Colchester, Vermont

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Colchester, Vermont
View of Malletts Bay (part of Lake Champlain) from Bayside Park near the center of Colchester
View of Malletts Bay (part of Lake Champlain) from Bayside Park near the center of Colchester
Location in Chittenden County and the state of Vermont
Location in Chittenden County and the state of Vermont
Colchester, Vermont is located in USA
Colchester, Vermont
Colchester, Vermont
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 44°32′31″N 73°11′48″W / 44.54194°N 73.19667°W / 44.54194; -73.19667Coordinates: 44°32′31″N 73°11′48″W / 44.54194°N 73.19667°W / 44.54194; -73.19667
Country United States
State Vermont
County Chittenden
 • Total 58.6 sq mi (151.7 km2)
 • Land 36.3 sq mi (94.1 km2)
 • Water 22.2 sq mi (57.6 km2)
Elevation 95 ft (29 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 17,067
 • Density 470/sq mi (181.4/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 05439, 05446, 05449
Area code(s) 802
FIPS code 50-14875[1]
GNIS feature ID 1462073[2]

Colchester is a town in Chittenden County, Vermont, in the United States. The population was 17,067 at the 2010 census.[3] It is the fourth largest municipality and second largest town in Vermont by population.[4] Colchester is a northern suburb of Burlington, the largest city in the state, and lies directly to its north on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain.


Colchester is located on the shore of Malletts Bay, part of Lake Champlain. The westernmost part of the town touches the New York state border in the middle of the lake. To the northwest across the eastern arm of the lake lies the town of South Hero in Grand Isle County, Vermont. Chittenden County communities bordering Colchester are Milton to the northeast, Westford touching the easternmost point of Colchester, Essex to the southeast, and the cities of South Burlington, Winooski, and Burlington to the south.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Colchester has a total area of 58.6 square miles (151.7 km2), of which 36.3 square miles (94.1 km2) is land and 22.2 square miles (57.6 km2), or 38.0%, is water.[3]


About 2,000 years ago, during the Early Woodland period, pre-Columbian natives lived in the area.[5] Chartered June 7, 1763,[6] the town was named for the Earl of Colchester.[7]

In 1922, the area of Winooski broke away from the town and formed its own city.[citation needed]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 137
1800 347 153.3%
1810 657 89.3%
1820 960 46.1%
1830 1,489 55.1%
1840 1,739 16.8%
1850 2,575 48.1%
1860 3,041 18.1%
1870 3,911 28.6%
1880 4,421 13.0%
1890 5,143 16.3%
1900 5,352 4.1%
1910 6,450 20.5%
1920 6,627 2.7%
1930 2,638 −60.2%
1940 3,031 14.9%
1950 3,897 28.6%
1960 4,718 21.1%
1970 8,776 86.0%
1980 12,629 43.9%
1990 14,731 16.6%
2000 16,986 15.3%
2010 17,067 0.5%
Est. 2014 17,384 [8] 1.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 16,986 people, 6,144 households, and 4,184 families residing in the town. The population density was 460.5 people per square mile (177.8/km2). There were 6,727 housing units at an average density of 182.4 per square mile (70.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.53% White, 0.63% African American, 0.17% Native American, 1.58% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.25% from other races, and 0.80% from two or more races. 1.11% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,144 households out of which 34.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.2% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.9% were non-families. 22.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the town the population was spread out with 22.6% under the age of 18, 16.2% from 18 to 24, 32.1% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 6.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 96.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.0 males.

The Island Line Trail travels from Colchester across Lake Champlain to Grand Isle County; it is a former railroad line.


One measure of economic activity is retail sales. Colchester was fourth in the state in 2007 with $245.8 million.[10]

Personal income[edit]

The median income for a household in the town was $51,429, and the median income for a family was $58,358. Males had a median income of $38,268 versus $30,880 for females. The per capita income for the town was $22,472. About 5.4% of families and 6.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.2% of those under age 18 and 9.7% of those age 65 or over.


There has been an annual "Lake Champlain International Father's Day Fishing Derby" (LCI) since 1981. In 2009, 6,000 fishermen entered.[11]

The lakeshore areas of Colchester get an influx of vacationers every summer from southern New England and the New York City area. Traffic, especially around the Fourth of July holiday, increases by a substantial margin.


Public safety[edit]

In 2008, property crimes increased by 36.9%. Overall, the number of crimes rose 28.9% to 1,486 incidents.[12]


In the southeastern part of Colchester, and also along the US Route 7 corridor, bus service is provided by Chittenden County Transportation Authority.[13]

Notable people[edit]


Public school system[edit]

Around 2,200 children attend the five schools in Colchester's school district. The district consists of one high school, Colchester HS, one middle school, Colchester Middle School, an elementary school Malletts Bay School, and two young schools Porters Point School and Union Memorial School.

Colchester High School is home to the award-winning Colchester Theatre Company.

The Colchester School District underwent a teacher strike during October, 2005. The strike began over pay increases but quickly escalated to include many other aspects of the system. The strike ended on October 23, 2005, with an agreement on pay between teachers and board, and school re-opened on Monday the 24th. Negotiations took place for around five hours on October 18, 2005, but resulted in no settlement, and again on the 23rd, resulting in the conclusion to the strike.




  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Colchester town, Chittenden County, Vermont". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved August 18, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): All County Subdivisions within Vermont". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved August 18, 2015. 
  5. ^ Buscher, Sara (September 1, 2008). Archaeologists uncover site. Burlington Free Press. 
  6. ^ "History of Colchester". 
  7. ^ "Profile for Colchester, Vermont". ePodunk. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 16, 2015. 
  10. ^ McLean, Dan (July 13, 2008). Retail Sales by the numbers. Burlington Free Press. 
  11. ^ Burlington Free Press, June 26, 2009, page 1B, "LCI Derby winners vetted," Joel Banner Baird
  12. ^ Sutkowsi, Matt (12 June 2009). "Property crimes increase in county". Burlington, Vermont: Burlington Free Press. pp. 1B. 
  13. ^ About CCTA | Bus Service in Chittenden County Vermont | Chittenden County Transportation Authority. Retrieved on 2014-04-12.

External links[edit]