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California has more sand. Texas has bigger hair.
New York has more Knickerbockers.
But when it comes to certain other things,
Vermont is #1.

Vermont Life Magazine - Spring 2011
Researched and written by Kathryn Flagg
 • Illustrated by Willa Koerner

Arts & Letters

★ Vermont has more writers and authors per capita than any other state.
★ Vermont also has the most libraries per capita in the country, even though it is one of only eight states that do not supply funding directly to the libraries.

Colleges

★ More colleges per capita than any other state.

Sacrifice

★ More Vermonters died in the Iraq War per capita than any other state.
★ During the Civil War, Vermont contributed more per capita from its treasury and from its population of young men to the conflict than any other state in the Union.

Service

★ Most Peace Corps volunteers per capita.

Farmers Markets & Local Foods

★ We're leading the United States in the number of farmers markets per capita.
★ Vermont also has the most CSAs, the most certified organic farmers, the greatest amount of certified organic farmland and the greatest number of local dollars spent buying local foods. That's per capita for the country.

Cow Power

★ Vermont has the highest number of farm digesters, which turn cow manure into energy, per capita.

Breweries

★ Vermont has more breweries per capita than any other state in the country — one brewery for about every 30,000 people.

Artisan Cheese

★ Greatest number of artisan cheesemakers per capita.

Dairies

★ Vermonters lead the nation in per capita production of dairy products.

Oatmeal

★ According to Wikipedia, Vermont leads the United States in per capita consumption of cooked oatmeal cereal.

Tennis, Anyone?

★ Vermont has the most tennis courts per capita of any state in the country.

Health

★ In 2009, the United Health Foundation ranked Vermont the "healthiest state in the country." Vermont ranked first this year for a combination of reasons, including low rate of obesity, high number of doctors and low rate of child poverty.

Wildlife Watchers

★ According to a 2002 study by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that compared the states, Vermont had the highest percentage — 60 percent — of residents engaged in some form of wildlife watching.

Preservation

★ No. 1 per capita in the use of federal historic tax credits for rehabilitating old buildings.

Patents

★ No. 1 per capita.

Green

★ Vermont ranked No. 1 in the inaugural survey by Forbes magazine of "America's Greenest States."

Public Safety

★ Vermont has the fewest state and local sworn police per capita, with 15.5 per 10,000 residents. However, the state is ranked the third safest in the country based on the number of violent crimes per capita.

Moonlighting

★ Highest percentage of population who work more than one job (9.4 percent) among all New England states, and well above the national average of 5.2 percent.

Maple

★ Vermont has the highest percentage of sugar maple trees of any state in the nation and is the largest producer of maple syrup in the country.

Home Value

★ The foreclosure crisis continues to batter much of the United States. But in the third quarter of 2010, Vermont's largest city, Burlington, led all metro areas nationwide in percentage increase in the median price for the sale of existing homes — 17.6 percent.

Rural Rides

★ Highest percentage of unpaved roads in the nation.


WE JUST MISSED

Close only counts in horseshoes and the Olympics, but here are some categories where Vermont finished near the top.

2nd

★ High school graduation rate.
★ Hunters per capita, behind Alaska.
★ Golf courses per capita, behind Florida.

3rd

★ Skier and snowboarder visits, behind Colorado and California.
★ Per capita exports to the rest of the nation, behind Washington and Texas.
★ The well-being of children, based on 10 health indicators such as infant mortality and teen birth rate.

4th

★ "Best-run" state, according to business website www.247wallst.com, blending a range of factors, including percentage of people with health insurance, state debt levels and violent crime rates.

5th

★ Vermont was No. 5 globally (and No. 1 in the United States) in "destination stewardship," a National Geographic study that weighed such factors as environmental quality, social and cultural integrity, historic preservation, aesthetic appeal, quality of tourism management and outlook for the future.