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UNH Study: Rural America is Depopulating, But N.H. Is An Exception

UNH Carsey School of Public Policy

A new study out from UNH finds more than one third of rural counties in America are seeing population loss. But most counties in New Hampshire are an exception to that trend.


“Only one of [New Hampshire’s] counties is not at its population peak right now, so that’s quite a contrast to other parts of rural America which face really significant and widespread population loss,” says Ken Johnson, Senior Demographer at UNH and co-author of the study for the Carsey School of Public Policy.


Merrimack County which, contains the city of Concord, is classified as rural. But it's seen population gain, along with all other rural counties in the state, save for Coös County.


"New Hampshire is a good exemplar of the fact that there's a lot more to rural America than just the agricultural heartland, which is where a lot of this depopulation is going on," says Jonson.


He says some of the fastest growing rural areas in the U.S. are those which have opportunities for recreation. That's true for New Hampshire's Carroll County, which saw its population more than triple since 1930.


Johnson looked at census data stretching back to 1900 for the report.

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