Data Snapshot: Migration Fuels Largest New Hampshire Population Gain in a Decade

December 22, 2017

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Key Findings

Image of Bar Graph Increasing
As New Hampshire gained more migrants from other states, its population growth accelerated.


The population of New Hampshire grew by 7,800 between July of 2016 and July of 2017 to 1,343,000 according to new Census Bureau estimates. This is the largest population gain for the state since 2005 and 60 percent greater than last year, though it remains modest compared to gains in the 1980s and 1990s. Migration accounted for nearly all of the growth. New Hampshire had a net domestic migration gain of nearly 4,700 residents in migration exchanges with other states last year, compared to just 1,800 in the previous year. 

This is a striking change from earlier in the decade when more people left New Hampshire for other U.S. destinations than moved to the state. New Hampshire also received 2,200 immigrants from other nations last year. Births in New Hampshire only minimally exceeded deaths and thus contributed little to the population gain. The gain from natural change was only 900 because the 12,500 births last year were largely offset by 11,600 deaths. Births have been diminishing in New Hampshire because fertility rates are low and there are relatively few women of child-bearing age. Deaths are increasing because of higher mortality among the aging population and a substantial rise in drug-related deaths to young adults.

Figure 1

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About the Author(s)

Kenneth M. Johnson
Kenneth M. Johnson is senior demographer at the Carsey School of Public Policy and professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire. He is a nationally recognized expert on U.S. demographic trends. His research examines national and regional population redistribution, rural and urban demographic change, the growing racial diversity of the U.S. population, the relationship between demographic and environmental change and the implications of demographic change for public policy. Read More...