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Geographic Distribution of the Population

August 29, 2018 Data Viz

By Julia Vieira, Research Intern, and Phil Sletten, Policy Analyst

Using 2010 Census data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the map below shows population distribution across New Hampshire’s municipalities. The larger the population of the municipality, the darker the shade of red.

The larger municipal populations are located in urban areas in and around Manchester and Nashua, as well as in Concord, Rochester, Dover, and Portsmouth. Other urban centers, such as Berlin, Claremont, Conway, Keene, Laconia, and Lebanon and Hanover, are also notable in the map as the largest population centers in their respective regions. However, the map generally illustrates that the highest population municipalities in the state are located in or nearer to the greater Boston metropolitan area, and municipal populations generally decrease as distance from the southeastern portion of the state increases.

The geographic concentration of the ten most populous municipalities in the state, all but three of which are in western Rockingham and eastern Hillsborough counties, reflects the concentration of the population’s overall distribution across the state. The ten largest municipalities, which are all located in the four more urban counties in the state, included almost a third of the overall state population. Those four counties are closest to metropolitan Boston: Hillsborough County, Merrimack County, Rockingham County, and Strafford County. The two counties of these four that border Massachusetts – Hillsborough and Rockingham – have more than half of the overall state population, which was counted at 1,316,470 by the 2010 Census. The state’s six more rural counties – Belknap, Carroll, Cheshire, Coos, Grafton, and Sullivan – account for just over a quarter of the overall state population.

For more on the demographics of New Hampshire communities, including data showing regional population changes since 2010, see NHFPI’s Issue Brief Measuring New Hampshire’s Municipalities: Economic Disparities and Fiscal Capacities.

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New Data Show Food Insecurity Levels Declining Prior to the COVID-19 Crisis

10 Sep 2020

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According to data released on September 9 by the United States Department of Agriculture, food insecurity levels in New Hampshire continued to decline during 2019, prior to the onset of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The report outlines the trends of reduced food insecurity in the nation and in New Hampshire, declining from the higher levels resulting from the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009. The overall improvements to the state economy through 2019, along with the effectiveness of key nutritional aid programs, did contribute to lower levels of food insecurity, although the benefits of the economic recovery did not reach all Granite Staters in an equal or timely manner. Although food insecurity levels declined through the years preceding 2020, the current crisis facing Granite Staters is not reflected in these 2019 data. The recent economic pressures on many individuals and families with lower incomes in New Hampshire have been severe, and current levels of food insecurity are very likely to be substantially higher.