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Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Region
New Hampshire's Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee region, situated along the Vermont border in the Connecticut River watershed, encompasses the Upper Valley and Lake Sunapee sub-regions.
In the Upper Valley, the communities of Lebanon and Hanover form the heart of the region’s economy. Lebanon is home to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, while Hanover hosts the Ivy League Dartmouth College. But although they share a regional identity, economically speaking, Lebanon and Hanover are very different. Compared to Lebanon–and the state as a whole–Hanover skews wealthy. The US Census Bureau has found that while the average household income in New Hampshire is $78,208, the average household income in Hanover is $139,881. Lebanon, meanwhile, reports a lower average income at $69,853.
Despite its prosperity, the Upper Valley faces its own set of challenges. Affordable housing, for example, can be hard to find for working class and middle-income workers, and pollution in the Connecticut River is also a concern for the area.
The Lake Sunapee region is known primarily for its tourist attractions and outdoor recreation, centered around Lake Sunapee and Mount Sunapee, though it has a history as a manufacturing district. The outflow of Lake Sunapee, the Sugar River, once powered several paper and textile mills. The departure of these industries has left the economic picture of the region somewhat bleak. In the Sunapee region’s only city, Claremont, average household income is $50,839, well below the state average.
Summary provided in part by StateImpact NH