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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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Pending Federal Proposals Would Reduce SNAP Benefits, Including Enrollment of Households with Children

25 Oct 2019

tree with coins

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known as the New Hampshire Food Stamp Program in the Granite State, helps families and individuals with lower-incomes put food on the table. Eligibility for SNAP is based on gross and net income, assets, household size, and other factors. Additionally, a large portion of SNAP eligibility is dependent on meeting certain work requirements. In September 2019, 73,671 Granite Staters were enrolled in SNAP, including 28,361 children. About one in nine children in New Hampshire receive SNAP benefits, based on these most recent data. Enrolled older adults and individuals with disabilities also rely on SNAP for food assistance.