About Southern Vermont
The southern Vermont region, Addison, Bennington, Rutland, Windham, and Windsor Counties, encompasses one-third of Vermont’s geographic area, and also accounts for about a third of its population. True to the nature of Vermont as a whole, the population of the area is clustered in a few towns separated by forests and farmland. The region is bordered by New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, and draws visitors from the major urban centers of the northeast. Because of its accessibility, rich natural resources, urban centers, and cultural activities, the area has a strong tourist economy.
The Green Mountain range, which runs along through the center of the region from north to south, draws skiers in the winter, and campers and hikers in the summer. Both the Long and Appalachian Trails pass through the region. The rivers, ponds and streams within the five counties provide many opportunities for fishing and boating.
Southern Vermont general prospers economically, with the per capita income of three of the five counties ranking in the top four of the state. Consequently, the region is critical to Vermont’s economy as a whole and its tax base in particular. The region’s residents earn relatively good wages and unemployment has remained low throughout the region. Due to the wide variety of recreational and cultural attractions in the area, services and trade provide approximately half of the jobs found in the region.
Major employers in the region include: Rutland Regional Medical Center, Porter Medical Center, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, Veterans Administration Hospital, C & S Wholesalers, Stratton Corporation, Mt. Snow, Killington and Okemo resort areas. Almost thirty percent of the population of southern Vermont live in four major population centers: Bennington, Rutland, Brattleboro and Hartford. Rutland remains the second largest town in Vermont. Of the 115 towns that make up the region, almost 20 percent of them include predominately vacation homes. In fact, over half of Vermont’s vacation homes are found in southern Vermont.