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Interactive Maps of Municipal Economic Disparities and Fiscal Capacities

August 30, 2018 Common Cents

New Hampshire’s economy continues to grow overall, but significant disparities in economic conditions and service needs exist within the boundaries of the Granite State. Differences between the southeastern part of the state and the more rural northern and western regions can be identified broadly and are present across many different indicators. However, experiences in local communities can vary widely even within regions, as many services are delivered at the local level.

NHFPI’s new Issue Brief, Measuring New Hampshire’s Municipalities: Economic Disparities and Fiscal Capacities, explores measures indicating the differing experiences of these communities. Interactive maps showing many of these measures are available through NHFPI’s Data Viz posts.

Certain data from the U.S. Census Bureau describe demographic characteristics at the municipal level, including populations and median ages, which vary considerably between the more urban southeast and rural western and northern New Hampshire.Median Age by Municipality

View interactive map

Enrollment statistics from several key programs, including Medicaid and the New Hampshire Food Stamp Program, provide insights into the varying levels of poverty and need between localities. Different measurements of income and property wealth also provide indications of the abilities of cities and towns to raise revenue for local services.Percentage of Population Enrolled in Food Stamp Program by Municipality

View interactive map

Examining municipal-level data show that there are certain noteworthy exceptions to regional trends. Disparities within both Hillsborough County and Merrimack County highlight the differences between the state’s major urban centers, the suburban communities immediately adjacent to them, and the smaller cities and rural towns still within the same counties. Southwestern Grafton County includes certain high-income areas while much of the rest of the county has relatively lower incomes and higher anti-poverty program enrollment.

This Issue Brief uses data at the local level to show the disparities in economic conditions and fiscal capacities of municipalities within and between different regions of the state, and discusses the impacts these disparities may have on the ability of local governments to provide needed services in New Hampshire communities. The report examines differences in the number and age of populations across the state, the property valuations of different communities, median household incomes and concentrations of higher-income earners, and Medicaid and Food Stamp enrollment by municipality.

Maps in this Issue Brief are also presented in an interactive form through NHFPI’s Data Viz posts:

You can learn more about the overall New Hampshire economy in NHFPI’s June 4 Issue Brief New Hampshire’s Economy: Strengths and Constraints.

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New Hampshire’s Minimum Wage Falls Further Behind

6 Jan 2020

tree with coins

The federal minimum wage is the lowest hourly wage that can be paid to most workers anywhere in the nation. Since its inception at the national level in 1938, when only certain workers were covered, the wage has increased and encompassed more types of employees over time. State law sets New Hampshire’s minimum wage to the federal minimum level, currently at $7.25 per hour. An individual working 40 hours per week at this wage will make about $15,000 per year, assuming they work all 52 weeks. This income level is below the federal poverty guidelines for all households other than a single person, and well below the levels for households that include a partner and children.