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NH's population growth leads the Northeast region

New Hampshire Union Leader

September 05. 2018 12:18PM
Reader Poll

CONCORD — The good news is New Hampshire’s population growth over the past year led the Northeast according to a recent study by Pew Charitable Trusts.

The bad news is the Northeast had woeful population growth overall which is why nationally New Hampshire’s best of the region showing was only 21st best in the U.S. between 2016 and 2017, according to the same study.

New Hampshire’s growth over that year, .58 percent equal to 8,000 people more coming in than out, was just above the national average of .46 percent during the same year.

The national growth rate was the second slowest this century ahead of only 2016, according to the Pew study.

Massachusetts (.53 percent) was the only other state other than New Hampshire in the entire Northeast that did better than the national average.

“This report adds to and confirms other data trends that are very encouraging,” said Taylor Caswell, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs. “Census data have shown our net migration numbers increasing over the past two years, and the majority of those new residents are in that 25-44 age group we are targeting.”

Since it was established one year ago, the Department of Business and Economic Affairs has singularly focused on strengthening the state’s economy, through the work of its Divisions of Economic Development and Travel and Tourism Development.

“New Hampshire’s greatest asset is that it’s New Hampshire,” Caswell said. “Here you can work as an engineer in a biotech or precision manufacturing firm and after work be mountain biking while commuters in urban areas are still waiting just to get on the highway.”

Western and southern states led the population growth over the last year with Idaho, Nevada, Utah, and the states of Washington and Florida rounding out the top five, the Pew report said.

There were 14 states with annual property growth of at least 1 percent.

Over the past decade, New Hampshire has been slowly improving with more in-migration into the state.

Since 2007, New Hampshire’s job growth was 11th from the bottom and during that period Vermont, Maine, Connecticut and Rhode Island were even worse.

All but two states — Michigan and West Virginia — saw their population rise in the past decade. Continuing a long-term trend, however, growth nationally and in a majority of states is estimated to have slowed over this period, which overlapped with the Great Recession. Eight states — the most in almost 30 years — lost residents in 2017 alone.

U.S. population growth has slowed nearly every year since 1992, though growth trends among states vary. The U.S. Census Bureau forecasts that growth in many states will remain tepid because of declines in fertility rates alongside higher death rates as people age as well as falling rates of international migration. The number of births in the U.S. in calendar 2017 was the lowest in 30 years, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics.

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