|Founded||October 22, 1787|
|o Total||619 sq mi (1,600 km2)|
|o Land||537 sq mi (1,390 km2)|
|o Water||83 sq mi (210 km2) 13%%|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||250/sq mi (98/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
Chittenden County is the most populous county in the U.S. state of Vermont. As of the 2010 census, the population was 156,545. The county's population estimate for 2019 was 163,774. The county seat is Vermont's most populous municipality, the city of Burlington. The county has over a quarter of Vermont's population and more than twice the population of Vermont's second most populous county, Rutland. The county also has more than twice the population density of Vermont's second most dense county, Washington. The county is named for Vermont's first governor and one of the framers of its constitution as an independent republic and later U.S. state, Thomas Chittenden.
The county has most of Vermont's fastest growing municipalities. It is one of the three counties that comprise the Burlington metropolitan area, along with the counties of Franklin and Grand Isle to the north and northwest, respectively. The University of Vermont (UVM), Vermont's largest university, is located in the county, as well as its affiliated hospital, the UVM Medical Center (which is Vermont's largest hospital and collectively forms the largest employer in the state along with the university). Vermont's largest private employer (GlobalFoundries) and largest airport (Burlington International Airport) are in the localities of Essex Junction and South Burlington, respectively.
The Vermont Army National Guard is based at Camp Johnson in the town of Colchester. The Vermont Air National Guard is based at the Burlington Air National Guard Base on the grounds of the Burlington International Airport in South Burlington.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 619 square miles (1,600 km2), of which 537 square miles (1,390 km2) is land and 83 square miles (210 km2) (13%) is water. It is the third-smallest county in Vermont by area.
Originally, Chittenden County contained parts of other counties. It included all of today's Franklin, Grand Isle, and Lamoille counties, and parts of today's Orleans, Washington, and Addison counties.
The town of Underhill in Chittenden County is home to the highest summit within the state, Mount Mansfield, which has a peak elevation of 4,393 feet (1,339 m) above sea level.
2018 U.S. census estimates
In 2018, there were 164,572 people, and 67,271 households. There were 67,271 households, of which 36.23% had children under age 18 living with them, 52.9% were married couples living together, 7.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.70% were non-families. 24.31% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.72% had someone living alone who was age 65 or older. Average household size was 2.67 and average family size was 3.13.
In 2014, the county was 91.7% White, 2.4% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American and Alaska Native, 3.5% Asian, 0.01% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander and 2.1% Two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race made up 2.2% of the population.
In the county, age distribution was as follows: 18.7% under the age of 18, 15.23% from 18 to 24, 32.05% from 25 to 44, 20.82% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.06 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.30 males.
In 2007, census department estimates that Chittenden had the youngest average age in the state, 37.5. This compares with the actual census in 2000 of 34.2 years.
In 2008, about 29% of the population lives alone. 59% of households consist of families. 38% of men and 35% of women, age 15 or older, have never married. 6% of the population were born in a foreign country, 8% of residents speak a language other than English at home.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 156,545 people, 61,827 households, and 36,582 families residing in the county. The population density was 291.7 inhabitants per square mile (112.6/km2). There were 65,722 housing units at an average density of 122.5 per square mile (47.3/km2).
Of the 61,827 households, 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.4% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 40.8% were non-families, and 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.92. The median age was 36.2 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $59,878 and the median income for a family was $78,283. Males had a median income of $49,991 versus $39,213 for females. The per capita income for the county was $31,095. About 6.6% of families and 10.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.8% of those under age 18 and 6.8% of those age 65 or over.
As in all Vermont counties, there is a small executive function which is mostly consolidated at the state level. There is a county sheriff and county sheriff's department. The elected sheriff is Kevin McLaughlin. Remaining county government is judicial. There are no "county taxes."
In 2007, median property taxes in the county were $3,809, placing it 265th out of 1,817 counties in the nation with populations over 20,000. This was the highest in Vermont.
In 1928, Chittenden County was won by Democratic Party Al Smith, making him the first Democratic candidate to carry the county. The county would also vote for Franklin D. Roosevelt in all four of his presidential runs from 1932 to 1944. During that time, Chittenden County, along with Franklin and Grand Isle counties would become Democratic enclaves in an otherwise Republican-voting Vermont. The county would also be won by Harry S. Truman in 1948.
According to the U.S. Census, the median household income for the years 2007 and 2011 was $62,260. The per capita income for the same period was $32,533.
As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the median income for a household in the county was $63,989, and the median income for a family was $59,460. Males had a median income of $38,541 versus $27,853 for females. The per capita income for the county was $33,281. About 4.90% of families and 8.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.00% of those under age 18 and 8.20% of those age 65 or over.
Essex Junction is home to GlobalFoundries' Burlington Design Center and 200 mm wafer fabrication plant. GlobalFoundries is the largest private employer in the state of Vermont, with approximately 3,000 employees.
One measure of economic activity is retail sales. In 2007, Chittenden led the state with 29% of sales, as measured by sales tax reports. This amounted to US$1.52 billion. Four local cities stood among the top five areas in the state: 1- Williston, 2-South Burlington, 4-Colchester, and 5-Burlington.
In 2008, a vacancy rate for office space reached 11%, and was called "historic."
There are several school districts within the county, including Burlington, Winooski and Chittenden East. Teachers salaries in 2007-8 varied from lows of $33,000 to $38,000 annually. Top salaries ranged from $66,000 to $79,000. Teachers pay from 10 to 20% of their health premiums with many contracts at 12%.
Chittenden County is home to the University of Vermont and Champlain College, which are located in the city of Burlington. Saint Michael's College, the Vermont Center of Southern New Hampshire University, and a branch campus of Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (Vermont's first pharmacy school) are in the town of Colchester. A branch of the Community College of Vermont is located in Winooski and a satellite campus of Vermont Technical College is in Williston.
In the first national survey by Robert Wood Johnson and the University of Wisconsin in 2010, Vermont ranked the highest in the country for health outcomes. The top county in Vermont was Chittenden.
Consistent with the rest of New England and other counties in the state of Vermont, the county has little formal county government. There are a few agencies that serve county-wide. One is the Chittenden County Solid Waste District.
In 2008, the Solid Waste District announced that it would charge trash haulers $17/ton for recyclables. Formerly it was paying $7/ton. The global economy has reduced the demand for recycled materials.
Interstate 89 crosses Chittenden County initially from east to west, then makes a northward turn in South Burlington to run north along the Lake Champlain shoreline. The full trajectory is generally from southeast to northwest. There are seven interchanges within the county. Four of the interchanges provide direct access to U.S. Route 2, which parallels the interstate throughout most of the county. U.S. Route 7, the county's main north-south surface route, is also directly accessible from two interchanges.
The Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization measures traffic, analyzes road conditions, and allocates federal and state funds accordingly.
There is a private, amateur Champlain Valley Swim League with nine members, mostly from Chittenden.
In Vermont, gores and grants are unincorporated portions of a county which are not part of any town and have limited self-government (if any, as many are uninhabited).