Bill That Would Create State Demographer Clears N.H. Senate

Apr 12, 2018

Credit NHPR Staff

A bill that would establish a position for a New Hampshire state demographer cleared the Senate Thursday.


The bill’s supporters argue that hiring someone to study the state’s changing population is key to making informed decisions on proposed laws and budgets.


Eric Herr, formerly the Board Chair of the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies, testified during a hearing earlier this month.


“From 2010 to 2030, it is projected that the natural population change in New Hampshire, that is births minus deaths, will be negative -- the population will decline,” Herr said.


According to Herr, net in-migration, or more people moving to New Hampshire than leaving, will be key to the state's growth.


Representative Erin Hennessey is House Bill 1817’s prime sponsor and pointed to the implications of the Granite State’s ‘silver tsunami.'  


“As a result, New Hampshire will see a strain on business profits tax revenue because of a decline in the skilled labor force, a strain on state gas tax revenue because in general retirees drive less [and] a surge in the demand for elderly support services both in the private sector and DHHS’s budget,” Hennessey said.  


The bill cleared the House and Senate and is headed to the Committee on Finance.