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ORIGIN OF STATE NAME: Derived from the French words vert (green) and mont (mountain). NICKNAME: The Green Mountain State. CAPITAL: Montpelier. ENTERED UNION: 4 March 1791 (14th). SONG: "These Green Mountains." MOTTO: Freedom and Unity. COAT OF ARMS: Rural Vermont is represented by a pine tree in the center, three sheaves of grain on the left, and a cow on the right, with a background of fields and mountains; a deer crests the shield. Below are crossed pine branches and the state name and motto. FLAG: The coat of arms on a field of dark blue. OFFICIAL SEAL: Bisecting Vermont's golden seal is a row of wooded hills above the state name; the upper half has a spearhead, pine tree, cow, and two sheaves of wheat, while two more sheaves and the state motto fill the lower half. ANIMAL: Morgan horse. BIRD: Hermit thrush. INSECT: Honeybee. FISH: Brook trout (cold water); walleye pike (warm water). FLOWER: Red clover. TREE: Sugar maple. BEVERAGE: Milk. LEGAL HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., 3rd Monday in January; Lincoln's Birthday, 12 February; Washington's Birthday, 3rd Monday in February; Town Meeting Day, 1st Tuesday in March; Memorial Day, 30 May; Independence Day, 4 July; Bennington Battle Day, 16 August; Labor Day, 1st Monday in September; Columbus Day, 2nd Monday in October; Veterans Day, 11 November; Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thursday in November; Christmas Day, 25 December. TIME: 7 AM EST = noon GMT.
Burlington's normal daily mean temperature is 45°F (7°C), ranging from 16°F (–9°C) in January to 71°F (22°C) in July. Winters are generally colder and summer nights cooler in the higher elevations of the Green Mountains. The record high temperature for the state is 105°F (41°C), registered at Vernon on 4 July 1911; the record low, –50°F (–46°C), at Bloomfield, 30 December 1933. Burlington's average annual precipitation (1971–2000) of 36 in (91 cm) was less than the statewide average of 40 in (102 cm). Annual snowfall in Burlington is 79 in (200 cm); elsewhere in the state snowfall ranges from 55 to 65 in (140–165 cm) in the lower regions, and from 100 to 125 in (254–318 cm) in the mountain areas.
Vermont ranked 49th in population in the US with an estimated total of 616,592 in 2002, an increase of 1.3% since 2000. Between 1990 and 2000, Vermont's population grew from 562,758 to 608,827, an increase of 8.2%. The population is projected to reach 638,000 by 2005 and 678,000 by 2025. The population density in 2000 was 65.8 persons per sq mi.
The Green Mountain State is covered by 4,618,000 acres (1,869,000 hectares) of forestland—77% of the state's total land area—much of it owned or leased by lumber companies. In 2002, lumber production totaled 206 million board feet.
The largest forest reserve in Vermont is the Green Mountain National Forest, with 374,092 acres (151,395 hectares) in 1999, managed by the US Forest Service.
As rustic farmhouses gradually disappear, modern units (many of them vacation homes for Vermonters and out-of-staters) are being built to replace them. In 2002, there were an estimated 299,570 housing units in Vermont (one of the lowest housing stocks in the country), 242,201 of which were occupied; 71% were owner-occupied. About 64.4% of all units were single-family, detached homes. Nearly 31% of all housing was built in 1939 or earlier. Fuel oil was the most common energy source for heating. It was estimated that 4,709 units lacked telephone service, 1,464 lacked complete plumbing facilities, and 778 lacked complete kitchen facilities. The average household size was 2.46 people.
In 2002, 3,072 new privately owned housing units were authorized for construction. The median home value was $130,492. The median monthly cost for mortgage owners was $1,082. Renters paid a median of $601 per month. During 2002, Vermont received over $14.2 million in community planning and development aid from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Vermont has no major league professional sports teams. Skiing is, perhaps, the most popular participation sport, and Vermont ski areas have hosted national and international ski competitions in both Alpine and Nordic events. World Cup races have been run at Stratton Mountain, and the national cross-country championships have been held near Putney. Famous skiers Billy Kidd and Andrea Mead Lawrence, both Olympic medalists, grew up in Vermont and trained in the state.
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