Burlington is the largest city in the U.S. state of Vermont and is the shire town (county seat) of Chittenden County. With a population of 38,889 at the 2000 census, the city is the core of one of the nation's smaller metropolitan areas, and is also the smallest U.S. city that is the largest city in its state. The urbanized area consists of the cities of Burlington, South Burlington, and Winooski; the towns of Colchester, Essex, and Williston; and the village of Essex Junction. As of 2000, the metropolitan area contained the three northwestern Vermont counties of Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle, with an estimated 2006 population of 206,007, approximately one third of Vermont's total population.
The city was ranked "average" nationally in political involvement in 2008.
As a non-profit institution, The University of Vermont pays no real estate taxes, though like many other schools, it does make an annual payment in lieu of taxes. In 2007, the college agreed to raise this from $456,006 to $912,011 in 2010 plus a "public works" supplement rising from $180,040 to $191,004 over the same time frame.
The city maintains three parks on Lake Champlain. One is free, the other two have parking fees.
In the city the population was spread out with 16.3% under the age of 18, 25.4% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 16.8% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 93.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.7 males.
The median age was 32.1, well under the state figure of 40.7, and under the national figure of 37.6.
The average family size is 2.2 people. 12.59% of the people are married with children. 8.16% have children and are not married.
The racial makeup of the city was:
Lake Champlain as a body of water is often responsible for localized snowsqualls, producing up to 13 inches in 12 hours on rare occasions.
The city is home to the corporate headquarters of Bruegger's, a chain of bagel bakeries, Seventh Generation Inc., and Lake Champlain Chocolates. Downtown on Church Street is the Burlington Town Center mall with over 75 specialty shops and 15 national retailers such as Macy's, Hollister Co., Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters, and Old Navy.
The G.S. Blodgett Company, one of the oldest and largest commercial oven companies in the country, manufactures restaurant equipment. Its history dates back to the mid 1800s.
IDX Systems, now a division of General Electric, develops software for the hospital industry and is headquartered in South Burlington. Vermont Teddy Bear Company whose founder started on a cart on a Burlington street, is now a publicly traded company that ships custom teddy bears worldwide.
The Magic Hat Brewing Company, one of the nation's larger craft breweries, is located in South Burlington, just outside the city limits. Burlington is also the birthplace of the ice cream enterprise Ben & Jerry's, founded in 1978 in a renovated gas station. It is now headquartered in South Burlington.
Burlington is home to Burton Snowboards' central offices.
The War of 1812 was not popular in Vermont. Along with the rest of New England, Vermont did not provide militia units or financial support. This was a serious blow to the cause. Vermont voted Federalist which opposed the war.
5,000 troops were stationed here at one point during the War of 1812, outnumbering residents. About 500 of these died of disease.
In a skirmish on August 2, 1813, the British shelled Burlington. This has either been cited as a bold stroke by the British with an ineffectual response from the Americans or a weak sally by the British properly ignored by the Americans, depending on who related the story. The cannonade lasted for about ten minutes and did not affect the outcome of the war. The American side was commanded by Naval Lieutenant Thomas MacDonough, later the hero of the Battle of Lake Champlain.
In 2007, the city was named one of the top four "places to watch" in the United States. The ratings were based on what was perceived as ideal for older residents. Criteria included what makes a community livable: new urbanism, smart growth, mixed-use development, and easy-living standards
In 2006, Burlington was rated the ninth-best city to live in. The criteria were health, quality of life, and fitness. In 2007, it was rated 11th out of 100, for auto safety. The criteria were observing speed limits, accident infrequency, and seatbelt use. In 2008 it was ranked second out of 100 for "greenest driving. Criteria included gasoline consumption, and air quality.
Burlington is a college town, home to The University of Vermont (UVM), Burlington College, and to Champlain College, as well as a Community College of Vermont campus. Saint Michael's College is located in nearby Colchester.
Burlington has the largest public library in Vermont. In 2002, it had a budget of over $1 million, circulated more books, had more visitors, and had more computers, than any other library. Unlike most libraries in Vermont, it is publicly owned. The building was originally endowed by Andrew Carnegie. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Burlington Waterfront on the shore of Lake Champlain has bench swings, shoreline, and walking and bike paths. It provides a place to view the Adirondacks. ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, housed in Vermont's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certified Green Building, is located at the waterfront and harbors over 70 species of fish, amphibians, invertebrates, and reptiles.
Dragon boat races to benefit charity have been held in Lake Champlain in August since 2006.
The city has, over the years, supported a number of local bands as various "scenes" waxed and waned, and has even launched a handful of national acts. The most famous of these was Phish, which originated at The University of Vermont circa 1983.
Other acts with ties to the city include Strangefolk, The Essex Green, RAQ, James Kochalka, The Jazz Mandolin Project, Pork Tornado, Anais Mitchell, Greg Davis, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Dispatch, and KT Tunstall.
These cable channels are Burlington based: VCAM-Channel 15 , RETN-Channel 16, and Channel 17
|Vermont Lake Monsters||Baseball||Minor league baseball; Class A (Short Season)||Centennial Field|
|Vermont Frost Heaves (shared with Barre)||Basketball||American Basketball Association; Blue Conference||Memorial Auditorium Barre Auditorium|
|University of Vermont Catamounts||Multiple sports Most notably Men's Hockey and Men's and Women's Basketball||NCAA Division I America East Conference/Hockey East||Patrick Gym, Centennial Field, Gutterson Fieldhouse|
Burlington is also home to a professional basketball franchise, the Vermont Frost Heaves, for half of their season. The team, which is part of the American Basketball Association (ABA), splits their inaugural 2005-2006 season home games between Burlington and Barre. The Frost Heaves, owned by Sports Illustrated writer Alexander Wolff, play their Burlington games at the Memorial Auditorium, on South Union Street, at the corner of Main.
There is also a rugby union team in Burlington, the Burlington RFC.
Daniel W. Fish, a former member of the Air Force's Wings of Blue, was the first person to obtain a permit and skydive in the city of Burlington.
Burlington also hosts the Vermont City Marathon each year, which can draw thousands of competitors.
Burlington is the central focus of the Chittenden County Transportation Agency, providing bus service to and from the surrounding communities (and the shopping districts of South Burlington and Williston). Burlington is also the headquarters of the Lake Champlain Transportation Company with seasonal service provided between Burlington's King Street ferry terminal and Port Kent, New York.
Burlington International Airport provides the area with commercial service to major regional hubs and international airports. In spite of its name, it does not offer scheduled commercial flights to destinations outside the United States but does have a Customs Port of Entry . The name dates to a time when it offered flights to Montreal.