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Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, 9,250 square miles and 45th in total area. Its population, 625,741, is the second smallest in the country.
The median household income from 2002 to 2004 was $45,692. This was 15th nationally. The median wage in the state in 2008 was $15.31 hourly or $31,845 annually. About 80 percent of the 68,000 Vermonters who qualify for food stamps, actually received them in 2007. 40 percent of seniors 75 years or older live on annual incomes of $21,660 or less.
In 2007, Vermont was ranked by Forbes magazine as 32nd among states in which to do business. It was 30th the previous year. In 2008, an economist said that the state had "a really stagnant economy, which is what we are forecasting for Vermont for the next 30 years." Vermont's gross state product (GSP) was $23 billion. This places the state 50th among the 50 states. It stood 38th in per capita GSP. The per capita personal income was $32,770 in 2004.
Vermont was named the nation's smartest state in 2005 and 2006. In 2006, there was a gap between state testing standards and national which is biased in favor of the state standards by 30 percent, on average. This puts Vermont 11th best in the nation. Most states have a higher bias. However, when allowance for race is considered, a 2007 US Government list of test scores shows Vermont white fourth graders performed 25th in the nation for reading (229), 26th for math (247). White eight graders scored 18th for math (292) and 12th for reading (273). The first three scores were not considered statistically different from average. White eighth graders scored significantly above average in reading. Statistics for black students were not reliable because of their small representation in the testing.
Vermont has a humid continental climate, with warm, humid summers and cold winters that are colder at higher elevations. Vermont is known for its mud season in spring, followed by a generally mild early summer, hot Augusts, a colorful autumn, and, in particular—its cold winters.
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