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New Poll From VPR And Vermont PBS Explores Challenges And Opportunities Of Rural Life

Vermont Public Radio and Vermont PBS have released the full results of a joint statewide poll that explores Vermonters' assessment of life in rural Vermont today and prospects for the future.
Graphic: Kyle Blair
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Vermont PBS
Vermont Public Radio and Vermont PBS have released the full results of a joint statewide poll that explores Vermonters' assessment of life in rural Vermont today and prospects for the future.

Colchester, Vt.—Vermont Public Radio and Vermont PBS have released the full results of a joint statewide poll that explores Vermonters’ assessment of life in rural Vermont today and prospects for the future.
The Rural Life Survey was conducted from August 26 - September 9, 2019 by Braun Research under the direction of Rich Clark, professor of political science at Castleton University and the former director of the Castleton Polling Institute. The poll surveyed 801 people in 187 Vermont towns. The full results, methodology, and appendices are available for download.

The poll parallels a national survey conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health for NPR and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. That survey – “Life in Rural America, Part 2” - was conducted in early 2019.

The Rural Life Survey focuses on a variety of topics, including quality of life, access to health care and broadband, financial security, property taxes and education, the dairy industry and child care.

The survey found that most Vermonters rate the quality of life in their local community as good or excellent, while 21 percent of the respondents said life was only fair or poor. Vermonters say that community itself, taxes, and infrastructure are at the top of the list for ways to improve life in the state.

As part of This Land: The Changing Story of Rural Vermont, the issues raised in the Rural LIfe Survey provide a jumping-off point for deep coverage that illuminates the challenges and successes of rural life:

  • Extensive news and analysis that delve into the issues revealed in the poll and special episodes of Vermont Edition and Vermont This Week
  • Rural Stories On Stage, a free storytelling event at Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph on October 29
  • A special episode of Brave Little State on wages for child care workers in Vermont
  • Future of Farming, a Vermont PBS docu-series that examines the future of farming in Vermont

More information is available at thislandvt.org.

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