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N.H Foreign-born Population More Diverse, Growing Faster, Higher Educated

By Amy Sterndale, The Carsey Institute
June 25, 2008

New Hampshire’s foreign-born population, which accounts for six percent of the state’s total population, has been experiencing changes that are different than most other states in the nation. A new brief released by the Carsey Institute at UNH, based largely on U.S. Census data, concludes that while the state’s foreign-born population is smaller than most states’, it has been growing faster than all but six other states since 2000.

“At the turn of the 20th century, New Hampshire’s foreign-born population was significant,” said report author Ross Gittell, senior fellow at the Carsey Institute and the James R. Carter Professor of Management at the Whittemore School of Business and Economics. “After nearly a century of decline, New Hampshire’s foreign-born population is growing rapidly again at the start of the 21st century.” Timothy Lord, a graduate student at the Whittemore School, co-authored the report.

New Hampshire’s foreign-born population has attained higher levels of education and earns more than the national averages as well. The state currently ranks first in the nation in the percentage of foreign-born adults with a four-year college degree, at 24 percent compared to the national average of 16 percent. The foreign born in the state also earn 30 percent higher incomes than the national foreign-born average.

Other highlights from the brief include:

o In the early 1900s, New Hampshire’s concentration of foreign born was the 15th highest state in the country. Today the state ranks much lower, at 25th out of 50 states, but it is growing.

o New Hampshire’s top five countries of origin for the foreign-born are Canada, India, Vietnam, Germany, and China. While a significant percentage of the nation’s foreign-born increases were Mexican immigrants, that group accounts for just two percent of New Hampshire’s foreign-born population.

Deborah Schachter, senior program officer at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation noted, “We appreciate the Carsey Institute’s work and willingness to share this demographic data. Last fall, Professor Gittell presented some of these numbers at a funders’ forum we co-sponsored. It is very helpful to have a grasp of these demographics as we seek funding strategies to support healthy two-way integration for immigrants and refugees and our receiving communities.”

“While the needs of the most vulnerable immigrants and refugees are of particular interest to the Endowment for Health, this report identifies the strengths the foreign-born bring to our state,” said Endowment for Health Program Director Kelly Laflamme. “Reducing social and cultural barriers to health and better integrating all newcomers into our communities will contribute to a strong economy for the state. This report supports that premise.”

The complete brief can be found here:

http://carseyinstitute.unh.edu/publications/IB_NH_Foreign-Born_08.pdf

 

 

 



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