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New Hampshire

New Hampshire

State of Hampshire

ORIGIN OF STATE NAME: Named for the English county of Hampshire.

NICKNAME: The Granite State.

CAPITAL: Concord.

ENTERED UNION: 21 June 1788 (9th).

SONG: "Old New Hampshire."

MOTTO: Live Free or Die.

FLAG: The state seal, surrounded by laurel leaves with nine stars interspersed, is centered on a blue field.

OFFICIAL SEAL: In the center is a broadside view of the frigate Raleigh; in the left foreground is a granite boulder; in the background is a rising sun. A laurel wreath and the words "Seal of the State of New Hampshire 1776" surround the whole.

BIRD: Purple finch.

FLOWER: Purple lilac.

TREE: White birch.

GEM: Smoky quartz.

LEGAL HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Civil Rights Day and Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., 3rd Monday in January; Presidents' Day, 3rd Monday in February; Memorial Day, last Monday in May; Independence Day, 4 July; Labor Day, 1st Monday in September; Columbus Day, 2nd Monday in October; Election Day, Tuesday following 1st Monday in November in even-numbered years; Veterans' Day, 11 November; Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thursday in November plus the day after; Christmas Day, 25 December.

TIME: 7 AM EST = noon GMT.


Situated in New England in the northeastern United States, New Hampshire ranks 44th in size among the 50 states. The total area of New Hampshire is 9,279 sq mi (24,033 sq km), comprising 8,993 sq mi (23,292 sq km) of land and 286 sq mi (741 sq km) of inland water. The state has a maximum extension of 93 mi (150 km) e-w and 180 mi (290 km) n-s. New Hampshire is shaped roughly like a right triangle, with the line from the far n to the extreme sw forming the hypotenuse.

New Hampshire is bordered on the n by the Canadian province of Quebec; on the e by Maine (with part of the line formed by the Piscataqua and Salmon Falls rivers) and the Atlantic Ocean; on the s by Massachusetts; and on the w by Vermont (following the west bank of the Connecticut River) and Quebec (with the line formed by Halls Stream).

The three southernmost Isles of Shoals lying in the Atlantic belong to New Hampshire. The state's total boundary line is 555 mi (893 km). Its geographic center lies in Belknap County, 3 mi (5 km) e of Ashland.


The major regions of New Hampshire are the coastal lowland in the southeast; the New England Uplands, covering most of the south and west; and the White Mountains (part of the Appalachian chain) in the north, including Mt. Washington, at 6,288 ft (1,918 m), the highest peak in the northeastern United States. With a mean elevation of about 1,000 ft (305 m), New Hampshire is generally hilly, rocky, and in many areas densely wooded.

There are some 1,300 lakes and ponds, of which the largest is Lake Winnipesaukee, covering 70 sq mi (181 sq km). The principal rivers are the Connecticut (forming the border with Vermont), Merrimack, Salmon Falls, Piscataqua, Saco, and Androscoggin. Near the coast are the nine rocky Isles of Shoals, three of which belong to New Hampshire. About 10% of the state land area is covered by wetlands. Sea level at the Atlantic Ocean is the lowest elevation of the state.


New Hampshire has a changeable climate, with wide variations in daily and seasonal temperatures. Summers are short and cool, winters long and cold. Concord has an average yearly temperature of 46°f (7°c), ranging from 20°f (6°c) in January to 70°f (21°c) in July. The record low temperature, 47°f (44°c), was set at Mt. Washington on 29 January 1934; the all-time high, 106°f (41°c) at Nashua, 4 July 1911. Annual precipitation at Concord averages 36.7 in (93 cm); the average snowfall in Concord is 63.2 in (160 cm) a year, with more than 100 in (254 cm) yearly in the mountains. The strongest wind ever recorded, other than during a tornado231 mi/h (372 km/h)occurred on Mt. Washington on 12 April 1934.


Well forested, New Hampshire supports an abundance of elm, maple, beech, oak, pine, hemlock, and fir trees. Among wild flowers, several orchids are considered rare. Three New Hampshire plant species were listed as threatened or endangered in 2006; the small whorled pogonia was threatened and Jesup's milk-vetch and Northeastern bulrush were endangered.

Among native New Hampshire mammals are the white-tailed deer, muskrat, beaver, porcupine, and snowshoe hare. Nine animal species (vertebrates and invertebrates) were listed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as threatened or endangered in 2006, including the Karner blue butterfly, bald eagle, dwarf wedgemussel, finback whale, and leatherback sea turtle.


State agencies concerned with environmental protection include the Fish and Game Department, the Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED), and the Department of Environmental Services (DES). DRED oversees the state's forests, lands and parks and, in the late 1980s, DRED was the lead state agency in the acquisition and long-term protection of open space. DES was created in 1987, consolidating several preexisting commissions and boards into four divisions which protect the environmental quality of air, groundwater, the state's surface waters, and solid waste. In the 1990s, DES focused on such issues as ground-level ozone, landfill closures, groundwater remediation and protection of lakes, rivers, and other wetlands in New Hampshire. In 2003, 5.9 million lb of toxic chemicals were released in the state. Also in 2003, New Hampshire had 91 hazardous waste sites listed in the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) database, 20 of which were on the National Priorities List as of 2006, including Pease Air Force Base and the Mottolo Pig Farm in Raymond. In 2005, the EPA spent over $10 million through the Superfund program for the cleanup of hazardous waste sites in the state. The same year, federal EPA grants awarded to the state included $13 million for the clean water state revolving fund and $8.2 million for the drinking water state revolving fund.


New Hampshire ranked 41st in population in the United States with an estimated total of 1,309,940 in 2005, an increase of 6% since 2000. Between 1990 and 2000, New Hampshire's population grew from 1,109,252 to 1,235,786, an increase of 11.4%. The population is projected to reach 1.45 million by 2015 and 1.58 million by 2025. The population density in 2004 was 144.9 persons per sq mi. In 2004, the median age was 39.1. Persons under 18 years old accounted for 23.5% of the population while 12.1% was age 65 or older.

In 2004, Manchester, the largest city, had an estimated population of 109,310. The Manchester-Nashua metropolitan area had an estimated population of 398,574. In 2003, the capital city of Concord had a population of 41,823


In 2000, a total of 223,026 New Hampshirites claimed English ancestry. Those claiming French ancestry numbered 180,947, and Irish 240,804. There are also about 127,153 French Canadians. In 2000, there were 9,035 black Americans, 15,931 Asians, 371 Pacific Islanders, and 2,964 Native Americans living in New Hampshire. In the same year, there were 20,489 residents of Hispanic origin, or 1.7% of the total population. The foreign-born population numbered 54,154, or 4.4% of the total population, in 2000.

In 2004, 2.1% of the population was Hispanic or Latino, 1.7% Asian, 0.9% black, and 0.2% American Indian or Alaskan Native; 0.9% of the population reported origin of two or more races.


Some place-names, such as Ossipee, Mascoma, and Chocorua, preserve the memory of the Pennacook and Abnaki Algonkian tribes living in the area before white settlement.

New Hampshire speech is essentially Northern, with the special features marking eastern New England, especially the loss of the final /r/, as in park and father, and /yu/ in tube and new. Raspberries sounds like /rawzberries/, a wishbone is a luckybone, gutters are eavespouts, and cows are summoned by "Loo!" Canadian French is heard in the northern region.

In 2000, 91.7% of all state residents aged five and abovea total of 935,825spoke only English at home.

The following table gives selected statistics from the 2000 Census for language spoken at home by persons five years old and over. The category "Other Indo-European languages" includes Albanian, Gaelic, Lithuanian, and Rumanian. The category "Other Asian languages" includes Dravidian languages, Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, and Turkish.

Population 5 years and over 1,160,340 100.0
  Speak only English 1,064,252 91.7
  Speak a language other than English 96,088 8.3
Speak a language other than English 96,088 8.3
  French (incl. Patois, Cajun) 39,551 3.4
  Spanish or Spanish Creole 18,647 1.6
  German 4,788 0.4
  Greek 3,411 0.3
  Chinese 3,268 0.3
  Italian 2,649 0.2
  Portuguese or Portuguese Creole 2,394 0.2
  Polish 2,094 0.2
  Other Indo-European languages 1,468 0.1
  Arabic 1,462 0.1
  Vietnamese 1,449 0.1
  Other Asian languages 1,240 0.1
  Korean 1,240 0.1
  Korean 1,228 0.1
  Serbo-Croatian 1,182 0.1
  Russian 1,009 0.1


The first settlers of New Hampshire were Separatists, precursors of the modern Congregationalists (United Church of Christ) and their first church was probably built around 1633. The first Episcopal church was built in 1638 and the first Quaker meetinghouse in 1701; Presbyterians, Baptists, and Methodists built churches later in the 18th century. The state remained almost entirely Protestant until the second half of the 19th century, when Roman Catholics (French Canadian, Irish, and Italian) began arriving in significant numbers, along with some Greek and Russian Orthodox Christians.

In 2004, Roman Catholics numbered at about 327,353 adherents. In 2005, there were 25,794 members of the United Church of Christ. Other leading Protestant denominations (with 2000 membership data) are the United Methodist Church, 18,927; the American Baptist Churches-USA, 16,359; and the Episcopal Church, 16,148. There were about 10,020 Jews and 3,782 Muslims throughout the state in 2000. A few small groups have reported considerable growth since 1990. These include the Salvation Army, which went from 763 members in 1990 to 2,651 members in 2000. The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel grew from 51 adherents in 1990 to 1,203 in 2000 and the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ reported a membership of 1,503 in 2000, up from 396 in 1990.


New Hampshire's first railroad, between Nashua and Lowell, Massachusetts, was chartered in 1835 and opened in 1838. Two years later, Exeter and Boston were linked by rail. The state had more than 1,200 mi (1,900 km) of track in 1920, but by 2003, the total route mileage in New Hampshire shrunk to 473 mi (761 km). There were no Class I railroads operating in the state as of that year. As of 2006, Amtrak provided service to three stations in New Hampshire via its Boston to Portland Downeaster train

In 2003, the state had a total of 15,628 mi (25,161 km) of roads. The main north-south highway is I-93. As of 2004, there were some 668,000 automobiles, around 491,000 trucks of all types, about 66,000 motorcycles, and some 1,000 buses registered in the state, along with 985,775 licensed drivers. In 2005, New Hampshire had a total of 127 public and private-use aviation-related facilities. This included 51 airports, 67 heliports, and nine seaplane bases. The state's main airport is Manchester Municipal Airport. In 2004, the airport had 1,973,142 enplanements.

Portsmouth is the state's primary port. In 2004, the Portsmouth handled 4.794 million tons of cargo. For that same year, New Hampshire had only eight mi (12 km) of navigable inland waterways. In 2003, total waterborne shipments totaled 4.971 million tons.


The land called New Hampshire has supported a human population for at least 10,000 years. Prior to European settlement, Indian tribes of the Algonkian language group lived in the region. During the 17th century, most of New Hampshire's Indians, called Pennacook, were organized in a loose confederation centered along the Merrimack Valley.

The coast of New England was explored by Dutch, English, and French navigators throughout the 16th century. Samuel de Champlain prepared the first accurate map of the New England coast in 1604, and Captain John Smith explored the Isles of Shoals in 1614. By this time, numerous English fishermen were summering on New England's coastal banks, using the Isles of Shoals for temporary shelter and to dry their catch.

The first English settlement was established along the Piscataqua River in 1623. From 1643 to 1680, New Hampshire was a province of Massachusetts, and the boundary between them was not settled until 1740. During the 18th century, as settlers moved up the Merrimack and Connecticut river valleys, they came into conflict with the Indians. By 1760, however, the Pennacook had been expelled from the region.

Throughout the provincial period, people in New Hampshire made their living through fishing, farming, cutting and sawing timber, shipbuilding, and coastal and overseas trade. By the first quarter of the 18th century, Portsmouth, the provincial capital, had become a thriving commercial port. New Hampshire's terrain worked against Portsmouth's commercial interests, however, by dictating that roads (and later railroads) run in a north-south directionmaking Boston, and not Portsmouth, New England's primary trading center. During the Revolutionary War, extensive preparations were made to protect the harbor from a British attack that never came. Although nearly 18,500 New Hampshire men enlisted in the war, no battle was fought within its boundaries. New Hampshire was the first of the original 13 colonies to establish an independent governmenton 5 January 1776, six months before the Declaration of Independence.

During the 19th century, as overseas trade became less important to the New Hampshire economy, textile mills were built, principally along the Merrimack River. By midcentury, the Merrimack Valley had become the social, political, and economic center of the state. So great was the demand for workers in these mills that immigrant labor was imported during the 1850s; a decade later, French Canadian workers began pouring south from Quebec.

Although industry thrived, agriculture did not; New Hampshire hill farms could not compete against Midwestern farms. The population in farm towns dropped, leaving a maze of stone walls, cellar holes, and new forests on the hillsides. The people who remained began to cluster in small village centers.

World War I, however, marked a turning point for New Hampshire industry. As wartime demand fell off, the state's old textile mills were unable to compete with newer cotton mills in the South, and New Hampshire's mill towns became as depressed as its farm towns; only in the north, the center for logging and paper manufacturing, did state residents continue to enjoy moderate prosperity. Industrial towns in the southern counties responded to the decline in textile manufacture by making other items, particularly shoes, but the collapse of the state's railroad network spelled further trouble for the slumping economy. The growth of tourism aided the rural areas primarily, as old farms became spacious vacation homes for "summer people," who in some cases paid the bulk of local property taxes.

During the 1960s, New Hampshire's economic decline began to reverse, except in agriculture. In the 1970s and early 1980s, growth in the state's northern counties remained modest, but the combination of Boston's urban sprawl, interstate highway construction, and low state taxes encouraged people and industrynotably high-technology businessesto move into southern New Hampshire. The state's population doubled between 1960 and 1988, from 606,921 to 1.1 million. Most of the arrivals were younger, more affluent, and better educated than the natives. The newcomers shared the fiscally conservative views of those born in New Hampshire but tended to be more liberal on social questions such as gun control and abortion. The rise in population strained government services, prompted an increase in local taxes, and provoked concern over the state's vanishing open spaces. The state's population has held fairly steady since 1988, with an estimated 1.3 million people in 2004.

Like other New England states, New Hampshire was hard hit by the recession of the early 1990s, with the unemployment rate rising to 10% by 1992. But by the mid-1990s a recovery was underway, and about 30,000 of the more than 60,000 jobs lost during the recession had been regained. By 1999 the state enjoyed the second-lowest unemployment rate in the nationjust 2.7%. Population growth in the state threatened to do away with the annual town meeting. A study released in 2000 showed that more towns had replaced the celebrated tradition with the official ballot form of governance.

In 2000, New Hampshire Chief Justice David Brock faced an unprecedented trial on charges he influenced a lower-court judge about a powerful state senator's case, allowed a Supreme Court colleague to have a say in the handling of his own divorce, permitted disqualified justices to participate in cases, and lied to a house committee investigating the court. Brock was the first New Hampshire official impeached in 210 years and his trial was to be the first in the state's history. The last impeachment of a New Hampshire official was in 1790; Supreme Court Justice Woodbury Langdon resigned before he was tried. Brock was acquitted by the New Hampshire Senate in October 2000.

Like other New England states in the early 2000s, New Hampshire faced record-breaking budget deficits. Republican Governor Craig Benson vetoed a 2003 two-year budget passed by the state legislature, saying it would increase the deficit and raise taxes. Democrat John Lynch, who was inaugurated as New Hampshire's governor in January 2005 after defeating Benson in the November 2004 election, put his attention to improving education, reducing health care costs, protecting the environment, and creating good jobs. In his first few months in office he worked with the legislature to pass legislation stabilizing health care costs for small businesses; eliminating a projected $300 million budget deficit; and making progress on education funding.


New Hampshire's constitution, adopted in 1784 and extensively revised in 1792, is the second-oldest state-governing document still in effect. Every 10 years, the people vote on the question of calling a convention to revise it; proposed revisions must then be approved by two-thirds of the voters at a referendum. Amendments may also be placed on the ballot by a three-fifths vote of both houses of the state legislature. If placed on the ballot, an amendment must be approved by two-thirds of the voters on the amendment in order to be ratified. The constitution was amended 143 times by January 2005.

The state legislature, called the General Court, consists of a 24-member Senate and a 400-seat House of Representatives, larger than that of any other state. Legislative sessions begin each January and are limited to 45 legislative days. Special sessions, indirectly limited to 15 legislative days, may be called by a two-thirds vote of the members of each house. Senators must be at least 30 years old, representatives 18. The state residency requirement for senators is a minimum of seven years and for representatives a minimum of two. Legislators, who must reside in their districts, serve two-year terms, for which they were paid $200 ($100 per year) as of 2004, unchanged from 1999.

The only executive elected statewide is the governor, who serves a two-year term and is assisted by a five-member executive council, elected for two years by district. As of 2006, New Hampshire and Vermont were the only two states whose governors served two-year terms. The council must approve all administrative and judicial appointments. The secretary of state and state treasurer are elected by the legislature. The governor must be at least 30 years old and must have been a state resident for seven years before election. As of December 2004, the governor's salary was $96,060.

A bill becomes law if signed by the governor, if passed by the legislature and left unsigned by the governor for five days whether or not the legislature is in or out of session, or if passed over a gubernatorial veto by two-thirds of the legislators present in each house. A voter must be at least 18 years old, a US citizen, and must have a permanent established domicile in the state of New Hampshire. Restrictions apply to convicted felons.


New Hampshire has almost always gone with the Republican presidential nominee in recent decades, but the Democratic and Republican parties were much more evenly balanced in local and state elections. New Hampshire's quadrennial presidential preference primary, the second state primary of the campaign season

New Hampshire Presidential Vote by Major Political Parties, 19482004
*Won US presidential election.
**IND. candidate Ross Perot received 121,337 votes in 1992 and 48,390 votes in 1996.
1948 4 Dewey (R) 107,995 121,299
1952 4 *Eisenhower (R) 106,663 166,287
1956 4 *Eisenhower (R) 90,364 176,519
1960 4 Nixon (R) 137,772 157,989
1964 4 *Johnson (D) 182,065 104,029
1968 4 *Nixon (R) 130,589 154,903
1972 4 *Nixon (R) 116,435 213,724
1976 4 Ford (R) 147,635 185,935
1980 4 *Reagan (R) 108,864 221,705
1984 4 *Reagan (R) 120,347 267,050
1988 4 *Bush (R) 163,696 281,537
1992** 4 *Clinton (D) 209,040 202,484
1996** 4 *Clinton (D) 246,214 196,532
2000 4 *Bush, G. W. (R) 266,348 273,559
2004 4 Kerry (D) 340,511 331,237

after Iowa, accords to New Hampshirites a degree of national political influence and a claim on media attention far out of proportion to their numbers. In the 1992 presidential election, New Hampshire voters defied their tradition and chose Democrat Bill Clinton over Republican incumbent George Bush by a scant 6,556 votes. Clinton won the state again in 1996. In the 2000 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 48% of the vote to Democrat Al Gore's 47%; Green Party candidate Ralph Nader garnered 4% of the vote. In 2004, Bush won 40.3% to Democratic challenger John Kerry's 49.0%. In 2004, there were 690,000 registered voters. In 1998, 27% of registered voters were Democratic, 36% Republican, and 36% unaffiliated or members of other parties. The state had four electoral votes in the 2004 presidential election.

As of 2005, both of New Hampshire's senators, John Sununu (elected in 2002) and Judd Gregg (reelected in 2004), were Republicans. Following the 2004 election, both House seats were held by Republicans. In 2002, Republican Craig Benson was elected governor; he was defeated by Democrat John Lynch in 2004. The New Hampshire state Senate in mid-2005 had 16 Republicans and 8 Democrats, and the state House had 253 Republicans and 147 Democrats.


As of 2005, New Hampshire has 10 counties, each governed by three commissioners. Other elected county officials include the sheriff, attorney, treasurer, registrar of deeds, and registrar of probate.

New Hampshire also had 13 municipal governments in 2005, as well as 178 public school districts, and 148 special districts. In 2002, there were 221 townships. Most municipalities have elected mayors and councils. Some municipal charters provide for the council-manager or commission system of government. The basic unit of town government is the traditional town meeting, held once a year, when selectmen and other local officials are chosen.

In 2005, local government accounted for about 49,709 full-time (or equivalent) employment positions.


To address the continuing threat of terrorism and to work with the federal Department of Homeland Security, homeland security in New Hampshire operates under the authority of the governor; the emergency management director is designated as the state homeland security advisor.

The Department of Education, governed by the seven-member State Board of Education (which appoints an education commissioner), has primary responsibility for public instruction. The Department of Transportation and the Division of Ports and Harbors share transport responsibilities, while the Department of Health and Human Services oversees public health and mental health and welfare. Executive branch departments include the departments of agriculture, markets, and food; cultural resources; fish and game; justice; revenue administration; and parks and recreation. Authorities, boards, and commissions include the Liquor Commission and the Sweepstakes Commission.


All judges in New Hampshire are appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation by the executive council. Appointments are to age 70, with retirement compulsory at that time. The state's highest court, the Supreme Court, consists of a chief justice and four associate justices. The main trial court is the Superior Court for which there were 28 judges in 1999.

As of 31 December 2004, a total of 2,448 prisoners were held in New Hampshire's state and federal prisons, an increase from 2,434 of 0.6% from the previous year. As of year-end 2004, a total of 119 inmates were female, up from 117 or 1.7% from the year before. Among sentenced prisoners (one year or more), New Hampshire had an incarceration rate of 187 per 100,000 population in 2004.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New Hampshire in 2004, had a violent crime rate (murder/nonnegligent manslaughter; forcible rape; robbery; aggravated assault) of 167 reported incidents per 100,000 population, or a total of 2,170 reported incidents. Crimes against property (burglary; larceny/theft; and motor vehicle theft) in that same year totaled 26,511 reported incidents or 2,040.1 reported incidents per 100,000 people. New Hampshire has a death penalty, which consists of lethal injection or hanging, the latter of which is used only if lethal injection cannot be used. Since 1930, New Hampshire has executed only one person and as of 1 January 2006 no prisoners were under sentence of death in the state. For the period 1976 through 5 May 2006, there have been no executions carried out by the state.

In 2003, New Hampshire spent $45,536,983 on homeland security, an average of $36 per state resident.


In 2004, there were 218 active-duty military personnel and 1,059 civilian personnel stationed in New Hampshire. The principal military installation is the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Firms in the state received nearly $715 million in defense contract awards in 2004, and defense payroll outlays were $384 million.

As of 2003, veterans living in New Hampshire numbered 131,074, of whom 16,623 were veterans of World War II; 14,381, the Korean conflict; 41,627, the Vietnam era; and 16,940 served during the Gulf War. For the fiscal year 2004, total Veterans Affairs expenditures in New Hampshire amounted to more than $325 million.

As of 31 October 2004, the New Hampshire State Police employed 267 full-time sworn officers.


From the time of the first European settlement until the middle of the 19th century, the population of New Hampshire was primarily of British origin. Subsequently, immigrants from Quebec and from Ireland, Italy, and other countries began arriving in significant numbers. New Hampshire's population growth since 1960 has been fueled by migrants from other states. The net gain from migration was 74,000 from 1985 to 1990. Between 1990 and 1998, New Hampshire had net gains of 19,000 in domestic migration and 6,000 in international migration. In 1998, the state admitted 1,010 foreign immigrants. Between 1990 and 1998, the state's overall population increased 6.8%. In the period 200005, net international migration was 11,107 and net internal migration was 40,861, for a net gain of 51,968 people.


New Hampshire participates in the American and Canadian French Cultural Exchange Commission, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, Connecticut River Valley Flood Control Compact, Maine-New Hampshire Interstate School Compact, Northeastern Forest Fire Protection Compact, and various New England regional compacts (including compacts on radiological health protection, higher education, corrections, police, trucking fees and permits, water pollution control, sewage and garbage disposal, fire protection, and the lotto). Federal grants to New Hampshire totaled $1.243 billion in fiscal year 2005, an estimated $1.253 billion in fiscal year 2006, and an estimated $1.271 billion in fiscal year 2007.


New Hampshire is one of the most industrialized states in the United States, ranking well above the national median in proportion of labor force employed in manufacturing and in value added by manufacture. Between 1977 and 1982, manufacturing employment rose 13%, to 107,500, as many high-technology firms moved into the southern portion of the state. Since World War II, tourism has been one of the state's fastest-growing sources of income. Coming into the 21st century, the state's economy was booming, posting annual growth rates of 8.2% in 1998, 7% in 1999, and 9.3% in 2000. It was clearly headed for a correction, and in the national recession and slowdown of 2001 it was one of the few states that experienced a contraction for the year, albeit a small 0.4% contraction. Due to the large growth of information technology (IT) related jobs in southern New Hampshire in the 1990s, this was the region of New England that saw the greatest fall in personal income between mid-2000 and mid-2002.

New Hampshire's gross state product (GSP) in 2004 was $51.871 billion of which the real estate sector accounted for the largest share at $7.232 billion or 13.9% of GSP, followed by manufacturing (durable and nondurable goods) at $6.47 billion (12.4% of GSP), and healthcare and social assistance at $4.195 billion (8% of GSP). In that same year, there were an estimated 133,052 small businesses in New Hampshire. Of the 40,151 businesses that had employees, an estimated total of 38,820 or 96.7% were small companies. An estimated 4,865 new businesses were established in the state in 2004, up 4.6% from the year before. Business terminations that same year came to 5,401, up 17.5% from 2003. There were 158 business bankruptcies in 2004, down 11.2% from the previous year. In 2005, the state's personal bankruptcy (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13) filing rate was 333 filings per 100,000 people, ranking New Hampshire as the 47th highest in the nation.


In 2005, New Hampshire had a gross state product (GSP) of $56 billion which accounted for 0.4% of the nation's gross domestic product and placed the state at number 39 in highest GSP among the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, in 2004 New Hampshire had a per capita personal income (PCPI) of $36,616. This ranked seventh in the United States and was 111% of the national average of $33,050. The 19942004 average annual growth rate of PCPI was 4.5%. New Hampshire had a total personal income (TPI) of $47,569,847,000, which ranked 38th in the United States and reflected an increase of 7.1% from 2003. The 19942004 average annual growth rate of TPI was 5.8%. Earnings of persons employed in New Hampshire increased from $32,481,694,000 in 2003 to $34,921,009,000 in 2004, an increase of 7.5%. The 200304 national change was 6.3%.

The US Census Bureau reports that the three-year average median household income for 200204 in 2004 dollars was $57,352 compared to a national average of $44,473. During the same period an estimated 5.7% of the population was below the poverty line as compared to 12.4% nationwide.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in April 2006 the seasonally adjusted civilian labor force in New Hampshire numbered 735,300 with approximately 24,700 workers unemployed, yielding an unemployment rate of 3.4%, compared to the national average of 4.7% for the same period. Preliminary data for the same period placed nonfarm employment at 642,500. Since the beginning of the BLS data series in 1976, the highest unemployment rate recorded in New Hampshire was 7.7% in June 1982. The historical low was 1.9% in April 1987. Preliminary nonfarm employment data by occupation for April 2006 showed that approximately 4.8% of the labor force was employed in construction; 12% in manufacturing; 22.1% in trade, transportation, and public utilities; 6.3% in financial activities; 9.5% in professional and business services; 15.7% in education and health services; 9.9% in leisure and hospitality services; and 13.9% in government.

The US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2005, a total of 65,000 of New Hampshire's 627,000 employed wage and salary workers were formal members of a union. This represented 10.4% of those so employed, up from 9.9% in 2004, but still below the national average of 12%. Overall in 2005, a total of 72,000 workers (11.5%) in New Hampshire were covered by a union or employee association contract, which includes those workers who reported no union affiliation. New Hampshire is one of 28 states that does not have a right-to-work law.

As of 1 March 2006, New Hampshire had a state-mandated minimum wage rate of $5.15 per hour. In 2004, women in the state accounted for 46.7% of the employed civilian labor force.


Only Rhode Island and Alaska generate less income from farming than New Hampshire. Farm income in 2005 was $168 million, 56% of which was in crops.

In 2004, there were about 3,400 farms occupying about 450,000 acres (182,000 hectares). Leading crops and their output in 2004 were hay, 105,000 tons, and commercial apples, 31 million lb (14 million kg).


Dairy and poultry products are the mainstays of New Hampshire's agriculture. In 2003, the state had 16,000 milk cows, with a total milk yield of 305 million lb (139 million kg). Poultry items included 1,183,000 lb (538,000 kg) of chickens, sold for $28,000; 132,000 lb (60,000 kg) of turkey, valued at $224,000, and 43 million eggs, valued at $3.2 million.


New Hampshire's commercial catch in 2004 consisted of 21.9 million lb (10 million kg), worth $8.8 million. Most of the catch includes cod and lobster. In 2003, the state had 3 processing and 20 wholesale plants with about 497 employees. The commercial fleet in 2001 had about 580 boats and vessels. The state sponsors six hatcheries. The Nashua National Fish Hatchery is also located in the state. In 2004, the state issued 143,835 sport fishing licenses.


New Hampshire had 4,824,000 acres (1,952,000 hectares) of forestland in 2004, of which 4,503,000 acres (1,822,000 hectares) were considered suitable for commercial use. Of that total, 83% was privately owned. Forests cover about 84% of New Hampshire. Lumber production in 2004 was 232 million board feet, 72% softwood.


According to preliminary data from the US Geological Survey (USGS), the estimated value of nonfuel mineral production by New Hampshire in 2003 was $63.9 million, a decrease from 2002 of about 3%.

By value, according to the preliminary data for 2003, construction sand and gravel was the state's leading nonfuel mineral commodity, accounting for around 69% of all nonfuel mineral production. In second place was crushed stone.

Preliminary data for 2003 showed production of construction sand and gravel totaling 9.1 million metric tons, with a value of $44.1 million, while crushed stone output that year totaled 3.89 million metric tons, and a value of $19.8 million. New Hampshire in 2003 was also a producer of dimension granite, and gem stones which were collected by hobbyists. Sand and gravel are mined in every county, and dimension granite is quarried in Hillsborough, Merrimack, and Coos counties.


As of 2003, new Hampshire had 20 electrical power service providers, of which five were publicly owned and one was a cooperative. Of the remainder, four were investor owned, four were owners of independent generators that sold directly to customers, four were generation-only suppliers and two were delivery-only providers. As of that same year there were 661,773 retail customers. Of that total, 576,788 received their power from investor-owned service providers. The state's lone cooperative accounted for 73,727 customers, while publicly owned providers had 11,147 customers. There were five independent generator or "facility" customers, while generation-only suppliers had 106 customers. There was no data on the number of delivery-only customers.

Total net summer generating capability by the state's electrical generating plants in 2003 stood at 4.244 million kW, with total production that same year at 21.597 billion kWh. Of the total amount generated, 28.9% came from electric utilities, with the remaining 71.1% coming from independent producers and combined heat and power service providers. The largest portion of all electric power generated, 9.276 billion kWh (43%), came from nuclear power, with natural gas fired plants in second place at 4.165 billion kWh (19.3%) and coal-fired plants in third at 3.923 billion kWh (18.2%). Other renewable power sources accounted for 4% of all power generated, with hydroelectric at 6.2% and petroleum fired plants at 9.5%.

In 1990, the controversial nuclear power plant at Seabrook, built by Public Service Co. of New Hampshire, began operating. Originally planned as a two-reactor, 2,300-Mw facility, Seabrook was scaled back to one 1,150 MW reactor whose cost was about five times the original $1 billion two-reactor estimate. As of 2003, the plant had a generating capability of 1,159 MW and was the largest reactor in New England.

New Hampshire has no refineries, nor any proven reserves or production of crude oil and natural gas.


During the provincial era, shipbuilding was New Hampshire's major industry. By 1870, cotton and woolen mills, concentrated in the southeast, employed about one-third of the labor force and accounted for roughly half the value of all manufactures.

According to the US Census Bureau's Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM) for 2004, New Hampshire's manufacturing sector covered some 16 product subsectors. The shipment value of all products manufactured in the state that same year was $15.439 billion. Of that total, computer and electronic product manufacturing accounted for the largest share at $3.982 billion. It was followed by machinery manufacturing at $1.867 billion; fabricated metal product manufacturing at $1.627 billion; miscellaneous manufacturing at $1.017 billion; and electrical equipment, appliance and component manufacturing at $983.270 million.

In 2004, a total of 72,498 people in New Hampshire were employed in the state's manufacturing sector, according to the ASM. Of that total, 452,589 were actual production workers. In terms of total employment, the computer and electronic product manufacturing industry accounted for the largest portion of all manufacturing employees at 14,068, with 6,127 actual production workers. It was followed by fabricated metal product manufacturing at 10,776 employees (8,023 actual production workers); machinery manufacturing at 8,534 employees (4,497 actual production workers); miscellaneous manufacturing at 5,307 employees (2,997 actual production workers); and plastics and rubber products manufacturing with 4,555 employees (3,543 actual production workers).

ASM data for 2004 showed that New Hampshire's manufacturing sector paid $3.332 billion in wages. Of that amount, the computer and electronic product manufacturing sector accounted for the largest share at $863.134 million. It was followed by fabricated metal product manufacturing at $436.288 million; machinery manufacturing at $430.462 million; miscellaneous manufacturing at $255.064 million; and electrical equipment, appliance and component manufacturing at $175.557 million.


According to the 2002 Census of Wholesale Trade, New Hampshire's wholesale trade sector had sales that year totaling $13.7 billion from 2,004 establishments. Wholesalers of durable goods accounted for 1,326 establishments, followed by nondurable goods wholesalers at 508 and electronic markets, agents, and brokers accounting for 170 establishments. Sales by durable goods wholesalers in 2002 totaled $6.6 billion, while wholesalers of nondurable goods saw sales of $5.4 billion. Electronic markets, agents, and brokers in the wholesale trade industry had sales of $1.5 billion.

In the 2002 Census of Retail Trade, New Hampshire was listed as having 6,702 retail establishments with sales of $20.8 billion. The leading types of retail businesses by number of establishments were: miscellaneous store retailers (839); motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts dealers (822); clothing and clothing accessories stores (806); and food and beverage stores (752). In terms of sales, motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts dealers accounted for the largest share of retail sales at $5.3 billion, followed by food and beverage stores at $3.3 billion; general merchandise stores at $2.8 billion; nonstore retailers at $1.85 billion; and building material/garden equipment and supplies dealers $1.80 billion. A total of 93,804 people were employed by the retail sector in New Hampshire that year.

Foreign exports of goods originating in New Hampshire totaled $2.5 billion in 2005.


Consumer protection issues are handled by the Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau, which is under the jurisdiction of the state of New Hampshire's Department of Justice. Specific legal action however, is handled by the state's Attorney General's Office, which is also under the state's Department of Justice.

When dealing with consumer protection issues, the state's Attorney General's Office can initiate civil and criminal proceedings; represent the state before state and federal regulatory agencies; administer consumer protection and education programs; handle formal consumer complaints; and exercise broad subpoena powers. In antitrust actions, the Attorney General's Office can act on behalf of those consumers who are incapable of acting on their own; initiate damage actions on behalf of the state in state courts; and initiate criminal proceedings. However, the Attorney General's Office cannot represent counties, cities and other governmental entities in recovering civil damages under state or federal law.

The offices of the Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau are located in Concord.


As of June 2005, New Hampshire had 30 insured banks, savings and loans, and saving banks, plus 21 state-chartered and six federally chartered credit unions (CUs). Excluding the CUs, the Manchester-Nashua market area accounted for the largest portion of the state's financial institutions and deposits in 2004, with 15 institutions and $6.435 billion in deposits. As of June 2005, CUs accounted for 9.6% of all assets held by all financial institutions in the state, or some $3.349 billion. Banks, savings and loans, and savings banks collectively accounted for the remaining 90.4% or $31.670 billion in assets held.

Twenty percent of New Hampshire's banks have long-term asset concentrations greater than 30% of earnings assets. This is due in large measure to the large percentage of thrifts and residential lenders in the state. Over one-half of all insured banks in New Hampshire are savings institutions.

Regulation of state-chartered banks and other financial institutions is the responsibility of the Banking Department.


In 2004, there were 631,000 individual life insurance policies in force in New Hampshire, with a total value of about $59.5 billion; total value for all categories of life insurance (individual, group, and credit) was $90 billion. The average coverage amount is $94,400 per policy holder. Death benefits paid that year totaled $209.2 million.

As of 2003, there were 33 property and casualty and 3 life and health insurance companies domiciled in the state. Direct premiums for property and casualty insurance totaled $2.1 billion in 2004. That year, there were 5,211 flood insurance policies in force in the state, with a total value of $758 million.

In 2004, 67% of state residents held employment-based health insurance policies, 3% held individual policies, and 18% were covered under Medicare and Medicaid; 11% of residents were uninsured. New Hampshire has the highest percentage of employment-based insurance in the country. In 2003, employee contributions for employment-based health coverage averaged at 21% for single coverage and 25% for family coverage. The state offers an 18-month health benefits expansion program for small-firm employees in connection with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA, 1986), a health insurance program for those who lose employment-based coverage due to termination or reduction of work hours.

In 2003, there were 862,145 auto insurance policies in effect for private passenger cars. Insurance coverage is not mandatory but motorists are expected to take financial responsibility and uninsured motorist coverage is available. In 2003, the average expenditure per vehicle for insurance coverage was $776.47.


New Hampshire has no securities exchanges. In 2005, there were 490 personal financial advisers employed in the state and 1,950 securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents. In 2004, there were over 36 publicly traded companies within the state, with over 14 NASDAQ companies, 8 NYSE listings, and 4 AMEX listings. In 2006, the state had one Fortune 500 company; Fisher Scientific Intl, based in Hampton and listed on the NYSE, ranked 389th in the nation with revenues of over $5.5 billion. Timberland in Stratham (NYSE) and PC Connection in Merrimack (NASDAQ) made the Fortune 1,000 list.


The New Hampshire state budget is drawn up biennially by the Department of Administrative Services and then submitted by the governor to the legislature for amendment and approval. The fiscal year (FY) runs from 1 July to 30 June.

New HampshireState Government Finances
(Dollar amounts in thousands. Per capita amounts in dollars.)
Abbreviations and symbols: - zero or rounds to zero; (NA) not available; (X) not applicable.
source: U.S. Census Bureau, Governments Division, 2004 Survey of State Government Finances, January 2006.
Total Revenue 6,174,660 4,753.39
  General revenue 5,024,122 3,867.68
    Intergovernmental revenue 1,676,883 1,290.90
    Taxes 2,005,389 1,543.79
      General sales - -
      Selective sales 674,354 519.13
      License taxes 199,170 153.33
      Individual income tax 54,769 42.16
      Corporate income tax 407,603 313.78
      Other taxes 669,493 515.39
    Current charges 723,942 557.31
    Miscellaneous general revenue 617,908 475.68
  Utility revenue 110 .08
  Liquor store revenue 371,766 286.19
  Insurance trust revenue 778,662 599.43
Total expenditure 5,654,063 4,352.63
  Intergovernmental expenditure 1,278,988 984.59
  Direct expenditure 4,375,075 3,368.03
    Current operation 3,288,655 2,531.68
    Capital outlay 293,670 226.07
    Insurance benefits and repayments 384,809 296.23
    Assistance and subsidies 106,111 81.69
    Interest on debt 301,830 232.36
Exhibit: Salaries and wages 780,172 600.59
Total expenditure 5,654,063 4,352.63
  General expenditure 4,942,244 3,804.65
    Intergovernmental expenditure 1,278,988 984.59
    Direct expenditure 3,663,256 2,820.06
  General expenditures, by function:
    Education 1,667,818 1,283.92
    Public welfare 1,441,935 1,110.03
    Hospitals 50,196 38.64
    Health 137,669 105.98
    Highways 374,149 288.03
    Police protection 37,454 28.83
    Correction 94,423 72.69
    Natural resources 61,365 47.24
    Parks and recreation 13,657 10.51
    Government administration 200,118 154.06
    Interest on general debt 301,830 232.36
    Other and unallocable 561,630 432.36
  Utility expenditure 9,294 7.15
  Liquor store expenditure 317,716 244.59
  Insurance trust expenditure 384,809 296.23
Debt at end of fiscal year 5,894,106 4,537.42
Cash and security holdings 10,175,057 7,832.99

Fiscal year 2006 general funds were estimated at $1.37 billion for resources and $1.34 billion for expenditures. In fiscal year 2004, federal government grants to New Hampshire were $1.8 billion

On 5 January 2006 the federal government released $100 million in emergency contingency funds targeted to the areas with the greatest need, including $900,000 for New Hampshire.


In 2005, New Hampshire collected $2,022 million in tax revenues or $1,544 per capita, which placed it 48th among the 50 states in per capita tax burden. The national average was $2,192 per capita. Property taxes accounted for 19.4% of the total, selective sales taxes 34.9%, individual income taxes 3.3%, corporate income taxes 23.6%, and other taxes 18.8%.

As of 1 January 2006, state income tax was limited to dividends and interest income only. The state taxes corporations at a flat rate of 8.5%.

In 2004, state and local property taxes amounted to $2.5 billion or $1,940 per capita. The per capita amount ranks the state third-highest nationally. Local governments collected $2,026,125,000 of the total and the state government $493,589,000.

New Hampshire taxes gasoline at 19.625 cents per gallon. This is in addition to the 18.4 cents per gallon federal tax on gasoline.

According to the Tax Foundation, for every federal tax dollar sent to Washington in 2004, New Hampshire citizens received $0.67 in federal spending, which ranks the state third-lowest among all states.


Business incentives in New Hampshire include a generally favorable tax climate (which includes the absence of sales, personal income, and capital gains taxes), specific tax incentives and exemptions, and relatively low wage rates. The state has offered loan programs through the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority since 1992, aimed at encouraging economic development and job creation and at assisting small businesses. The state also participates in a joint venture with Maine and Vermont which provides loans to export companies. Foreign Trade Zone No. 81 provides economic incentives to companies doing business in the international markets. New Hampshire's Division of Economic Development (DED), within the Department of Resources and Economic Development, has the main responsibility for state support of programs to increase jobs and revenues in the state. Major operational units within the DED have been focused on assistance for business relocations and expansions; New Economy Ventures; community development; Internet development; exports of states products, imports of state products and tourism. Under the program NH Works, employers were offered free assistance on all facets of hiring the right employees.


The infant mortality rate in October 2005 was estimated at 5.4 per 1,000 live births. The birth rate in 2003 was 11.2 per 1,000 population. The abortion rate stood at 11.2 per 1,000 women in 2000. In 2003, about 92.8% of pregnant woman received prenatal care beginning in the first trimester; this was the highest rate for prenatal care in the nation. In 2004, approximately 86% of children received routine immunizations before the age of three.

The crude death rate in 2003 was 7.5 deaths per 1,000 population. As of 2002, the death rates for major causes of death (per 100,000 resident population) were: heart disease, 217.7; cancer, 198.3; cerebrovascular diseases, 49.2; chronic lower respiratory diseases, 45.3; and diabetes, 24.4. The mortality rate from HIV infection was not available. In 2004, the reported AIDS case rate was at about 3.2 per 100,000 population. In 2002, about 53.5% of the population was considered overweight or obese. As of 2004, about 21.6% of state residents were smokers.

In 2003, New Hampshire had 28 community hospitals with about 2,800 beds. There were about 118,000 patient admissions that year and 3.1 million outpatient visits. The average daily inpatient census was about 1,700 patients. The average cost per day for hospital care was $1,389. Also in 2003, there were about 81 certified nursing facilities in the state with 7,811 beds and an overall occupancy rate of about 91.5%. New In 2004, it was estimated that about 77.5% of all state residents had received some type of dental care within the year. Hampshire had 267 physicians per 100,000 resident population in 2004 and 932 nurses per 100,000 in 2005. In 2004, there were a total of 795 dentists in the state.

About 10% of state residents were enrolled in Medicaid programs in 2003; 14% were enrolled in Medicare programs in 2004. Approximately 11% of the state population was uninsured in 2004. In 2003, state health care expenditures totaled $1.3 million.


In 2004, about 21,000 people received unemployment benefits, with the average weekly unemployment benefit at $251. In fiscal year 2005, the estimated average monthly participation in the food stamp program included about 52,310 persons (25,198 households); the average monthly benefit was about $80.56 per person. That year, the total of benefits paid through the state for the food stamp program was about $50.5 million, the lowest total in the nation.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the system of federal welfare assistance that officially replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in 1997, was reauthorized through the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. TANF is funded through federal block grants that are divided among the states based on an equation involving the number of recipients in each state. New Hampshire's TANF program for work-exempt families is called the Family Assistance Program (FAP), while aid to work-mandated families under TANF is called the New Hampshire Employment Program (NHEP). In 2004, the state program had 14,000 recipients; state and federal expenditures on this TANF program totaled $37 million in fiscal year 2003.

In December 2004, Social Security benefits were paid to 219,080 New Hampshire residents. This number included 143,580 retired workers, 18,050 widows and widowers, 30,090 disabled workers, 8,850 spouses, and 18,510 children. Social Security beneficiaries represented 16.6% of the total state population and 96.9% of the state's population age 65 and older. Retired workers received an average monthly payment of $978; widows and widowers, $948; disabled workers, $897; and spouses, $505. Payments for children of retired workers averaged $513 per month; children of deceased workers, $681; and children of disabled workers, $282. Federal Supplemental Security Income payments in December 2004 went to 13,029 New Hampshire residents, averaging $377 a month. An additional $873,000 of state-administered supplemental payments were distributed to 16,784 residents.


In 2004, there were 575,671 housing units in New Hampshire, 491,589 of which were occupied; 72.6% were owner-occupied. About 62.8% of all units were single-family, detached homes. Fuel oil and kerosene were the most common heating energy sources. It was estimated that 8,724 units lacked telephone service, 2,770 lacked complete plumbing facilities, and 2,725 lacked complete kitchen facilities. The average household had 2.57 members.

In 2004, 8,700 new privately owned units were authorized for construction. The median home value was $216,639. The median monthly cost for mortgage owners was $1,472. Renters paid a median of $810. In 2006, the state received over $9.2 million in community development block grants from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).


In 2004, 90.8% of New Hampshire residents age 25 and older were high school graduates, significantly higher than the national average of 84%. Some 35.4% had obtained a bachelor's degree or higher, surpassing the national average of 26%.

The total enrollment for fall 2002 in New Hampshire's public schools stood at 208,000. Of these, 144,000 attended schools from kindergarten through grade eight, and 64,000 attended high school. Approximately 94.2% of the students were white, 1.4% were black, 2.4% were Hispanic, 1.7% were Asian/Pacific Islander, and 0.3% were American Indian/Alaskan Native. Total enrollment was estimated at 205,000 in fall 2003 but expected to be 193,000 by fall 2014, a decline of 7.1% during the period 200214. Expenditures for public education in 2003/04 were estimated at $2.1 billion. In fall 2003 there were 23,692 students enrolled in 165 private schools. Since 1969, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has tested public school students nationwide. The resulting report, The Nation's Report Card, stated that in 2005 eighth graders in New Hampshire scored 285 out of 500 in mathematics compared with the national average of 278.

As of fall 2002, there were 68,523 students enrolled in college or graduate school; minority students comprised 7.2% of total post-secondary enrollment. In 2005, New Hampshire had 25 degree-granting institutions. The best-known institution of higher education is Dartmouth College, which originated in Connecticut in 1754 as Moor's Indian Charity School and was established at Hanover in 1769. When the state of New Hampshire attempted to amend Dartmouth's charter to make the institution public in the early 19th century, the US Supreme Court handed down a precedent-setting ruling prohibiting state violation of contract rights. The University of New Hampshire, the leading public institution, was founded at Hanover in 1866 and relocated at Durham in 1891. The university also has a campus in Manchester. Other colleges include Franklin Pierce College, Keene State College, and Southern New Hampshire University.


The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts was established in 1965 with the mission of making the arts more prevalent in the community and education. In 2005, the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and other New Hampshire arts organizations received 7 grants totaling $682,100 from the National Endowment for the Arts. State and private sources also contributed substantial funding to the state's arts programs.

As of 2006, the New Hampshire Humanities Council sponsored a number of ongoing programs including What Is New Hampshire Reading?, a statewide reading and discussion program; a Literature and Medicine series that hosts discussions on what matters in health care and why, and an annual summer Chautauqua. In 2005, the National Endowment for the Humanities contributed $743,861 to eight state programs.

Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College features musical events throughout the year. Ballet groups include Ballet New England in Portsmouth, City Center Ballet in Lebanon, and Petit Papillon in Concord. Opera groups include the Granite State Opera in Temple, and Opera North in Hanover. Classical music groups include the Nashua Chamber Orchestra, the Nashua Symphony Orchestra, the Granite State Symphony in Concord, the New England Wind Ensemble in Franklin, and the New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra and New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra (both in Manchester). The Lakes Region Symphony Orchestra based in Meredith, celebrated its 30th anniversary during the 2005/06 season.

The New Hampshire Music Festival in Center Harbor serves as a year-round educational institute and performing arts center and sponsors an annual summer festival featuring the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra. The festival began in 1952 and as of 2006 it hosted more than 160 events per year, over 50 presented during the summer festival. Monadnock Music in Peterborough is an organization sponsoring a variety of musical programs, including "Lend an Ear!"a program geared towards educating young people, primarily elementary school children, about chamber music. This program in particular served over 1600 students from 18 different schools during the 2004/05 school year.

Patricia Fargnoli, of Walpole, New Hampshire was named the state's poet laureate for the January 2006March 2009 term. She has published works that include Necessary Light and Duties of the Spirit (2005) and has won several awards such as the May Swenson Poetry Prize and the Jane Kenyon Poetry Book Award. The artist laureate as of 2006 was James Aponovich, an internationally acclaimed still life painter and teacher at the New Hampshire Institute of Art.

Principal galleries include the Currier Gallery of Art in Manchester, the University Art Gallery at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, Hood Museumthe Dartmouth College Art Museum at Hanover, and the Lamont Gallery at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter.


As of December 2001, New Hampshire had 229 public library systems, with a total of 238 libraries, of which there were nine branches. The system, that same year, had a total book and serial publication stock of 5,572,000 volumes and a total combined circulation of 8,647,000. The system also had 172,000 audio and 158,000 video items, 18,000 electronic format items (CD-ROMs, magnetic tapes, and disks), and two bookmobiles. Leading academic and historical collections include Dartmouth College's Baker Memorial Library in Hanover (2,309,626 volumes); the New Hampshire State Library (519,319) and New Hampshire Historical Society Library (50,000), both in Concord; and the University of New Hampshire's Ezekiel W. Diamond Library (1,151,203) in Durham. In fiscal year 2001, operating income for the state's public library system was $35,575,000 and included $$50,000 in federal grants and $35,000 in state grants.

Among the more than 76 museums and historic sites are the Museum of New Hampshire History in Concord and the Franklin Pierce Homestead in Hillsboro.


In 2004, 96.4% of New Hampshire's occupied housing units had telephones. Additionally, by June of that same year there were 686,746 mobile wireless telephone subscribers. In 2003, 71.5% of New Hampshire households had a computer and 65.2% had Internet access. By June 2005, there were 238,502 high-speed lines in New Hampshire, 223,102 residential and 15,400 for business. In 2005, the state had 32 major radio stations (7 AM, 25 FM), and 5 television stations. State residents also receive broadcasts from neighboring Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine. A total of 38,887 Internet domain names were registered in the state in 2000.


In 2005, New Hampshire had eight morning newspapers, four evening newspapers, and eight Sunday papers. The best-known newspaper in the state is Manchester's The Union Leader (59,384 daily and 81,144 Sunday), published by conservative William Loeb until his death in 1981. In the capital, the Concord Monitor circulates 20,107 papers daily and 22,747 on Sundays. The Dover Foster's Daily Democrat has a circulation of 22,720 for its weekday evening edition and 27,728 for the Sunday edition. The Nashua Telegraph has a circulation of 25,566 daily and 32,672 Sundays.


In 2006, there were over 2,015 nonprofit organizations registered within the state, of which about 1,469 were registered as charitable, educational, or religious organizations. National organizations with headquarters in New Hampshire include the Student Conservation Association (Charlestown), Interhostel (Durham), the International Association of Reiki Professionals (Nashua), and the Academy of Applied Science (Concord). The regional Atlantic Offshore Lobstermen's Association is based in Bedford. The New Hampshire Historical Society us based in Concord. There are a number of municipal and county historical societies.


Tourism is a major part of the economy of New Hampshire. It has been estimated that the industry brings in revenues of $8.6 billion per year and sponsors over 65,000 jobs.

Skiing, camping, hiking, and boating are the main outdoor attractions. Other attractions include Strawberry Banke, a restored village in Portsmouth; Daniel Webster's birthplace near Franklin; and the Mt. Washington Cog Railway. Merrimack Valley is the most visited area, generating 36% of all tourism revenue. There are over 72 state parks and recreation areas. Many tourists come to New Hampshire for skiing. One of the most famous natural attractions, "The Old Man on the Mountain," collapsed in May 2003. Motorsports enthusiasts can visit the New Hampshire Speedway. In 2006, Squam Lake celebrated the 25th anniversary of the filming of the feature film, On Golden Pond.


There are no major professional sports teams in New Hampshire, although there are minor league baseball teams in Nashua and Manchester. Major national and international skiing events are frequently held in the state, as are such other winter competitions as snowmobile races and the Annual World Championship Sled Dog Derby in Laconia. Thoroughbred, harness, and greyhound racing are the warm-weather spectator sports. The annual Whaleback Yacht Race is held in early August.

Dartmouth College competes in the Ivy League, and the University of New Hampshire belongs to the America East Conference, both Division I-AA Conferences.

The New Hampshire International Speedway, which opened in Loudon in 1994, plays host to a NASCAR Busch Series and Nextel Cup races in July and September.


Born in Hillsboro, Franklin Pierce (180469), the nation's 14th president, serving from 1853 to 1857, was the only US chief executive to come from New Hampshire. Henry Wilson (Jeremiah Jones Colbath, 181275), US vice president from 1873 to 1875, was a native of Farmington.

US Supreme Court chief justices Salmon P. Chase (180873), Harlan Fiske Stone (18721946), and David Souter (b.1939) were New Hampshirites, and Levi Woodbury (17891851) was a distinguished associate justice. John Langdon (17411819) was the first president pro tempore of the US Senate; two other US senators from New Hampshire, George Higgins Moses (b.Maine, 18691944) and Henry Styles Bridges (b.Maine, 18981961), also held this position. US cabinet members from New Hampshire included Henry Dearborn (17511829), secretary of war; Daniel Webster (17821852), secretary of state; and William E. Chandler (18351917), secretary of the Navy. Other political leaders of note were Benning Wentworth (16961770), royal governor Meshech Weare (171386), the state's leader during the American Revolution; Josiah Bartlett (b.Massachusetts, 172995), a physician, governor, and signer of the Declaration of Independence; Isaac Hill (b.Massachusetts, 17891851), a publisher, governor, and US senator; and John Parker Hale (180673), senator, antislavery agitator, minister to Spain, and presidential candidate of the Free Soil Party. John Sununu, a former Governor of New Hampshire (b.1939, Cuba) was chief of staff during the Bush administration.

Military leaders associated with New Hampshire during the colonial and Revolutionary periods include John Stark (17281822), Robert Rogers (b.Massachusetts, 173195), and John Sullivan (171095). Among other figures of note are educator Eleazar Wheelock (b.Connecticut, 171179), the founder of Dartmouth College; physicians Lyman Spaulding (17751821), Reuben D. Mussey (17801866), and Amos Twitchell (17811850), as well as Samuel Thomson (17691843), a leading advocate of herbal medicine; religious leaders Hosea Ballou (17711852), his grand-nephew of the same name (17961861), and Mary Baker Eddy (18211910), founder of Christian Science; George Whipple (18781976), winner of the 1934 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine; and labor organizer and US Communist Party leader Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (18901964).

Sarah Josepha Hale (17881879), Horace Greeley (181172), Charles Dana (181997), Thomas Bailey Aldrich (18361907), Bradford Torrey (b.Massachusetts, 18431912), Alice Brown (18571948), and J(erome) D(avid) Salinger (b.New York, 1919) are among the writers and editors who have lived in New Hampshire, along with poets Edna Dean Proctor (18291923), Celia Laighton Thaxter (182694), Edward Arlington Robinson (b.Maine, 18691935), and Robert Frost (b.California, 18741963), one of whose poetry volumes is entitled New Hampshire (1923). Painter Benjamin Champney (18171907) and sculptor Daniel Chester French (18501931) were born in New Hampshire, while Augustus Saint-Gaudens (b.Ireland, 18481907) created much of his sculpture in the state.

Vaudevillian Will Cressey (18631930) was a New Hampshire man. More recent celebrities include newspaper publisher William Loeb (b.New York, 190581) and astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. (192398).


Casanave, Suki. Natural Wonders of New Hampshire: Exploring Wild and Scenic Places. Lincolnwood, Ill.: Country Roads Press, 1998.

Council of State Governments. The Book of the States, 2006 Edition. Lexington, Ky.: Council of State Governments, 2006.

Dubois, Muriel L. New Hampshire Facts and Symbols. Mankato, Minn.: Hilltop Books, 2000.

Lawson, Russell M. New Hampshire. New York: Interlink Books, 2006.

Mobil Travel Guide. New England, 2004: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont. Guilford, Conn.: Globe Pequot, 2003.

Sletcher, Michael (ed.). New England. Vol. 4 in The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2004.

US Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, US Census Bureau. New Hampshire, 2000. Summary Social, Economic, and Housing Characteristics: 2000 Census of Population and Housing. Washington, D.C.: US Government Printing Office, 2003.

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New Hampshire


NEW HAMPSHIRE is roughly the shape of a fist, with its index finger pointed north. The tip of the finger forms a rough border with Quebec, Canada. Its eastern border is along the western border of Maine. What would be the bottom knuckle of the finger is New Hampshire's seacoast, only eighteen miles long, where the city of Portsmouth is found. The southern border of the state is along the northern border of Massachusetts. New Hampshire's western border is along the eastern border of Vermont. The state is 180 miles north-to-south and 93 miles at its widest, east-to-west, with an area of 9,283 square miles.

The Coastal Lowlands of the southeast were the first part of New Hampshire to be settled, partly because the fishing off the coast was extraordinarily good, attracting fishermen to settle there, and partly because there was good farmland to be found along the rivers that flowed into the sea. Even though farmers were the first to settle the rest of the state, most of New Hampshire's land is rocky and difficult to farm, The Eastern New England Upland is to the west of the Coastal Lowlands, with the north-to-south dividing line between the areas being the Merrimack River Valley, where the capital city Concord is found. Beginning in the middle of New Hampshire and extending northward are mountains, beginning with the White Mountains. The rough terrain of the north is

sparsely populated, mostly by farmers, who work in valleys and along the Androscoggin River.

There are over 40,000 miles of rivers and 1,300 lakes in New Hampshire, making it one of the wettest states in the Union, and earning the state the sobriquet "Mother of Rivers." Its border with Vermont is traced by the Connecticut River; both sides of the river belong to New Hampshire, which therefore bears most of the responsibility for building bridges over it. Much of the early colonial history of the state focuses on the Piscataqua River, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean and offered a trading route into the dense woods of ancient New Hampshire. The Merrimack River begins in the White Mountains and flows south through New Hampshire and into Massachusetts. In the southeastern foothills of the White Mountains is the Lakes Region, which includes New Hampshire's largest lake, Lake Winnipesaukee, which covers seventy-two square miles and contains 274 islands.

An imposing sight in the White Mountains is Mount Washington, which at 6,288 feet is the tallest point in New Hampshire. New Hampshire's average temperature in July is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The winters in New Hampshire can be bitter, with the average temperature in January being 19 degrees.


At about 9000 b.c., a people known as Paleo-Indians occupied New Hampshire. They are hard to study in New Hampshire because they apparently lived by the sea, and the ocean level in their time was 150 feet lower than it is now, meaning many of their villages, if they had any, are now likely underwater. Around 7000 b.c. people known as Archaic Indians began to replace the Paleo-Indians. By then, New Hampshire had become very heavily forested with hundreds of different species of trees. The Archaic Indians consisted of many different cultural groups. In New Hampshire, they were nomadic, probably migrating from place to place according to the seasons, avoiding New Hampshire's very cold winters.

Around 2000 b.c., Native Americans began settling New Hampshire with small villages. From 2000 b.c. to a.d. 1000, they adopted the bow and arrow for hunting, developed sophisticated fishing techniques, and introduced agriculture. Near the end of the period, maize was introduced from the west. It is possible but unlikely that Vikings visited New Hampshire around a.d. 1004, even though there are tourist attractions in the state that claim otherwise. Before the coming of Europeans in the 1600s, the Native Americans of the New Hampshire area were divided into two cultural groups: to the north were the Abenakis, and to the south were the Pennacooks. These subdivided into seven important subgroups: the Ossipees in the north, near the Androscoggin River; the Coosucs in the west near the Connecticut River; the Winnipesaukees in the White Mountains south of the Coosucs; the Nashuas in the south, living also in what is now northern Massachusetts; the Pennacooks, who lived in the southeast and along the Merrimack River; and the Piscataquas, who lived in the southeast in the region where the city of Dover was established.

Colonial Era

Martin Pring, twenty-three years old from Bristol, England, was the first recorded European to lead an expedition to present-day New Hampshire. In 1603, his ship anchored in a bay, and he traced inland some of the Piscataqua River. In 1614, John Smith passed by along the coast during a mapping expedition and recorded the area as very heavily wooded with great mountains to the west, and he reported very favorably on what he saw. At the time, there were about 5,000 Native Americans in New Hampshire. From then on, their population declined.

In 1622, the king granted Captain John Mason of England ownership of much of the land in present-day New Hampshire. It was he, in honor of his homeland Hampshire, who gave the name "New Hampshire" to his large tracts of land. In 1622, he and Sir Ferdinando Gorges founded the Company of Laconia, which was intended to support colonization and development of Mason's holdings.

Mason and Gorges planned missions to the new lands carefully, using good ships, well provisioned with what people would need to survive in New Hampshire's climate. This planning helped make the New Hampshire colonies among the most successful in the 1600s. On 16 April 1623, David Thomson led one such mission, settling two sites near the sea. These early sites attracted fishermen because of the bountiful fishing waters in the nearby ocean, and they became very prosperous by selling salted cod to Europeans. They got along well with the local Native Americans, mostly Piscataquas and Penna-cooks, who liked trading with the new settlers and who hoped the settlers would be good allies against what seemed like imminent invasions from warlike tribes to the west and south. The Native Americans were soon struck down by the measles and other imported diseases.

In the 1630s, John Wheelwright and his followers fled the Massachusetts colony because of religious persecution by the Congregationalist Church. He founded Exeter, which in 1641 had about 1,000 people living in or near the town. His hopes for freedom of religion were not immediately realized. In 1641, the towns of New Hampshire asked for protection from Massachusetts. Among the results was the introduction of slavery in 1645. Another result was religious persecution: In the 1660s, men were hanged and women stripped bareback and whipped for being Quakers. Religious laws were burdensome and sometimes downright irrational, such as the laws that forbade rest but forbade working on Sunday.

From 1684 to 1688, Kings Charles II and James II tried to force all the New England colonies into one large province, something the colonists resented. In 1679, monarchs William and Mary declared New Hampshire a royal province. By then, Portsmouth was becoming an important site for building ships, and the tall pines of New Hampshire were being shipped to England for use on English warships.

New Hampshire was fortunate in its royal governors. In December 1717, the king appointed John Wentworth the elder to be "lieutenant governor" in charge of New Hampshire, but serving under the governor of Massachusetts. The previous lieutenant governor, George Vaughn, had been ignoring orders from Massachusetts governor Samuel Shute. Wentworth proved to be a good diplomat, easing tensions while slowly separating the administration of New Hampshire from that of Massachusetts. In 1717, a large group of Scots Irish from northern Ireland came to New Hampshire. A careful, intelligent planner, Went-worth had hoped to establish a series of settlements in the interior of his colony, and the Scots Irish proved a welcome beginning of new settlers; in 1722, they dubbed their community Londonderry.

In 1740, the king of England settled disputes over New Hampshire's borders, awarding it twenty-eight town-ships claimed by Massachusetts and establishing the colony's western border to the west of the Connecticut River. John Wentworth had died in 1730, but in 1741, his son Benning Wentworth was made governor. He was one of the most contradictory and fascinating people in New Hampshire's history. He was self-indulgent, always cut himself in on any moneymaking proposal, lived lavishly in a house that perpetually expanded, and threw many parties for playing games and eating feasts. At the same time, he was a brilliant planner. He created a policy for not only establishing new townships but also for making sure they were all equal politically and in size. He oversaw the creation of sixty-seven new towns. In 1767, he was driven out of office because as a royal governor, he had supported the much loathed stamp tax.

His nephew, John Wentworth, known as "Long John," then became the governor. He loved New Hampshire. All his life, he referred to it as home. Among the wise choices he made was the establishment of three well-trained and supplied regiments of New Hampshire militia, a prudent precaution against the possibility of Native American raids from out of state. When in 1774 the colony's assembly met to consider independence, Wentworth tried to disband it—a right he had as royal governor. The assembly moved to a tavern and held its meeting anyway. Wentworth soon had to flee to Boston. On 17 June 1775, at the Battle of Bunker Hill (actually Breed's Hill), the regiments Wentworth had made sure were ready for war put themselves to use, for they formed the majority of Americans who defended the hill against British regulars, helping prove that Americans could stand up to England's best. Of the 911 New Hampshire volunteers, 107 were killed or wounded.

Live Free or Die

In 1776, the population of New Hampshire was 82,000 and increasing. Its growing industrialization was already causing problems: Its numerous sawmills had so polluted its rivers that the native salmon had gone extinct. The number of slaves was peaking at 626, soon to decline. On 5 January 1776, New Hampshire recorded two American firsts when the Fifth Provincial Congress of New Hampshire met. It was the first state to declare independence from England; it was also the first state to write its own constitution.

Portsmouth became a major naval manufacturer with the building of three warships, including the Ranger, which John Paul Jones commanded. The seaport also outfitted hundreds of privateers, privately owned merchant ships remade into warships with permission to raid, capture, or sink British ships. The privateers were successful enough to make many investors rich. Although New Hampshire was not the site of a single major battle, it was the site of bloody fighting. Native Americans from Canada were encouraged to raid New Hampshire settlements; they would kill anyone, although they sometimes took captives to be sold into slavery. Many of the soldiers of New Hampshire were skilled woodsmen and wise in the ways of guerrilla warfare, and they often drove off the invaders. In 1777, the British planned to drive through Vermont to the sea to divide the northern colonies in two. On 16 August 1777, American forces commanded by General John Stark fought the British force at the border of New York and Vermont, near Bennington, where the Americans won, taking hundreds of British soldiers prisoner. Thirty-two years later, veterans of the battle met, but John Stark was too sick to attend; instead, he sent them a message: "Live Free or Die."

The 1775 constitution was awkward and sometimes unclear. It took until 1 July 1784, after the end of the Revolutionary War, for a more permanent constitution to be adopted. As of 2002, it was still in effect. It was prefaced by thirty-eight articles that formed New Hampshire's bill of rights. When the Articles of Confederation proved to be inadequate for America's needs, in 1787, an American constitutional convention was held, with New Hampshire sending Nicholas Gilman and John Langdon as its representatives. In Concord, in June 1888, a convention on the proposed Constitution of the United States was held. The people of New Hampshire were not about to be rushed into anything and had taken their time considering the proposal. On 21 June 1788, voting fifty-seven to forty-seven, the delegates made New Hampshire the ninth state to ratify the Constitution; the agreement had been that if nine states ratified the Constitution, then it would officially be America's governing document.

Age of the Spindle

In 1800, the population of New Hampshire was 183,858. There were eight slaves in the state then. In 1819, New Hampshire outlawed slavery and abolished debtors' prison. In 1830, the legislature declared that any adult male could vote. There were 800 to 900 African Americans in the state at the time. The Democrats gained almost absolute control over New Hampshire politics in the first couple of decades of the nineteenth century, a grip they would maintain until tripping over the issue of slavery.

In the early 1800s, canals had been built around the Amoskeag waterfalls on the Merrimack River, allowing barges to travel between Concord, and Boston. Beside those falls, four local farmers built a mill. It had eighty-five spindles for the spinning of cloth. In 1822, financier Samuel Slater was brought in to help with expansion. By 1835, there were nineteen investors, and the mill was called the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company. The investors who had made textile mills in Lowell, Massachusetts, the models of enlightened industrial development also invested in the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, buying land and laying out a model city, Manchester. From 1838 to 1846, the city grew from 500 to 10,000 in population. Amoskeag Manufacturing Company would become one of the world's industrial giants, making miles of cloth each day.

Meanwhile, prominent New Hampshire politician John Parker Hale had undergone a significant transformation. He was a stalwart Democrat; in 1835, when meeting with an abolitionist minister, he had taken the party line that slaves were merely beasts shaped like humans. While representing New Hampshire in the United States House of Representatives, he had held to his party's position. Yet, through contemplation, he changed his mind. In January 1845, he proposed legislation limiting slavery in the proposed new state of Texas. For this, the Democrats ousted him from their party. He managed to be elected to the Senate as an independent, and in 1853, he joined with dissident Democrats and some Whigs to help form the Republican Party, which called for the ending of slavery. This marked a great shift in New Hampshire politics, as over the next decade New Hampshirites joined the Republican Party, giving it a hold on local politics that it still had not lost by the 2000s.

Although New Hampshire contributed troops to the Civil War (1861–1865), major battles were not fought there. The state contributed much of the cloth used for Union uniforms and some of the munitions. The federal shipyard in Portsmouth contributed warships. In 1853, New Hampshire had passed laws restricting child labor, and throughout the nineteenth century the state passed laws further restricting child labor, and limiting hours and days industrial laborers could be required to work. In 1849, Amoskeag Manufacturing Company began manufacturing locomotives, and in 1869, the first railroad that could climb steep grades was built on Washington Mountain. It was a "cog railroad," meaning one that had a center rail that was gripped by a cogwheel attached under the center of a locomotive. In 1859, Amoskeag Manufacturing Company began producing fire engines. In 1870, farming was declining in the state, and in response the legislature created a Board of Agriculture to help farmers.

By 1895, the Boston and Maine Railroad, called the "Great Corporation," dominated the economic life of the state and was well known to use gifts to purchase votes in its favor from the legislature. In 1911, Robert Bass became governor and, helped by reform-minded members, he managed to push through the legislature laws extensively restricting child labor, a workers' compensation law, a "pure food" law, and a factory safety and inspection law. He and the legislature also created a commission to regulate public utilities and the railroads, eliminating such favors as free passes for the railroad, ending the Great Corporation's control over state politics.

In the 1920s, New Hampshire began a long shift in its economy. On 13 February 1922, the United Textile Workers struck against the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company over wages and working hours. Amoskeag already paid some of the highest wages in the textile industry and wanted to lower pay to its workers so that its products could compete with those manufactured in southern states where wages were much lower than those paid in New Hampshire. After a very unhappy nine months, the United Textile Workers accepted the terms of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, but the end of Amoskeag was in sight. By World War II (1939–1945), only a few manufacturers of specialty fabrics remained in the state.

During the middle of the twentieth century, New Hampshire's population declined. Once over 1,000,000 people, the population was 606,921 in 1960. The loss of manufacturing companies accounted for much of the exodus, but farms were failing, too. By the mid-1930s, many farms were abandoned, left to decay and yield to grasses, bushes, and trees. The land was not worth enough to sell, and there were too few buyers, anyway. World War II improved the economy; the shipyards at Portsmouth were very busy building submarines. During the 1920s and 1930s, one aspect of the economy picked up markedly: tourism.

Beautiful Land

New Hampshire is a beautiful state. In the 1920s, people from out of state would rent or purchase bungalows near beaches to spend a weekend or a whole summer relaxing. Some farmers rented rooms in their homes to vacationers, a practice that was still continuing at the turn of the twenty-first century. Writers and artists came to the state to enjoy quiet in small towns while pursuing their callings. One such writer, the American author Winston Churchill, even ran for governor in 1912.

After World War II, tourism became ever more important to the state, although it did not entirely stop the diminishing of New Hampshire's population. One effort to keep New Hampshire on people's minds was the beginning of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary in 1952. The primary brought politicians and money to the state. During the 1960s, skiers discovered the slopes of the White Mountains, some of which can support skiing into July. Traditional New Hampshire manufacturing businesses continued to decline in the 1960s, but a new group of employers discovered the state. The state's lack of income tax, its beautiful countryside, and its low crime rate were attractive to professionals. Finance and life insurance companies set up shop in the Granite State (a reference to its rocky terrain). High-technology companies also settled in New Hampshire in the hope that the skilled workers the industry needed would be attracted to a state with wonderful natural beauty. The high-technology companies established themselves in what became known as the "Golden Triangle" formed by Nashua, Manchester, and Portsmouth. By 1970, the state's population had grown to 737,681.

In 1976, the Seabrook nuclear power plant was built in New Hampshire amid protests from people who thought the plant would be dangerous. The plant went into operation in 1990. From 1989 to 1992, New Hampshire experienced a very tough recession, with 50,000 jobs leaving the state, and in 1990, Pease Air Force Base closed. The state's recovery was slow and focused on tourism, fishing, shipbuilding, and high-technology industries. In 1990, the state population was 1,113,915, and grew to almost 1,200,000 by 2000, so the state seemed to be recovering. In 1996, New Hampshire elected its first woman governor, Jeanne Shaheen. By 2000, only 7.7 percent of the people in New Hampshire lived below the federal poverty level, and the state had the third lowest crime rate among America's states.


Belknap, Jeremy. The History of New Hampshire. Boston: Belknap and Young, 1792.

Fradin, Dennis B. The New Hampshire Colony. Chicago: Children's Press (Regensteiner), 1988.

Morison, Elizabeth Forbes, and Elting E. Morison. New Hampshire: A Bicentennial History. New York: W. W. Norton, 1976.

Robinson, J. Dennis. "Seacoast NH History."

Squires, J. Duane. The Granite State of the United States: A History of New Hampshire from 1623 to the Present. New York: American Historical Company, 1956.

Stein, R. Conrad. New Hampshire. New York: Children's Press, 2000.

Kirk H.Beetz

See alsoNew England .

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New Hampshire

New Hampshire, one of the New England states of the NE United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts (S), Vermont, with the Connecticut River forming the boundary (W), the Canadian province of Quebec (NW), and Maine and a short strip of the Atlantic Ocean (E).

Facts and Figures

Area, 9,304 sq mi (24,097 sq km). Pop. (2010) 1,316,470, a 6.5% increase since the 2000 census. Capital, Concord. Largest city, Manchester. Statehood, June 21, 1788 (9th of the original 13 states to ratify the Constitution). Highest pt., Mt. Washington, 6,288 ft (1,918 m); lowest pt., sea level. Nickname, Granite State. Motto, Live Free or Die. State bird, purple finch. State flower, purple lilac. State tree, white birch. Abbr., N.H.; NH


The continental ice sheet once covered the entire state, scraping the mountains, eroding intervening upland areas, and rerouting water courses into precipitous streams and beautiful lakes. Across the north central part of the state the residual White Mountains of the Appalachian chain form ranges abruptly broken by passes (called notches). Between the Carter-Moriah Range and the Presidential Range in the east, the Ellis River drops 80 ft (24 m) through Pinkham Notch. West of the Presidential Range (which includes Mt. Washington, highest peak in New England at 6,288 ft/1,917 m), the cascading courses of the Ammonoosuc and Saco rivers divide it from the Franconia Mountains at Crawford Notch. To the southwest, in Franconia Notch, are Profile Lake (formerly watched over by the Old Man of the Mountain), the Basin, and the Flume, the waters of which flow into the Pemigewasset as it tumbles on its way to join the Merrimack. The northernmost gap, Dixville Notch, is surrounded by rocky pinnacles that look down upon a wild, fir-covered country abounding in lakes and streams.

South of the mountains the lake and upland area is frequently interrupted by isolated peaks called "monadnocks" from the original Great Monadnock near Jaffrey. The land surface declines westward to the broad valley of the Connecticut River, and the upper Connecticut valley (known as Coos country) is pleasantly pastoral. Practically every part of the state is within sight of, and identifies itself with, some peak. The climate varies greatly, and occasional high winds and violent storms roar through the narrow valleys. Annual precipitation is about 40 in. (102 cm), with snowfall mounting to 8 ft (2.4 m) in the mountain regions.

Concord is the capital and third largest city; the largest city is Manchester, followed by Nashua. The state's only port, Portsmouth, on the estuary of the Piscataqua River, also serves as a commercial center.

New Hampshire has 142 state parks and forests, and the White Mountains National Forest, which extends into Maine, has c.724,000 acres (293,000 hectares) in New Hampshire. The state's scenic beauty and serenity have long inspired writers and artists. Hawthorne, Whittier, and Longfellow summered in New Hampshire. Augustus Saint-Gaudens sculpted many of his finest works at the artist's colony at Cornish, and the MacDowell Colony at Peterborough is a summer haven for musicians, artists, and writers. The state is most intimately connected with the works of Robert Frost; Frost himself once said that there was not one of his poems "but has something in it of New Hampshire."


Agriculture in New Hampshire is hampered by the mountainous topography and by extensive areas of unfertile and stony soil, but farmers are helped by the cooperative marketing that has expanded since World War II. Their main sources of income are dairy products, greenhouse products, apples, cattle, and eggs.

Since the late 1800s manufacturing has been important in the state. The textile mills and factories producing leather goods (such as shoes and boots) that once lined the state's fast-moving rivers have given way to high-technology firms, many of them migrating from the Boston area and its higher tax rates. Electrical and other machinery, as well as fabricated metals and plastics, are also manufactured.

Lumbering has been important since the first sawmill was built on the Salmon Falls River in 1631. Most of the timber cut now is used in paper production. Although New Hampshire has long been known as the Granite State, its large deposits of the stone—used for building as early as 1623—are no longer extensively quarried, the use of steel and concrete in modern construction having greatly decreased the granite market. Mineral production, chiefly of sand, gravel, and stone, is today a minor factor in New Hampshire's economy.

Year-round tourism is now the state's leading industry. Many visitors come to enjoy the state's beaches, mountains, and lakes. The largest lake, Winnipesaukee, is dotted with 274 inhabitable islands, while along the Atlantic shore 18 mi (29 km) of curving beaches (many state-owned) attract vacationers. Of the rugged Isles of Shoals off the coast, three belong to New Hampshire. Originally fishing colonies, they are now used largely as summer residences.

In the winter skiers flock northward, and the state has responded to the increasing popularity of winter sports by greatly expanding its facilities. When the snows melt, skiers are replaced by hikers, rafters, and climbers. Folk crafts such as wood carving, weaving, and pottery making have been revived to meet the tourist market.

Government, Politics, and Higher Education

New Hampshire's constitution, adopted in 1784, is the second oldest in the country. New Hampshire is the only state in which amendments to the constitution must be proposed by convention; once every seven years a popular vote determines the necessity for constitutional revision. The state's executive branch is headed by a governor and five powerful administrative officers called councillors. The governor is elected for a two-year term and is traditionally limited to two successive terms. Perhaps the most unusual feature of New Hampshire politics is the size of its bicameral legislature (General Court), one of the largest representative bodies in the English-speaking world, with 24 senators and 400 representatives, all elected for two years. The state elects two senators and two representatives to the U.S. Congress and has four electoral votes.

The New Hampshire presidential primary is among the first to be held in election years and has often forecast national trends or influenced election outcomes. The primary is itself a major New Hampshire "industry." Republicans have played the dominant role in New Hampshire politics since the Civil War, but Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, was elected governor in 1996 and reelected in 1998 and 2000. In 2002, Republican Craig Benson was elected to the office, but he was defeated by Democrat John Lynch in 2004. Lynch was reelected in 2006, 2008, and 2010. In 2012, Maggie Hassan, a Democrat was elected governor; she was reelected in 2014.

Among the state's institutions of higher learning are the Univ. of New Hampshire, at Durham; Keene State Univ.; Dartmouth College, at Hanover; and Franklin Pierce College, at Rindge.


Early Settlement

The region was first explored by Martin Pring (1603) and Samuel de Champlain (1605). In 1620 the Council for New England, formerly the Plymouth Company, received a royal grant of land between lat. 40°N and 48°N. One of the Council's leaders, Sir Ferdinando Gorges, formed a partnership with Capt. John Mason and in 1622 obtained rights between the Merrimack and Kennebec rivers, then called the province of Maine. By a division Mason took (1629) the area between the Piscataqua and the Merrimack, naming it New Hampshire. Portsmouth was founded by farmers and fishermen in 1630.

Through claims based on a misinterpretation of its charter, Massachusetts annexed S New Hampshire between 1641 and 1643. Although New Hampshire was proclaimed a royal colony in 1679, Massachusetts continued to press land claims until the two colonies finally agreed on the eastern and southern boundaries (1739–41). Although they were technically independent of each other, the crown habitually appointed a single man to govern both colonies until 1741, when Benning Wentworth was made the first governor of New Hampshire alone.

Wentworth and his friends purchased the Mason rights in 1746 (see Masonian Proprietors under Mason, John, 1586–1635), laying claim to lands east of the Hudson and thereby provoking a protracted controversy with New York (see New Hampshire Grants). Although a royal order in 1764 established the Connecticut River as the western boundary of New Hampshire, the dispute flared up again during the American Revolution and was not settled until Vermont became a state.

Growth and Independence

The French and Indian Wars had prevented colonization of the inland areas, but after the wars a land rush began. Lumber camps were set up and sawmills were built along the streams. The Scotch-Irish settlers had already initiated the textile industry by growing flax and weaving linen. By the time of the Revolution many of the inhabitants had tired of British rule and were eager for independence. In Dec., 1774, a band of patriots overpowered Fort William and Mary (later Fort Constitution) and secured the arms and ammunition for their cause.

New Hampshire was the first colony to declare its independence from Great Britain and to establish its own government (Jan., 1776). New Hampshire became the ninth and last necessary state to ratify the new Constitution of the United States in 1788. New Hampshire's northern boundary was fixed in 1842 when the Webster-Ashburton Treaty set the international line between Canada and the United States.

The Slavery Question

The Democrats remained in political control until their inability to take a united antislavery stand brought about their decline. When Franklin Pierce, New Hampshire's only President of the United States (1853–57), tried to smooth over the slavery quarrel and unite his party, antislavery sentiment was strong enough to alienate many of his followers. During the Civil War, New Hampshire was a strong supporter of the Northern cause and contributed many troops to the Union forces.


After the war New Hampshire's economy began to emerge as primarily industrial, and population growth was steady although never spectacular. The production of woolen and cotton goods and the manufacturing of shoes led all other enterprises. The forests were rapidly and ruthlessly exploited, but in 1911 a bill was passed to protect big rivers by creating forest reserves at their headwaters, and since that time numerous conservation measures have been enacted and large tracts of woodland have been placed under state and national ownership.

Depression and Diversification

The Great Depression of the 1930s severely dislocated the state's economy, especially in the one-industry towns. The effort made then to broaden economic activities has been continually intensified. The recent establishment of important new industries such as electronics has successfully counterbalanced the departure to other states of older industries such as textiles.

In the 1980s, New Hampshire produced many new jobs and had one of the fastest growing economies in the United States. The state benefits from its close proximity to the Boston metropolitan area with its many high-technology firms, but when Massachusetts experiences a recession like that of the late 1980s and early 90s, New Hampshire is similarly affected.


See D. Delorme, ed., New Hampshire Atlas and Gazetteer (1983); L. W. Turner, The Ninth State: New Hampshire's Formative Years (1983); R. N. Hill, Yankee Kingdom (1984); W. G. Scheller, New Hampshire: Portrait of the Land and Its People (1988).

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New Hampshire


Concord . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181

Manchester . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193

Nashua . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203

Portsmouth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213

The State in Brief

Nickname: Granite State

Motto: Live free or die

Flower: Purple lilac

Bird: Purple finch

Area: 9,350 square miles (2000; U.S. rank: 46th)

Elevation: Ranges from sea level to 6,288 feet at Mt. Washington

Climate: Moderate, with comfortable summers and long, snowy winters; weather in general is changeable and influenced by proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the White Mountains

Admitted to Union: June 21, 1788 Capital: Concord

Head Official: Governor John Lynch (D) (until 2007)


1980: 921,000

1990: 1,109,252

2000: 1,235,786

2004 estimate: 1,299,500

Percent change, 19902000: 11.4%

U.S. rank in 2004: 41st

Percent of residents born in state: 43.3% (2000)

Density: 137.8 people per square mile (2000)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 28,306

Racial and Ethnic Characteristics (2000)

White: 1,186,851

Black or African American: 9,035

American Indian and Alaska Native: 2,964

Asian: 15,931

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 371

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 20,489

Other: 7,420

Age Characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 75,685

Population 5 to 19 years old: 268,480

Percent of population 65 years and over: 12%

Median age: 37.1 years (2000)

Vital Statistics

Total number of births (2003): 14,398

Total number of deaths (2003): 9,756 (infant deaths, 52)

AIDS cases reported through 2003: 530


Major industries: Manufacturing, tourism, trade, mining, agriculture

Unemployment rate: 3.4% (April 2005)

Per capita income: $34,703 (2003; U.S. rank: 7th)

Median household income: $55,166 (3-year average, 2001-2003)

Percentage of persons below poverty level: 6% (3-year average, 2001-2003)

Income tax rate: None on earned income; 5% on interest and dividends (with some exceptions); 7% business profits tax

Sales tax rate: None

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New Hampshire

New Hampshire State in ne USA, on the Canadian border; the capital is Concord. The first settlement was made in 1623. Much of the land is mountainous and forested. The principal rivers are the Connecticut and the Merrimack, and there are more than 1000 lakes. Farming is restricted by poor, stony soil, and is mostly concentrated in the Connecticut valley. Dairy and market garden produce, hay, apples, and potatoes are the chief products. New Hampshire is highly industrialized. There is hydroelectricity. Industries: electrical machinery, paper and wood products, printing and publishing, leather goods, textiles. Area: 24,097sq km (9304sq mi). Pop. (2000) 1,235,786.

Statehood :

June 21, 1788

Nickname :

The Granite State

State bird :

Purple finch

State flower :

Purple lilac

State tree :

White birch

State motto :

Live free or die

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New Hampshire


Dutch, English, and French explorers navigated the coast of New England before the first English settlement in New Hampshire was established along the Piscataqua River in 1623. At this time New Hampshire was still a province of Massachusetts (it did not separate until 1740). White settlers began to move up the Merrimack and Connecticut river valleys in the 1700s, virtually eliminating the Native American population of the area.

During this period the province's economy was based on fishing, farming, timber harvests, and shipping. Portsmouth became the capital and a busy commercial port. Transportation from Portsmouth to the inland areas was difficult, however, because all travel had to go north or south around the mountains. Thus Boston, not Portsmouth, became New England's busiest trading center. In 1776 New Hampshire was the first of the original 13 colonies to establish an independent government, doing so even before the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed.

During the nineteenth century the textile industry became the most prominent industry in the state. Textile mills were especially plentiful along the Merrimack River. The first workers were generally young "mill girls" who came from neighboring farms to supplement their families' meager incomes. A huge demand for textiles later brought European immigrants to do mill work. Around 1860 French Canadian workers also began flocking south to find work. Meanwhile, farming in the state declined, mostly because of poor soil and rocky terrain.

The growth of what later became the city of Manchester is an interesting case study in how the mill towns developed. The Amoskeag Manufacturing Company was started in 1837 by manufacturers who had worked at the famous Lowell, Massachusetts, mills. In addition to several mills, a whole town was laid out with town squares, schools, churches, parks, and cemeteries, and six block of tenements for the workers and their families. Within eight years the city which grew there increased in population from 50 to 10,000 and the mills were producing the equivalent of 22 miles of yard goods a day for worldwide distribution.

Railroads were making headway during this period as well, despite ambivalence among the populace about how this new mode of transportation would alter New Hampshire life. Railroad companies were granted 123 charters in 1846 and 1847, and soon New Hampshire had more miles of track than most other New England states. Regulations on the railroads and on industry passed by the state legislature, however, limited capital growth in the state in the 20 years before the American Civil War (186165).

Ten years after the war people were employed in manufacturing and farming in approximately equal numbers. Like other New England states, however, New Hampshire was experiencing a loss of population as many citizens left the state for newly opened western territories. Farming the rocky soil of New Hampshire was an unattractive option compared to the possibility of a large plot of good farm land in Ohio or Iowa. In 1839 about half the land in the state was agricultural, but by 1870 that percentage had dropped to 39, with more decreases in succeeding decades.

In the southern section of the state mill towns developed where farm land and small villages had been. Elizabeth and Elting Morison observed in their history of the state that on the Merrimack River, "the continuous line of red brick along the water was, in fact, the west wall of a dense and complicated network of mill structures that, threaded by narrow and tortuous passages, extended well inland." These large factories were full of modern machinery, and some began to turn themselves to the production of other industrial products, such as steam engines and rifles.

Besides textile mills, lumbering continued to be an important industry in New Hampshire. The city of Berlin in north-central New Hampshire was the center for lumbering activity. Firms like the Brown Company sent workers out to cut logs, transport them to the Androscoggin River, and float them down river to the mills in massive log drives. This demanding work was done mostly by immigrants from French Canada, Norway, Germany, and Russia.

Taking advantage of its mountains and its rural appeal, New Hampshire developed a thriving tourist business in the later half of the nineteenth century. Throughout the White Mountains large resort hotels such as the Glen House and the Mount Washington Hotel sprang up, and "summer places" built by well-to-do easterners began to dot the landscape. Other mountain and lake resorts and cottages were built for the less wealthy. Musicians and artists began to establish colonies in towns like North Conway. By the turn of the century it was estimated that the state was earning $700,000 annually from the "summer people." New Hampshire continued to promote tourism in the twentieth century; it ranked second only to manufacturing in the state's economy in the 1990s.

The last decade of the nineteenth century in New Hampshire was marked by an increase in the power of the railroads, primarily the Boston and Maine. Railroad influence penetrated the state government and it was not curbed until 1911, when a progressively oriented governor and legislature enacted laws to regulate private corporations and public utilities. These reforms preceded similar ones which would be enacted throughout the nation in the coming two decades.

By the early 1920s the New Hampshire textile industry was beginning to decline. A strike at the Amoskeag mills in 1922 only served to highlight the inevitable fact that mills in the South, where much of the raw materials for New Hampshire's mills was produced, were slowly eroding the profitability of those in the New England. Between 1880 and 1925 the number of mill spindles doubled in New England, but in the South this number increased thirty-fold. In 1950 one New Hampshire town which once had six working mills was reduced to one millthis scenario was repeated throughout the state.

The Great Depression added to an already declining economy, and the postWorld War II drop-off in demand for textiles brought severe recession to many New Hampshire towns. Only logging and paper manufacture in the northern part of the state were moderately prosperous. The state's population and employment levels both dropped substantially.

In the 1970s and 1980s, however, the southern part of the state began to make a comeback. Interstate highways, the proximity of Boston, and low state taxes helped to encourage people and new high-technology industry to move into the state. Between 1960 and 1988 the state's population doubled, straining government services and increasing local taxes. Most of the newcomers were relatively more affluent and better educated than the natives of the state. A recession in the early 1990s slowed, but did not stop, this progress.

Modern New Hampshire is one of the most industrialized states in the nation. The state's per capita income in 1996 was over $26,000, ranked eighth in the nation. Only 5.3 percent of its citizens were below the federal poverty level in that year.


Clark, Charles E. The Eastern Frontier: The Settlement of Northern New England, 16101763. New York: Knopf, 1970.

Federal Writers' Project. New Hampshire: A Guide to the Granite State. 1938. Reprint. New York: Somerset, n.d.

Morison, Elizabeth Forbes, and Elting E. Morison. New Hampshire: A Bicentennial History. New York: Norton, 1976.

Squires, J. Duane. The Granite State of the United States: A History of New Hampshire from 1623 to the Present. 4 vols. New York: American Historical Co., 1956.

Stacker, Ann P. and Nancy C. Hefferman. Short History of New Hampshire. Grantham, NH: Thompson and Rutter, 1985.

new hampshire was the first of the original 13 colonies to establish an independent government. it did so in 1776, even before the declaration of independence was proclaimed.

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New Hampshire, University of

University of New Hampshire, main campus at Durham; land-grant and state supported; coeducational; chartered 1866, opened 1868 as the state college of agriculture and mechanic arts, a division of Dartmouth College, at Hanover. It moved in 1892 and in 1923 became the Univ. of New Hampshire. In addition to agriculture and university extension services, it operates agricultural and engineering experiment stations at Durham. The school maintains the Earth, Ocean, and Space Center and a noteworthy creative arts center. There is also a campus at Manchester. In 1963 the state colleges at Keene and Plymouth became part of the university system.

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