The U.S. Census Bureau estimates New Hampshire’s population grew by only .1% last year. That’s fewer than 2000 people added since 2012. That’s among the slowest rates of growth in the nation.
New Hampshire ranked 41st in population growth with rates slower than national and regional averages. Even more importantly, it’s growing slower than it used to. And economist Dennis Delay with the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies says we can’t blame it all on the Great Recession.
“Usually when the New Hampshire economy expands, we’re one of the fastest growing states at least in New England if not in the Northeast. That doesn’t seem to be the case any longer.”
Why should we care? Delay says many of the forces that bolstered the state’s anomalous success have largely run their course. Shifting demographics and what Delay suspects is net out-migration means we can’t expect to return to the glory days of the nineteen eighties and nineties.
“People migrate on the basis of economic opportunity. So if we’re not having the growth in the economy, you can’t expect to see a significant growth in the population.”
New Hampshire’s population grew just slightly faster than Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Maine’s population shrunk slightly and Massachusetts grew faster than the regional average at .7%.