New Hampshire
State of New Hampshire
Nickname(s): 
the Granite State[1]
the White Mountain State[2]
Motto(s): 
Anthem: "Old New Hampshire"[3]
Map of the United States with New Hampshire highlighted
Map of the United States with New Hampshire highlighted
CountryUnited States
Before statehoodProvince of New Hampshire
Admitted to the UnionJune 21, 1788 (9th)
CapitalConcord
44°00′N 71°30′W / 44°N 71.5°W / 44; -71.5Coordinates: 44°00′N 71°30′W / 44°N 71.5°W / 44; -71.5
Largest cityManchester
Largest metroManchester–Nashua
Government
 • GovernorChris Sununu (R)
 • Senate PresidentDonna Soucy (D)[4]
LegislatureGeneral Court
 • Upper houseSenate
 • Lower houseHouse of Representatives
JudiciaryNew Hampshire Supreme Court
U.S. senatorsJeanne Shaheen (D)
Maggie Hassan (D)
U.S. House delegation1: Chris Pappas (D)
2: Ann McLane Kuster (D) (list)
Area
 • Total9,349 sq mi (24,214[5] km2)
Area rank46th
Dimensions
 • Length190 mi (305 km)
 • Width68 mi (110 km)
Elevation
1,000 ft (300 m)
Highest elevation6,288 ft (1,916.66 m)
Lowest elevation
(Atlantic Ocean[7])
0 ft (0 m)
Population
 (2019)
 • Total1,359,711
 • Rank41st
 • Density147/sq mi (56.8/km2)
 • Density rank21st
 • Median household income
$73,381[8]
 • Income rank
7th
Demonym(s)Granite Stater,
New Hampshirite
Language
 • Official languageEnglish[9]
(French allowed for official business with Quebec)[10]
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (EDT)
USPS abbreviation
NH
ISO 3166 codeUS-NH
Trad. abbreviationN.H.
Latitude42° 42′ N to 45° 18′ N
Longitude70° 36′ W to 72° 33′ W
Websitewww.nh.gov
New Hampshire state symbols
Flag of New Hampshire.svg
Seal of New Hampshire.svg
Living insignia
AmphibianRed-spotted newt
Notophthalmus viridescens
BirdPurple finch
Haemorhous purpureus
ButterflyKarner Blue
Lycaeides melissa samuelis
Dog breedChinook
FishFreshwater: Brook trout
Salvelinus fontinalis
Saltwater: Striped bass
Morone saxatilis
FlowerPurple lilac
Syringa vulgaris
InsectLadybug
Coccinellidae
MammalWhite-tailed deer
Odocoileus virginianus
TreeWhite birch
Betula papyrifera
Inanimate insignia
FoodFruit: Pumpkin
Vegetable: White Potato
Berry: Blackberry[11]
GemstoneSmoky quartz
MineralBeryl
RockGranite
SportSkiing
TartanNew Hampshire state tartan
State route marker
New Hampshire state route marker
State quarter
New Hampshire quarter dollar coin
Released in 2000
Lists of United States state symbols

New Hampshire (/ˈhæmpʃər/) is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. New Hampshire is the 5th smallest by area and the 10th least populous U.S. state.

Concord is the state capital, while Manchester is the largest city. New Hampshire has no general sales tax, nor income tax other than on interest and dividends. The New Hampshire primary is the first primary in the U.S. presidential election cycle. Its license plates carry the state motto, "Live Free or Die". The state's nickname, "The Granite State", refers to its extensive granite formations and quarries.[12]

In January 1776, it became the first of the British North American colonies to establish a government independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain's authority, and it was the first to establish its own state constitution. Six months later, it became one of the original 13 colonies that signed the United States Declaration of Independence, and in June 1788 it was the ninth state to ratify the United States Constitution, bringing that document into effect.

Historically, New Hampshire was a major center for textile manufacturing, shoemaking, and papermaking, with Amoskeag Manufacturing Company in Manchester at one time being the largest cotton textile plant in the world. Numerous mills were located along various rivers in the state, especially the Merrimack and Connecticut rivers. Many French Canadians migrated to New Hampshire to work the mills in the late 19th and early 20th century; New Hampshire still ranks second among states by percentage of people claiming French American ancestry, with 24.5% of the state identifying as such.

Manufacturing centers such as Manchester, Nashua, and Berlin were hit hard in the 1930s–1940s as major manufacturing industries left New England and moved to the southern United States or overseas, reflecting nationwide trends. In the 1950s and 1960s, defense contractors moved into many of the former mills, such as Sanders Associates in Nashua, and the population of southern New Hampshire surged beginning in the 1980s as major highways connected the region to Greater Boston and established several bedroom communities in the state.

With some of the highest ski mountains on the East Coast, New Hampshire's major recreational attractions include skiing, snowmobiling, and other winter sports, hiking and mountaineering (Mount Monadnock in the state's southwestern corner is among the most climbed mountains in the U.S.), observing the fall foliage, summer cottages along many lakes and the seacoast, motor sports at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and Motorcycle Week, a popular motorcycle rally held in Weirs Beach in Laconia in June. The White Mountain National Forest links the Vermont and Maine portions of the Appalachian Trail, and has the Mount Washington Auto Road, where visitors may drive to the top of 6,288-foot (1,917 m) Mount Washington.

Among prominent individuals from New Hampshire are founding father Nicholas Gilman, Senator Daniel Webster, Revolutionary War hero John Stark, editor Horace Greeley, founder of the Christian Science religion Mary Baker Eddy, poet Robert Frost, astronaut Alan Shepard, rock musician Ronnie James Dio, author Dan Brown, actor Adam Sandler, inventor Dean Kamen, comedians Sarah Silverman and Seth Meyers, restaurateurs Richard and Maurice McDonald, and President of the United States Franklin Pierce.

Etymology

The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire by Captain John Mason.[13]

Geography

Map of New Hampshire, with roads, rivers and major cities
Shaded relief map of New Hampshire
Mount Adams (5,774 ft or 1,760 m) is part of New Hampshire's Presidential Range.

New Hampshire is part of the six-state New England region. It is bounded by Quebec, Canada, to the north and northwest; Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east; Massachusetts to the south; and Vermont to the west. New Hampshire's major regions are the Great North Woods, the White Mountains, the Lakes Region, the Seacoast, the Merrimack Valley, the Monadnock Region, and the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee area. New Hampshire has the shortest ocean coastline of any U.S. coastal state, with a length of 18 miles (29 km),[14] sometimes measured as only 13 miles (21 km).[15] New Hampshire was home to the rock formation called the Old Man of the Mountain, a face-like profile in Franconia Notch, until the formation disintegrated in May 2003.

The White Mountains range in New Hampshire spans the north-central portion of the state. The range includes Mount Washington, the tallest in the northeastern U.S.—site of the second-highest wind speed ever recorded—[16]as well as Mount Adams and Mount Jefferson. With hurricane-force winds every third day on average, more than a hundred recorded deaths among visitors, and conspicuous krumholtz (dwarf, matted trees much like a carpet of bonsai trees), the climate on the upper reaches of Mount Washington has inspired the weather observatory on the peak to claim that the area has the "World's Worst Weather".[17]

In the flatter southwest corner of New Hampshire, the landmark Mount Monadnock has given its name to a class of earth-forms—a monadnock—signifying, in geomorphology, any isolated resistant peak rising from a less resistant eroded plain.

Major rivers include the 110-mile (177 km) Merrimack River, which bisects the lower half of the state north–south and ends up in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Its tributaries include the Contoocook River, Pemigewasset River, and Winnipesaukee River. The 410-mile (660 km) Connecticut River, which starts at New Hampshire's Connecticut Lakes and flows south to Connecticut, defines the western border with Vermont. The state border is not in the center of that river, as is usually the case, but at the low-water mark on the Vermont side; meaning that the entire river along the Vermont border (save for areas where the water level has been raised by a dam) lies within New Hampshire.[18] Only one town—Pittsburg—shares a land border with the state of Vermont. The "northwesternmost headwaters" of the Connecticut also define the Canada–U.S. border.

The Piscataqua River and its several tributaries form the state's only significant ocean port where they flow into the Atlantic at Portsmouth. The Salmon Falls River and the Piscataqua define the southern portion of the border with Maine. The Piscataqua River boundary was the subject of a border dispute between New Hampshire and Maine in 2001, with New Hampshire claiming dominion over several islands (primarily Seavey's Island) that include the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the case in 2002, leaving ownership of the island with Maine. New Hampshire still claims sovereignty of the base, however.[19]

The largest of New Hampshire's lakes is Lake Winnipesaukee, which covers 71 square miles (184 km2) in the east-central part of New Hampshire. Umbagog Lake along the Maine border, approximately 12.3 square miles (31.9 km2), is a distant second. Squam Lake is the second largest lake entirely in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire has the shortest ocean coastline of any state in the United States, approximately 18 miles (29 km) long.[20] Hampton Beach is a popular local summer destination. About 7 miles (11 km) offshore are the Isles of Shoals, nine small islands (four of which are in New Hampshire) known as the site of a 19th-century art colony founded by poet Celia Thaxter, and the alleged location of one of the buried treasures of the pirate Blackbeard.

It is the state with the highest percentage of timberland area in the country.[21] New Hampshire is in the temperate broadleaf and mixed forests biome. Much of the state, in particular the White Mountains, is covered by the conifers and northern hardwoods of the New England-Acadian forests. The southeast corner of the state and parts of the Connecticut River along the Vermont border are covered by the mixed oaks of the Northeastern coastal forests.[22]

The northern third of the state is locally referred to as the "north country" or "north of the notches", in reference to White Mountain passes that channel traffic. It contains less than 5% of the state's population, suffers relatively high poverty, and is steadily losing population as the logging and paper industries decline. However, the tourist industry, in particular visitors who go to northern New Hampshire to ski, snowboard, hike and mountain bike, has helped offset economic losses from mill closures.

Winter season lengths are projected to decline at ski areas across New Hampshire due to the effects of global warming, which is likely to continue the historic contraction and consolidation of the ski industry and threaten individual ski businesses and communities that rely on ski tourism.[23]

Climate

Autumn leaves on many hardwood trees in New Hampshire turn colors, attracting many tourists.

New Hampshire experiences a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa in some southern areas, Dfb in most of the state, and Dfc subarctic in some northern highland areas), with warm, humid summers, and long, cold, and snowy winters. Precipitation is fairly evenly distributed all year. The climate of the southeastern portion is moderated by the Atlantic Ocean and averages relatively milder winters (for New Hampshire), while the northern and interior portions experience colder temperatures and lower humidity. Winters are cold and snowy throughout the state, and especially severe in the northern and mountainous areas. Average annual snowfall ranges from 60 inches (150 cm) to over 100 inches (250 cm) across the state.[24]

Average daytime highs are in the mid 70s°F to low 80s°F (24–28°C) throughout the state in July, with overnight lows in the mid 50s°F to low 60s°F (13–15°C). January temperatures range from an average high of 34 °F (1 °C) on the coast to overnight lows below 0 °F (−18 °C) in the far north and at high elevations. Average annual precipitation statewide is roughly 40 inches (100 cm) with some variation occurring in the White Mountains due to differences in elevation and annual snowfall. New Hampshire's highest recorded temperature was 106 °F (41 °C) in Nashua on July 4, 1911, while the lowest recorded temperature was −47 °F (−44 °C) atop Mount Washington on January 29, 1934. Mount Washington also saw an unofficial −50 °F (−46 °C) reading on January 22, 1885, which, if made official, would tie the all-time record low for New England (also −50 °F (−46 °C) at Big Black River, Maine, on January 16, 2009, and Bloomfield, Vermont on December 30, 1933).

Extreme snow is often associated with a nor'easter, such as the Blizzard of '78 and the Blizzard of 1993, when several feet accumulated across portions of the state over 24 to 48 hours. Lighter snowfalls of several inches occur frequently throughout winter, often associated with an Alberta Clipper.

New Hampshire, on occasion, is affected by hurricanes and tropical storms although by the time they reach the state they are often extratropical, with most storms striking the southern New England coastline and moving inland or passing by offshore in the Gulf of Maine. Most of New Hampshire averages fewer than 20 days of thunderstorms per year and an average of two tornadoes occur annually statewide.[25]

The National Arbor Day Foundation plant hardiness zone map depicts zones 3, 4, 5, and 6 occurring throughout the state[26] and indicates the transition from a relatively cooler to warmer climate as one travels southward across New Hampshire. The 1990 USDA plant hardiness zones for New Hampshire range from zone 3b in the north to zone 5b in the south.[27]

Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures for selected cities in New Hampshire[28]
Location July (°F) July (°C) January (°F) January (°C)
Manchester 82/64 28/17 33/15 0/−9
Nashua 82/59 28/15 33/12 0/−11
Concord 82/57 28/14 30/10  −1/−12
Portsmouth 79/61 26/16 32/16 0/−9
Keene 82/56 28/13 31/9  −1/−12
Laconia 81/60 27/16 30/11  −1/−11
Lebanon 82/58 28/14 30/8 −1/−13

Metropolitan areas

Downtown Manchester
Main Street, Nashua

Metropolitan areas in the New England region are defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as New England City and Town Areas (NECTAs). The following is a list of NECTAs fully or partially in New Hampshire:[29][30]

History

The historical coat of arms of New Hampshire, from 1876
Site of first house in New Hampshire, present mansion constructed in 1750, by Gov. W. B. Wentworth, New York Public Library
1922 map of New Hampshire published in the bulletin of the Brown Company in Berlin

Various Algonquian-speaking Abenaki tribes, largely divided between the Androscoggin and Pennacook nations, inhabited the area before European settlement.[31] Despite the similar language, they had a very different culture and religion from other Algonquian peoples. English and French explorers visited New Hampshire in 1600–1605, and David Thompson settled at Odiorne's Point in present-day Rye in 1623. The first permanent settlement was at Hilton's Point (present-day Dover). By 1631, the Upper Plantation comprised modern-day Dover, Durham and Stratham; in 1679, it became the "Royal Province". Father Rale's War was fought between the colonists and the Wabanaki Confederacy throughout New Hampshire.

New Hampshire was one of the thirteen colonies that rebelled against British rule during the American Revolution. By the time of the American Revolution, New Hampshire was a divided province. The economic and social life of the Seacoast region revolved around sawmills, shipyards, merchants' warehouses, and established village and town centers. Wealthy merchants built substantial homes, furnished them with the finest luxuries, and invested their capital in trade and land speculation. At the other end of the social scale, there developed a permanent class of day laborers, mariners, indentured servants and even slaves.

The only battle fought in New Hampshire was the raid on Fort William and Mary, December 14, 1774, in Portsmouth Harbor, which netted the rebellion sizable quantities of gunpowder, small arms and cannon. (General Sullivan, leader of the raid, described it as, "remainder of the powder, the small arms, bayonets, and cartouche-boxes, together with the cannon and ordnance stores") over the course of two nights. This raid was preceded by a warning to local patriots the previous day, by Paul Revere on December 13, 1774, that the fort was to be reinforced by troops sailing from Boston. According to unverified accounts, the gunpowder was later used at the Battle of Bunker Hill, transported there by Major Demerit, who was one of several New Hampshire patriots who stored the powder in their homes until it was transported elsewhere for use in revolutionary activities. During the raid, the British soldiers fired upon the rebels with cannon and muskets. Although there were apparently no casualties, these were among the first shots in the American Revolutionary period, occurring approximately five months before the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

The United States Constitution was ratified by New Hampshire on June 21, 1788, when New Hampshire became the ninth state to do so.[32]

New Hampshire was a Jacksonian stronghold; the state sent Franklin Pierce to the White House in the election of 1852. Industrialization took the form of numerous textile mills, which in turn attracted large flows of immigrants from Quebec (the "French Canadians") and Ireland. The northern parts of the state produced lumber, and the mountains provided tourist attractions. After 1960, the textile industry collapsed, but the economy rebounded as a center of high technology and as a service provider.

Starting in 1952, New Hampshire gained national and international attention for its presidential primary held early in every presidential election year. It immediately became the most important testing grounds for candidates for the Republican and Democratic nominations. The media gave New Hampshire and Iowa about half of all the attention paid to all states in the primary process, magnifying the state's decision powers and spurring repeated efforts by out-of-state politicians to change the rules.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
New Hampshire population map.png

The United States Census Bureau estimates the population of New Hampshire was 1,359,711 on July 1, 2019, a 3.28% increase since the 2010 United States Census.[34] The center of population of New Hampshire is in Merrimack County, in the town of Pembroke.[35] The center of population has moved south 12 miles (19 km) since 1950,[36] a reflection of the fact the state's fastest growth has been along its southern border, which is within commuting range of Boston and other Massachusetts cities.

The most densely populated areas generally lie within 50 miles (80 km) of the Massachusetts border, and are concentrated in two areas: along the Merrimack River Valley running from Concord to Nashua, and in the Seacoast Region along an axis stretching from Rochester to Portsmouth. Outside of those two regions, only one community, the city of Keene, has a population over 20,000. The four counties covering these two areas account for 72% of the state population, and one (Hillsborough) has nearly 30% of the state population, as well as the two most populous communities, Manchester and Nashua. The northern portion of the state is very sparsely populated: the largest county by area, Coos, covers the northern one-fourth of the state and has only around 31,000 people, about a third of whom live in a single community (Berlin). The trends over the past several decades have been for the population to shift southward, as many northern communities lack the economic base to maintain their populations, while southern communities have been absorbed by the Greater Boston metropolis.

Largest reported ancestry groups in New Hampshire by town as of 2013. Dark purple indicates Irish, light purple English, pink French, turquoise French Canadian, dark blue Italian, and light blue German. Gray indicates townships with no reported data.

As of the 2010 Census, the population of New Hampshire was 1,316,470. The gender makeup of the state was 49.3% male and 50.7% female. 21.8% of the population were under the age of 18; 64.6% were between the ages of 18 and 64; and 13.5% were 65 years of age or older.[37]

The racial makeup of New Hampshire as of the 2010 Census was:[37]

New Hampshire Racial Breakdown of Population
Racial composition 1990[38] 2000[39] 2010[37]
White 98.0% 96.0% 93.9%
Black or African American 0.6% 0.7% 1.1%
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.2% 0.2% 0.2%
Asian 0.8% 1.3% 2.2%
Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander 0.0%
Other race 0.3% 0.6% 0.9%
Two or more races 1.1% 1.6%

Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.8% of the population in 2010: 0.6% were of Mexican, 0.9% Puerto Rican, 0.1% Cuban, and 1.2% other Hispanic or Latino origin.

According to the 2012–2017 American Community Survey, the largest ancestry groups in the state were Irish (20.6%), English (16.5%), French (14.0%), Italian (10.4%), German (9.1%), French Canadian (8.9%), and American (4.8%).[40]

New Hampshire has the highest percentage (22.9%) of residents with French/French-Canadian/Acadian ancestry of any U.S. state.[41]

According to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey estimates from 2017, 2.1% of the population aged 5 and older speak Spanish at home, while 1.8% speak French.[42] In Coos County, 9.6% of the population speaks French at home,[43] down from 16% in 2000.[44]

Birth data

Note: Percentages in table do not add up to 100, because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number.

Live Births by Single Race/Ethnicity of Mother
Race 2013[45] 2014[46] 2015[47] 2016[48] 2017[49] 2018[50]
White: 11,570 (93.3%) 11,494 (93.4%) 11,600 (93.3%) ... ... ...
> Non-Hispanic White 11,064 (89.2%) 10,917 (88.7%) 10,928 (87.9%) 10,641 (86.7%) 10,524 (86.9%) 10,317 (86.0%)
Asian 485 (3.9%) 528 (4.3%) 527 (4.2%) 504 (4.1%) 479 (4.0%) 472 (3.9%)
Black 316 (2.5%) 259 (2.1%) 280 (2.3%) 208 (1.7%) 234 (1.9%) 241 (2.0%)
American Indian 25 (0.2%) 21 (0.2%) 26 (0.2%) 8 (0.0%) 26 (0.2%) 13 (0.1%)
Hispanic (of any race) 513 (4.1%) 591 (4.8%) 638 (5.1%) 697 (5.7%) 673 (5.6%) 745 (6.2%)
Total New Hampshire 12,396 (100%) 12,302 (100%) 12,433 (100%) 12,267 (100%) 12,116 (100%) 11,995 (100%)