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This report shows  the number and percent of Vermont residents who were born outside of this country. Immigration has a significant impact on many aspects of life in Vermont and the United States, from the workforce and the classroom to communities. Foreign born residents are an important part of Vermont’s population, particularly in Chittenden county where most have historically lived. Some of these foreign born residents also are participants in Vermont’s refugee resettlement program, which assists in relocating people living in specific countries to areas within Vermont.

The Census Bureau defines ‘Foreign Born’ as anyone who is not a US citizen at the time of birth. 

This report uses data from the United States Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), an ongoing, national survey. The ACS replaces the Decennial Census “long form” and is now the only source for Census Bureau data on topics such as ancestry, educational attainment, income, spoken languages, migration, disability, employment, and housing features.

Vermont Insights uses 5-year ACS estimates to increase the reliability of the data for all geographic areas.

For more information on the ACS, including sampling and response rates for Vermont, see:

In order to calculate the percentage of residents foreign born the numerator of residents foreign born was divided by the denominator of total residents.

The foreign born, especially recent immigrants, are believed to be a hard-to-count group which increases the likelihood of coverage error for this population. In fact, research has shown that English language ability, literacy skills, understanding of the census, residential attachment, and legal status are all factors that contribute to coverage error in censuses and surveys (Fein and West 1988; Iversen, Furstenberg and Belzer 1999; Martin 2007; Massey and Capoferro 2004). Because of data limitations, there have been no studies that empirically measure the coverage of the foreign-born population in the ACS. 

For complete information on the limitations of ACS data, go to

Some considerations when using and interpreting the ACS data include:

ACS estimates represent the conditions that might have been present at any time within the estimate time period. ACS estimates should only be compared with like estimates. For example, 1-year data can only be compared with other 1-year data and cannot be compared with 3- or 5-year data.

If using the ACS for longitudinal analysis (comparisons over time), multi-year estimates should not overlap.