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
“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
The complete brief can be found here: