Letter to the editor: Demographics are just stable

Your recent articles and editorials concerning demographic changes in Vermont have missed the underlying causes driving these events. Vermont’s population, particularly of younger people, has been declining for years. The reason: a sharp decline in the birthrate. This is seen not only in Vermont but across the country.
Young people are not abandoning the state. In fact, over all age groups, 96 percent remain in Vermont. The few who do leave are replaced by others moving into the state. There are no realistic options available to deal with the dropping birth rate.
Yes, that will require changes now and over the coming years, but just as Vermont dealt with the influx of young people in the 1970s we will be able to adjust to a smaller population, Vermont has always been a small state. Perhaps we will surpass Wyoming soon and become the smallest state.
Your articles seem to suggest that the problem is with people leaving. There are certainly anecdotal stories to that end, but stories do not replace data. People do leave Vermont for a variety of reasons, and people also move to Vermont for their own reasons. That balance stays steady enough that there is no cause for alarm.
Let’s just go on being Vermont and we will be fine.
Lowell Nottingham
New Haven

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