New figures released earlier this week by the U.S. Census Bureau show that New Hampshire continues to see sluggish population growth in the aftermath of the Great Recession.
Estimates of state-by-state population growth in 2013 have New Hampshire among the slowest growing states over the past year, ranking 41st out of the 50 states. The Granite State's population increased by less than 2,000 people in 2013, yielding a rate of growth of just 0.1 percent. That was significantly less than the national population increase of 0.7 percent, and the growth rate for the entire Northeast, at 0.3 percent.
New England as a whole saw minimal population growth last year: New Hampshire was the second fastest growing state in the region, behind Massachusetts, which grew by 0.7 percent in 2013, equal to the national growth rate. (Maine was one of just two states to see its population shrink over the past year.)
The new figures also show that New Hampshire’s rate of population increase has been minimal since the last official census tally in 2010: the state’s population has increased by just 0.5 percent over the past three years, compared to a national rate of increase of 2.2 percent over that period. The highest rates of growth were in the southern and western parts of the country (see table below; click table for larger view.)
Table 1: Population change by state, 2010 to 2013 and 2012 to 2013
New Hampshire has traditionally relied on high rates of population increase to fuel its economic growth and relative prosperity, through that growth has slowed significantly over the past decade, even in the years leading to the Great Recession. Several recent initiatives have tried to address this demographic shift, including the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire’s preparation of a statewide strategic economic plan. The Center provided much of the data and analysis that informed that plan, which you can find here.