New Hampshire Population 2016

Toward the northeastern edge of the United States, the land that makes up New Hampshire is one of the smallest in the country. What it lacks in size, however, this tiny state more than makes up for in terms of history. The population changes of the state are important to its history, and as of 2016, the estimated population for New Hampshire is 1.33 million.

New Hampshire was one of the original thirteen states that made up the country and was the first to break away from Great Britain in 1776. It has a population in 2016 estimated at 1,330,608, an increase over its population of 1.31 million at the 2010 Census. It does have one of the slowest growth rates in the country at just 0.16%, which ranks 45th in the country. This isn't surprising, given its small size.

As with any state, the most recent set of figures in relation to the population of New Hampshire dates from the last nationwide census of 2010. That survey confirmed that there were 1,316,470 people, and that figure was up by 6.5% on the numbers declared at the 2000 Census. The 2016 estimates make New Hampshire the 42nd most populous state in the US.

New Hampshire Population Density

New Hampshire covers a very small area and a proportion of its territory is very mountainous, with some of the largest ski mountains on the East Coast. However, it is fairly densely populated in comparison to its size and it ranks 21st in the country in this respect.

With a land mass of 9,349 square miles, there are only four states that are smaller than New Hampshire but for every square mile of land there is an average of 147 people.

The largest city in New Hampshire is Manchester. It is the only city in the state with more than 100,000 residents (its exact population, as recorded by the 2010 census, is 109,565). Nashua (pop: 87,970) is the only other city in the state with a population of over 50,000.

The northern third of the state has just 5% of the state's total population and suffers from high poverty rates. It also steadily loses population as paper and logging industries decline, although it does remain popular as a tourist destination.

New Hampshire Demographics

According to 2015 US Census Bureau estimates, the demographic split of New Hampshire is:

  • 93.9% White (92.3% non-Hispanic White)
  • 2.6% Asian
  • 1.5% Black or African American
  • 0.3% Native American/American Indian
  • 1.6% Multiracial

The largest ancestry groups in New Hampshire include French and French Canadian (23.3%), Irish (20.5%), English (16.1%), Italian (10.7%), German (8.3%) and American (5.2%). The large population of Irish and French-Canadian populations are mostly the descendents of mill workers, and many still reside in former mill towns. New Hampshire has the second largest percentage of French/French-Canadian/Acadian ancestry in the country, after Maine.

New Hampshire Population History

The first set of widely available New Hampshire population figures date back to 1790 when, little more than a decade after the Declaration of Independence, it was shown that 141,885 people were living in the state. Ten years later, the 1800 survey showed that those numbers had climbed to 183,858, a rise of 29.6% in just a decade.

Moving forward, the population of New Hampshire grew at a steady, albeit not particularly spectacular rate, with growth averaging at around 5% per decade, with the occasional small decrease in population (such as between 1870 and 1880, when the population dropped by 2.4%). By the beginning of the 20th century, New Hampshire’s population had increased to 411,588.

The same rates of growth continued through the first half of the 20th century but, in the second half of the century, New Hampshire experienced another population boom. Between 1960 and 2000, the state’s population more than doubled, largely because of the so-called Massachusetts Transplants -- people moving from a crowded urban area to a more relaxed rural area.

The growth rate has slowed slightly while entering the 21st century but remains on an upward trend.

New Hampshire Population Growth

New Hampshire has such a small amount of land, much of it rugged terrain, that growth can only be maintained for so long. New Hampshire's population has been growing quickly for decades, but researchers have found this growth rate is slowing down. A large reason for the growth has been families moving from elsewhere in the country, particularly Massachusetts, but this trend is changing.

The growth rate in New Hampshire is now the slowest it has been in 50 years, while the state's population is also aging rapidly as families are not moving in with children as they once did.

While this all sounds dire, New Hampshire is growing, just slowly. With its current growth rate, one of the lowest in the country, its population is expected to grow from the current 1.33 million in 2016 to 1.35 million in 2020, at which point its percentage of people over 65 will be disproportionately high compared to the U.S. as a whole.

New Hampshire Population in 2016 Source: Mikespenard at English Wikipedia

New Hampshire Facts

  • New Hampshire was originally inhabited by the Abenaki and Pennacook Indians.
  • Captain John Smith had settlers establish a small fishing community in 1623, near Rye and Dover. Portsmouth was founded in 1630, and Captain John Mason named New Hampshire after his hometown in England.
  • Peterborough is the home to the first public library in the US.
  • New Castle is the smallest town in New Hampshire, measuring just 0.8 square miles.
  • New Hampshire was the first state to declare independence from England.
  • The state is made up of 10 counties, 13 municipalities, 22 unincorporated areas and 221 towns.
  • New Hampshire's first capital city was Exeter.

Population Data via US Census

Year Population % Change Rank
2020 1,343,668 0.19% 41
2019 1,341,056 0.20% 41
2018 1,338,444 0.20% 41
2017 1,335,832 0.20% 41
2016 1,333,220 0.20% 41
2015 1,330,608 0.20% 41
2014 1,327,996 0.40% 42
2013 1,322,660 0.10% 42
2012 1,321,393 0.23% 42
2011 1,318,344 0.14% 42
2010 1,316,470 0.63% 42
2000 1,235,786 1.09% 41
1990 1,109,252 1.88% 40
1980 920,610 2.24% 42
1970 737,681 1.97% 41
1960 606,921 1.30% 45
1950 533,242 0.82% 44
1940 491,524 0.55% 44
1930 465,293 0.49% 41
1920 443,083 0.29% 41
1910 430,572 0.45% 39
1900 411,588 0.89% 37
1890 376,530 0.82% 33
1880 346,991 0.87% 31
1870 318,300 -0.24% 31
1860 326,073 0.25% 28
1850 317,976 1.12% 22
1840 284,574 0.55% 22
1830 269,328 0.99% 18
1820 244,161 1.31% 15
1810 214,360 1.55% 16
1800 183,858 2.63% 11
1790 141,885 0.00% 10
New Hampshire Population by Race
Race Population Percentage
White 1,248,321 94.82%
Black or African American 16,365 1.24%
American Indian and Alaska Native 3,530 0.27%
Asian 28,933 2.2%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 532 0.04%
Two or more races 18,789 1.43%
Languages Spoken in New Hampshire
Language Population Percentage
Population 5 years and over 1,251,055 100.00%
Spanish 26,815 2.10%
French 24,025 1.90%
German 3,920 0.30%
Chinese 3,725 0.30%
Portuguese 3,345 0.30%
Nepali 1,990 0.20%
Telugu 1,415 0.10%
Serbocroatian 1,410 0.10%
Indonesian 900 0.10%
New Hampshire County Populations
County Population Rank
Hillsborough County 406,678 1
Rockingham County 301,777 2
Merrimack County 147,994 3
Strafford County 126,825 4
Grafton County 89,320 5
Cheshire County 75,909 6
Belknap County 60,641 7
Carroll County 47,285 8
Sullivan County 42,967 9
Coos County 31,212 10