In this brief, authors Lawrence Hamilton, Linda Fogg, and Curt Grimm report on a 2017 survey that asked North Country residents about their perceptions, hopes, and concerns regarding this region. Many of the same questions had been asked on earlier surveys in 2007 and 2010, providing a unique comparative perspective on what has changed or stayed much the same. The authors report that over these years, North Country (northern New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont) residents’ positive views of life in their region have mostly held steady, or in some cases improved, over the past ten years. Residents also express optimism about present and future quality of life in their communities, and the prospects for young adults deciding to return home. There is, however, broad agreement that lack of job opportunities, drug abuse, and population decline are important problems. Despite such problems, there is a strong sense of community: people help each other, trust their neighbors, and feel that they can work together to solve problems. Views on economic development vary from county to county. Less developed places see tourism and recreation, light manufacturing, independent small businesses, and forest-based industry as important to their future. In Grafton County, which has a more diverse economy, perceptions of problems and economic solutions show a different pattern, but the sense of hope and well-being is similarly high.

Publication Date

Fall 12-5-2017


National Issue Brief No.130


Durham, N.H. : Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire

Document Type



Copyright 2017. Carsey School of Public Policy. These materials may be used for the purposes of research, teaching, and private study. For all other uses, contact the copyright holder.





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