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Carsey Institute Publishes Fact Sheet on Mid-Decade Population Trends in New England

By Beth Potier, Media Relations
October 31, 2007

New England’s population growth has lagged behind the rest of the nation’s since 2000; a new analysis of 2004-2006 data by the Carsey Institute at UNH indicates the trend is more pronounced during that time period. Northern New England states, however, have reversed the trend of declining young adult populations. Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont all experienced growth in their young adult populations that was greater than the U.S. average.

New England’s population grew by just 0.2 percent from 2004-2006, compared to 2.1 percent growth in the U.S. New Hampshire had the strongest population growth in the region – 1.2 percent. Rhode Island was one of only three states in the U.S. to lose population in that time period (the others were Michigan and Louisiana).

All New England states continue to have young adult (25-34) population percentages below the U.S. average of 13.5 percent, and all New England states except Massachusetts rank in the bottom 10 (out of 50) in the percentage of total population that are in this young adult cohort. Massachusetts and Rhode Island had the third and fourth steepest declines in young adult population in the nation, exceeded only by Louisiana and North Dakota.

“This is a relatively unattractive region to younger people,” says fact sheet author Ross Gittell, a senior fellow at the Carsey Institute and James R. Carter Professor of Management at WSBE. “This is troubling, as young adults provide a dynamic labor force as well as significant contributions to the cultural, economic, and social life of a region.”

The fact sheet, “Demographic Alert Update: Mid-Decade Population Trends in New England,” is available at the Carsey Institute Web site: www.carseyinstitute.unh.edu.

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