Discover the Largest City in Vermont Now and in 2050

Vermont, situated in the northeastern United States, is renowned for its natural beauty, maple syrup, and progressive politics. This article delves into the present and future state of Burlington, the most populous city in the Green Mountain State.

Present-Day Burlington

As of 2020, Burlington holds the status of Vermont’s largest city, boasting an estimated population of 43,000. Nestled on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, the sixth-largest freshwater lake in the United States, Burlington serves as the state’s economic, cultural, and educational hub. It houses institutions like the University of Vermont, Champlain College, and other higher learning establishments.

Burlington thrives as a tourism, arts, and entertainment hub, drawing visitors with its picturesque waterfront, historic downtown, and lively festivals. Notable attractions include the Church Street Marketplace, a pedestrian mall with shops, restaurants, and street performers; the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, a venue for theater, music, and dance; and the ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, a science and nature museum.

Recognized for its progressive and environmentally conscious policies, Burlington stands out as the first U.S. city to run entirely on renewable energy. It has implemented measures like banning single-use plastic bags and straws, and actively supports social justice and diversity initiatives. Burlington consistently ranks among the best places to live, work, and visit in the U.S. according to various publications.

Burlington in 2050

Looking ahead to 2050, Burlington anticipates significant growth and transformation. Vermont Futures Project projects a 14% increase in Burlington’s population to 49,000 by 2050, with the state’s overall population growing by 8% to 647,000. Although Burlington will maintain its position as Vermont’s largest city, its share of the state’s population is expected to slightly decrease from 6.7% to 6.5%.

The city will confront the challenges posed by climate change, including rising temperatures, extreme weather events, and lake level fluctuations. Proactive measures have already been taken, such as the implementation of a Climate Action Plan, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, improved energy efficiency, and increased resilience. Striking a balance between development and conservation, Burlington aims to accommodate growth while preserving its natural and cultural heritage.

To stay competitive and collaborative on a regional and global scale, Burlington will need to capitalize on its strengths and address weaknesses. Investments in human capital, innovation, and quality of life are crucial to attract and retain talent, entrepreneurs, and visitors. Additionally, fostering a more inclusive and equitable community is vital in addressing affordability, housing, transportation, and social justice issues.

Burlington, a dynamic and diverse city, promises a bright future for residents, visitors, and potential newcomers alike. Whether in the present or in 2050, the largest city in Vermont offers a rich experience for all to enjoy and explore.


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