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Northfield, Vermont
Town
Depot Square, Downtown Northfield
Depot Square, Downtown Northfield
Motto(s): 
"Where the Good Life Begins"
Location in Washington County and the state of Vermont
Location in Washington County and the state of Vermont
Northfield, Vermont is located in the United States
Northfield, Vermont
Northfield, Vermont
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Vermont
County Washington
Chartered 1781
Incorporated 1855
Area
 • Total 43.6 sq mi (113.0 km2)
 • Land 43.5 sq mi (112.7 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)
Elevation
735 ft (441 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 5,918
 • Density 135.64/sq mi (52.372/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
05663
Area code(s) 802
FIPS code 50-50275
GNIS feature ID 1462163

Northfield is a town in Washington County, Vermont, United States. The town lies in a valley within the Green Mountains and has been home to Norwich University since 1866. It contains the village of Northfield, where over half of the population lives. The town's total population was 5,918 at the 2020 census.

History

Northfield was chartered in 1781, and incorporated in 1855. The community was named after Northfield, Massachusetts.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 43.6 square miles (113.0 km2), of which 43.5 square miles (112.7 km2) is land and 0.12 square miles (0.3 km2), or 0.29%, is water.

The geographic center of Vermont is located within the town, with markers on the university campus of the geographical and magnetic centers.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1800 204
1810 426 108.8%
1820 690 62.0%
1830 1,412 104.6%
1840 2,013 42.6%
1850 2,922 45.2%
1860 4,329 48.2%
1870 3,410 −21.2%
1880 2,836 −16.8%
1890 2,628 −7.3%
1900 2,855 8.6%
1910 3,226 13.0%
1920 3,096 −4.0%
1930 3,438 11.0%
1940 3,601 4.7%
1950 4,314 19.8%
1960 4,511 4.6%
1970 4,870 8.0%
1980 5,435 11.6%
1990 5,610 3.2%
2000 5,791 3.2%
2010 6,207 7.2%
2020 5,918 −4.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 5,791 people, 1,819 households, and 1,224 families residing in the town. The population density was 132.5 people per square mile (51.2/km2). There were 1,958 housing units at an average density of 44.8 per square mile (17.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.41% White, 1.02% Black or African American, 0.36% Native American, 1.33% Asian, 0.43% from other races, and 1.45% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.21% of the population.

There were 1,819 households, out of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.5% were couples living together and joined in either marriage or civil union, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.7% were non-families. Of all households 24.3% were made up of individuals, and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 19.4% under the age of 18, 27.2% from 18 to 24, 22.8% from 25 to 44, 18.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females, there were 122.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 122.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $41,523, and the median income for a family was $51,818. Males had a median income of $32,168 versus $24,781 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,592. About 3.2% of families and 6.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.4% of those under age 18 and 6.2% of those age 65 or over.

Economy

The town's largest employer is Norwich University, followed by Cabot Hosiery Mills.

Education

Norwich University enrolls undergraduate students, and has a large online graduate program.

NorwichUniversityWinter
Winter at Norwich University, the town's main employer, located just south of downtown

Infrastructure

Transportation

Bus

Northfield is served by Green Mountain Transit Agency's commuter route 93 between Montpelier and Northfield.

Roads

  • Vermont 12.svg Vermont Route 12 – Northfield to Montpelier. Northfield to Brookfield.
  • Vermont 64.svg Vermont Route 64 – Northfield to Williamstown.

Notable people

  • Henry M. Bates, Vermont State Treasurer
  • Murdock A. Campbell, United States Army Major General and Adjutant General, Vermont National Guard
  • John P. Connarn, Vermont House of Representatives, 1957–1965; Vermont Attorney General, 1965–1967; Judge, Vermont District Court, 1967–1985
  • Beatrice Corliss, first woman mayor of Gloucester, Massachusetts and, later, a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
  • Reginald M. Cram, United States Air Force Major General and Adjutant General of the Vermont National Guard
  • Joseph H. Denny, Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives and President pro tempore of the Vermont State Senate
  • Alonzo Jackman, Norwich University professor and Brigadier General of the Vermont Militia in the American Civil War
  • Hollis Latham, Wisconsin state legislator and farmer (born in Northfield)
  • George Nichols, Secretary of State of Vermont and president of Norwich University
  • Charles Paine, president of the Vermont Central Railroad and the 15th governor of Vermont
  • Charles Plumley, congressman from Vermont
  • Frank Plumley, congressman from Vermont
  • Francis V. Randall, Union Army officer during the American Civil War
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