New Hampshire Population 2018


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 2018, the estimated population for New Hampshire is 1.35 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 2018 estimated at 1.35 million, 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 2018 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 Population History

New Hampshire was one of the 13 original States. It has had essentially its present boundaries ever since 1790, although an area at the northern tip of the State was in dispute with Canada until 1842. Census coverage included virtually all of New Hampshire from 1790 on.

New Hampshire Population Chart

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.

Population Data via US Census

New Hampshire Growth Rate

New Hampshire Population Rank

Year Pop % Change

New Hampshire Facts

New Hampshire Population in 2018Source: Mikespenard at English Wikipedia

  • 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.

New Hampshire Population Density by County

Hillsborough County

  • Population407,718
  • Density465.33 per sq km
  • Growth Since 20101.67%
  • State Rank1
  • % of State30.54%

New Hampshire Population Growth Rate by County

New Hampshire has a total of 10 counties, and the majority of these counties have exhibited growth over the last five years. This is based on data from the 2010 Census compared to 2015 estimates taken by the US Census Bureau. Over this 5-year period, a total of six New Hampshire counties showed population growth, although none had significant growth over 5%. The highest rate of growth was recorded in Strafford County, at 2.93%. Other counties that had increases in population are Grafton, Belknap, Merrimack, Hillsborough, and Rockingham.

The remaining four counties showed declines in population based on the same 5-year data. The highest decrease in population occurred in the northernmost county of Coos, which recorded a decline of 5.36%. All other counties had a decrease less than 5%, and this includes Cheshire, Carroll, and Sullivan.

New Hampshire Population Pyramid 2018

0k2k4k6k8k10k12kNew Hampshire Male Population0k2k4k6k8k10k12kNew Hampshire Female Population80757065605550454035302520151050

To compare New Hampshire to other states, click here.

Population by Race

Race Population
Two or More Races28,717
Black or African American16,671
Some Other Race8,057
American Indian and Alaska Native1,450
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander66

New Hampshire is one of ten states that is over 90% white. While the percentage of whites has fallen slightly from over 98% in 1990 to 93.9% white in 2015, it has the third largest population of whites in the US, falling just behind Maine and Vermont. In terms of its African American population, the state ranks 44th out of 50 states.

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.

Race Data via US Census (2016 ACS 1-Year Survey)

Languages Spoken in New Hampshire

Language Population Percentage

This chart shows the top 10 languages that are spoken at home in New Hampshire. The data comes from the most recent release of the American Community Survey (ACS).

New Hampshire Economy

High school graduate or higher 92%
Bachelor's degree or higher 34.4%
With a Disability 8.3%
Persons Without Health Insurance 10.8%
In Civilian Labor Force 68.6%
In Civilian Labor Force (Female) 64.1%
Food Services Sales $2,942,278
Health Care Revenue $9,616,460,000
Manufacturers Shipments $18,895,624,000
Merchant Wholesaler Sales $18,029,179,000
Total Retail Sales $26,018,201,000
Total Retail Sales per Capita $19,700
Mean Travel Time to Work 26.6 minutes
Median Household Income $65,986
Per Capita Income (past 12 months) $33,821
Persons in Poverty 9.2%

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in New Hampshire for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 3.9% and the labor force participation rate is 68.3%.

New Hampshire Business

Total Nonemployer Establishments 103,345
All firms 131,638
Men-owned Firms 76,716
Women-owned Firms 38,525
Minority-owned Firms 6,111
Nonminority-owned Firms 121,297
Veternan-owned Firms 16,119
Nonveteran-owned Firms 108,817

New Hampshire Housing

Housing Units 614,754
Owner Occupied Housing Rate 71%
Median Value Owner Occupied Housing Units $237,400
Median Monthly Owner Costs (w/Mortgage) $1,905
Median Monthly Owner Costs (no mortgage) $739
Median Gross Rent $1,001
Building Permits 3,763
Households 519,580
Persons per Household 2.46 persons
Living in Same House 1 Year Ago 86.5%
Language Other than English Spoken at Home 7.9%
Data Sources
  1. New Hampshire State Data Center
  2. US Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  3. US Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  4. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  5. Census QuickFacts
  6. Historical Populations of States and Counties (1790 - 1990)