian province of Quebec ; on the e by New Hampshire (separated by the Connecticut River); on the s by Massachusetts; and on the w by New York (with part of the line passing through Lake Champlain and the Poultney River).
The state's territory includes several islands and the lower part of a peninsula jutting south into Lake Champlain from the Canadian border, collectively called Grand Isle County. Vermont's total boundary length is 561 mi (903 km). Its geographic center is in Washington County, 3 mi (5 km) e of Roxbury.
The Green Mountains are the most prominent topographic region in Vermont. Extending north-south from the Canadian border to the Massachusetts state line, the Green Mountains contain the state's highest peaks, including Mansfield, 4,393 ft (1,340 m), the highest point in Vermont; Killington, 4,235 ft (1,293 m); and Elbow Mountain (Warren), 4,135 ft (1,260 m). A much lower range, the Taconic Mountains, straddles the New York-Vermont border for about 80 mi (129 km). To their north is the narrow Valley of Vermont; farther north is the Champlain Valley, a lowland about 20 mi (32 km) wide between Lake Champlain — site of the state's lowest point, 95 ft (29 m) above sea level — and the Green Mountains. The Vermont piedmont is a narrow corridor of hills and valleys stretching about 100 mi (161 km) to the east of the Green Mountains. The Northeast Highlands consist of an isolated series of peaks near the New Hampshire border. The mean elevation of the state is approximately 1,000 ft (305 m).
Vermont's major inland rivers are the Missisquoi, Lamoille, and Winooski. The state includes about 66% of Lake Champlain on its western border and about 25% of Lake Memphremagog on the northern border.
Burlington's normal daily average temperature is 45 ° f (7 ° c), ranging from 18 ° f ( − 7 ° c) in January to 70 ° f (21 ° c) in July. Winters are generally colder and summer nights cooler in the higher elevations of the Green Mountains. The record high temperature for the state is 105 ° f (41 ° c), registered at Vernon on 4 July 1911; the record low, − 50 ° f ( − 46 ° c), at Bloomfield, 30 December 1933. Burlington's average annual precipitation of about 34 in (86 cm) is less than the statewide average of about 40 in (102 cm). Annual snowfall in Burlington is 76.9 in (195 cm); elsewhere in the state snowfall ranges from 55 to 65 in (140-165 cm) in the lower
regions, and from 100 to 125 in (254-318 cm) in the mountain areas.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Common trees of Vermont are the commercially important sugar maple (the state tree), the butternut, white pine, and yellow birch. Other recognized flora include 15 types of conifer, 130 grasses, and 192 sedges. Two plant species, Jesup's milk-vetch and Northeastern bulrush, were endangered in 2006.
Native mammalian species include white-tailed deer, coyote, red fox, and snowshoe hare. Several species of trout are prolific. Characteristic birds include the raven (Corvus corax), gray or Canada jay, and saw-whet owl. In 2006, the US Fish and Wildlife Service listed six animal species (vertebrates and invertebrates) as threatened or endangered in Vermont, including the Indiana bat, dwarf wedgemussel, and bald eagle.
All natural resource regulation, planning, and operation are coordinated by the Department of Environmental Conservation. The state is divided into 14 soil and water conservation districts operated by local landowners with the assistance of the state Natural Resources Conservation Council. Several dams on the Winooski and Connecticut river's drainage basins help control flooding.
Legislation enacted in 1972 bans the use of throwaway beverage containers in Vermont, in an effort to reduce roadside litter. Billboards were banned in 1968. In the 1980s and early 1990s, the effects of acid rain became a source of concern in Vermont, as in the rest of the Northeast. In 2003, 0.3 million lb of toxic chemicals were released in the state. That year, Vermont ranked as having the least amount of toxic chemical releases of all 50 states.
By some estimates as much as 35% of Vermont's wetlands have been lost since colonization. As of 2002, about 4% of the state was designated as wetlands, and the government has established the Vermont Wetlands Conservation Strategy.
In 2003, Vermont had 56 hazardous waste sites listed in the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) database, 11 of which were on the National Priorities List as of 2006, including the Pine Street Canal in Burlington and the Ely Copper Mine. In 2005, the EPA spent over $4.4 million through the Superfund program for the cleanup of hazardous waste sites in the state. The same year, federal EPA grants awarded to the state included $6.4 million for the clean water state revolving fund.
Vermont ranked 49th in population in the United States with an estimated total of 623,050 in 2005, an increase of 2.3% since 2000. Between 1990 and 2000, Vermont's population grew from 562,758 to 608,827, an increase of 8.2%. The population is projected to reach 673,169 by 2015 and 703,288 by 2025. The population density in 2004 was 67.2 persons per sq mi.
In 2004, the median age for Vermont residents was 40.4. In the same year, 21.7% of the populace were under age 18 while 13% was age 65 or older. The rural population increased 12% between 1970 and 1980; in the 1990s, Vermont had the highest percentage of rural dwellers in all states.
Vermont cities with the largest populations, all under 100,000, include Burlington, Rutland, and Montpelier. The Burlington-South Burlington metropolitan area had an estimated population of 204,485 in 2004.
There were 53,835 residents reporting French Canadian ancestry in 2000. These Vermonters are congregated chiefly in the northern counties and in such urban centers as Burlington, St. Albans, and Montpelier. Italians make up 6.4% of the population reporting at least one specific ancestry group. The foreign born numbered 23,245 — 3.8% of the population — in 2000. In 2000, Hispanics and Latinos numbered 5,504, just under 1% of the total. That percentage remained roughly the same in 2004.
The 1990 census counted few non-Caucasians. There were 5,217 Asians, 3,063 blacks, and 2,420 American Indians. In 2004, 1% of the population was Asian, 0.6% black, 0.4% American Indian, and 1.1% reported origin of two or more races.
A few place-names and very few Indian-language speakers remain as evidence of the early Vermont presence of the Algonkian Mohawk tribe and of some Iroquois in the north. Vermont English, although typical of the Northern dialect, differs from that of New Hampshire in several respects, including retention of the final /r/ and use of eavestrough in place of eavespout.
In 2000, 540,767 Vermonters — 94.1% of the population age five and over — spoke only English at home. The percent of the population who spoke only English at home remained constant from 1990 to 2000.
The following table gives selected statistics from the 2000 Census for language spoken at home by persons five years old and over. The category "Scandinavian languages" includes Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish.