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N.H. Demographics Report And Fact Sheet: More Families, New Voters

By Amy Sterndale, The Carsey Institute
December 19, 2007

A new analysis of the state’s demographic trends from Kenneth M. Johnson, senior demographer at the Carsey Institute at UNH, finds that New Hampshire, with a total population of 1.3 million, gained 79,000 residents between 2000 and 2006, and that most of this growth—51,000 residents—came from net migration. The report, “The Changing Faces of New Hampshire: Demographic Trends in the Granite State,” was released Tuesday.

The net migration also brought economic gains: New Hampshire gained at least $1.4 billion in income from migration between 2001 and 2006, and households moving in earned nearly $9,000 more than those leaving.

The largest source of migrants into the Granite State was metropolitan Boston (78,000), and nearly as many came from elsewhere in the Northeast (66,000). New Hampshire gained families as well as people age 50 to 69 from this migration.

A new Carsey Fact Sheet, also released Tuesday, “New Faces at the Polls for the New Hampshire Presidential Primary,” indicates there are 232,000 new residents of voting age in New Hampshire since the 2000 election. These voters comprise 23.5 percent of potential voters in the New Hampshire presidential primary January 8, a sufficient population to affect the outcome.

“There will be many new faces at the polls on January 8th. Between 2001 and 2005, at least 207,000 people moved to New Hampshire from elsewhere in the U.S. and 188,000 left the state. With only 1,315,000 residents, that is a lot of turnover. Not all these migrants can vote (some are children), but with so many comings and goings many will be casting their first New Hampshire primary ballot,” says Johnson.

The Granite State’s population trends in many ways mirror those of the nation at large. With sprawling suburbs, struggling industrial towns, fast-growing amenity areas and isolated rural villages, New Hampshire includes many of the diverse strands that together compose the demographic fabric of the nation. While New Hampshire remained 93.7 percent non-Hispanic white in 2006, minorities accounted for 30 percent of the population growth between 2000 and 2006.

The report notes that the rapid gains in New Hampshire are stimulated by two distinct, but related trends. The first is the peripheral sprawl of the Boston metropolitan area. Population growth rates are highest in a broad band around the outer edge of the Boston metropolitan area including much of southern New Hampshire. This trend reflects the continued spread of the metropolitan area that appears to have spilled over into rural areas just beyond the urban edge.

A second growth cluster centers on the recreational areas in central New Hampshire where lakes, mountains and vistas have attracted vacationers and second homeowners for generations. In contrast, slow growth or population loss is occurring in the north and scattered pockets of west central New Hampshire. This selective deconcentration of the population is consistent with national trends, which document high growth in recreational areas and along the urban edge coupled with population stagnation or loss in remote areas dependent on extractive industries.

Other key findings of the report:

· Natural increase (the increase of births over deaths) also accounts for a significant share of the population gain (36 percent) and immigration contributed a modest amount (17 percent).

· Growth rates were greatest in nonmetropolitan New Hampshire, where older domestic migrants were attracted to recreation and amenity areas.

· Metropolitan gains were largest for family-age households and were fueled by the peripheral growth of the proximate Boston metropolitan area.

· New Hampshire is gaining migrants at every age. Gains are greatest for family-age households. The older population is also growing from migration and the state is even gaining young adults.

· New Hampshire’s young adult population remains smaller now than in 1990, but it is growing again.

· The young adult decline occurred because few babies were born 25-35 years ago, not because of a substantial net migration loss of young adults.

· New Hampshire gained migrants in exchanges with the rest of New England, but lost migrants to Maine.

· The state lost migrants to other regions of the country with losses to the South being particularly pronounced.

· Most migrants to New Hampshire came from elsewhere in the U.S.

The Carsey Institute will follow up this report with one charting the demographic trends of New England in January.

For a copy of the report go to: http://www.carseyinstitute.unh.edu/documents/JohnsonNHDemographicReport.pdf. For a copy of the voter fact sheet, go to http://www.carseyinstitute.unh.edu/documents/JohnsonNHFSPrimaryVoters1207.pdf

For more information about the Carsey Institute, go to www.carseyinstitute.unh.edu.


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