U.S. Census figures show that for the first time in almost three-quarters of a century Vermont lost population last year, a drop caused by more people leaving the state than moving in.
Even though last year's population decline was small, just under 600, it's part of a broader trend that has seen the state's population growth rate hover just above zero for several years.
University of Vermont Economist Art Woolf says it was the first time since 1944 the state lost population.
Commerce Secretary Lawrence Miller says the trend of losing population, or low growth, is a challenge to economic development.
The Census Bureau figures showed that Vermont and Rhode Island were the only two states in the country to lose population last year.
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