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Median Age by Municipality

August 29, 2018 Data Viz

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

Population age is an important demographic characteristic of a municipality, as it may indicate the size of the labor force and the life stage of residents. Using the 2010 Census data, the map below shows median age of the population in the state’s populated municipalities. The greater the median age in the municipality, the darker the shade of blue. As demonstrated by the lighter shading, municipalities located closer to the greater Boston metropolitan area typically have lower median ages, and municipalities located farther north in the state tend to have higher median ages.

The 25 municipalities with the oldest median age in 2010, which includes the towns of Franconia, Freedom, Hancock, Moultonborough, New Castle, Sandwich, Tuftonboro, and Wolfeboro, all had median population ages over 50 years old in 2010. Hale’s Location had the highest median age, which, at about 68, was approximately ten years higher than the next oldest community. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the 25 municipalities with the youngest median ages in 2010, which included the much more populous municipalities of Manchester, Nashua, Derry, Goffstown, and Weare, had median population ages lower than 40 years old. Median ages in communities with substantial student populations, such as Durham, Hanover, Keene, and Plymouth, were considerably younger than the statewide median as well.

The regions of the state with lower populations appear to also have larger proportions of older adults, and the regions with larger populations appear to have larger shares of younger residents. The state’s six more rural counties that are not situated within the greater Boston metropolitan area presented median population ages above 40 years old in these 2010 data; Carroll County and Coos County were the oldest, with the median population ages of over 48 and 46 years, respectively. The counties situated closer to metropolitan Boston presented median population ages around the lower 40s or below; Strafford County and Hillsborough County were the youngest, with median population ages of 36.9 and 39.3 years old, respectively. Furthermore, the ten most populous municipalities, with the exception of Salem, all had median ages below 41 in 2010.

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

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