In this brief, Senior Demographer Kenneth Johnson reports that New Hampshire’s population continued to grow in 2021 and 2022 because a migration gain of 18,300 was enough to offset the excess of deaths over births. More people died (28,700) than were born (24,900) in New Hampshire in the past two years. Covid certainly contributed to this loss, but annual deaths already exceeded births in the state for several years before the pandemic.
Recently released Census data underscore the mobility of New Hampshire’s population and provide insights into the origin of the migrants to the state. Only 41 percent of the state’s residents were born in New Hampshire. The majority (53 percent) were born elsewhere in the United States and then migrated to New Hampshire. In contrast, most of the population in the nation and in New England reside in the state in which they were born.
With more deaths and fewer births, migration is critical to the state’s future, but it is important to recognize that migration gains depend not only on how many people move in, but also on how many people do not migrate out. Understanding why residents come to New Hampshire, why they leave, and why so many decide to continue to live here is important to the state’s future and should be part of a comprehensive development strategy.
Carsey School of Public Policy
Regional Issue Brief No. 174
Durham, N.H. : Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire
Johnson, Kenneth M., "Migration Sustains New Hampshire’s Population Gain: Examining the Origins of Recent Migrants" (2023). The Carsey School of Public Policy at the Scholars' Repository. 475.
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