New Hampshire (/ˈhæmpʃər/) is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. New Hampshire is the 5th smallest by area and the 10th least populous U.S. state.
New Hampshire is part of the six-state New England region. It is bounded by Quebec, Canada, to the north and northwest; Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east; Massachusetts to the south; and Vermont to the west. New Hampshire’s major regions are the Great North Woods, the White Mountains, the Lakes Region, the Seacoast, the Merrimack Valley, the Monadnock Region, and the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee area. New Hampshire has the shortest ocean coastline of any U.S. coastal state, with a length of 18 miles (29 km), sometimes measured as only 13 miles (21 km). New Hampshire was home to the rock formation called the Old Man of the Mountain, a face-like profile in Franconia Notch, until the formation disintegrated in May 2003.
The White Mountains range in New Hampshire spans the north-central portion of the state. The range includes Mount Washington, the tallest in the northeastern U.S. – site of the second-highest wind speed ever recorded – as well as Mount Adams and Mount Jefferson. With hurricane-force winds every third day on average, over 100 recorded deaths among visitors, and conspicuous krumholtz (dwarf, matted trees much like a carpet of bonsai trees), the climate on the upper reaches of Mount Washington has inspired the weather observatory on the peak to claim that the area has the “World’s Worst Weather”.
In the flatter southwest corner of New Hampshire, the landmark Mount Monadnock has given its name to a class of earth-forms – a monadnock – signifying, in geomorphology, any isolated resistant peak rising from a less resistant eroded plain.
Major rivers include the 110-mile (177 km) Merrimack River, which bisects the lower half of the state north–south and ends up in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Its tributaries include the Contoocook River, Pemigewasset River, and Winnipesaukee River. The 410-mile (660 km) Connecticut River, which starts at New Hampshire’s Connecticut Lakes and flows south to Connecticut, defines the western border with Vermont. The state border is not in the center of that river, as is usually the case, but at the low-water mark on the Vermont side; meaning that the entire river along the Vermont border (save for areas where the water level has been raised by a dam) lies within New Hampshire. Only one town – Pittsburg – shares a land border with the state of Vermont. The “northwesternmost headwaters” of the Connecticut also define the Canada–U.S. border.
The Piscataqua River and its several tributaries form the state’s only significant ocean port where they flow into the Atlantic at Portsmouth. The Salmon Falls River and the Piscataqua define the southern portion of the border with Maine. The Piscataqua River boundary was the subject of a border dispute between New Hampshire and Maine in 2001, with New Hampshire claiming dominion over several islands (primarily Seavey’s Island) that include the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the case in 2002, leaving ownership of the island with Maine. New Hampshire still claims sovereignty of the base, however.
The largest of New Hampshire’s lakes is Lake Winnipesaukee, which covers 71 square miles (184 km) in the east-central part of New Hampshire. Umbagog Lake along the Maine border, approximately 12.3 square miles (31.9 km), is a distant second. Squam Lake is the second largest lake entirely in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire has the shortest ocean coastline of any state in the United States, approximately 18 miles (29 km) long. Hampton Beach is a popular local summer destination. About 7 miles (11 km) offshore are the Isles of Shoals, nine small islands (four of which are in New Hampshire) known as the site of a 19th-century art colony founded by poet Celia Thaxter, and the alleged location of one of the buried treasures of the pirate Blackbeard.
It is the state with the highest percentage of timberland area in the country. New Hampshire is in the temperate broadleaf and mixed forests biome. Much of the state, in particular the White Mountains, is covered by the conifers and northern hardwoods of the New England-Acadian forests. The southeast corner of the state and parts of the Connecticut River along the Vermont border are covered by the mixed oaks of the Northeastern coastal forests.
The northern third of the state is locally referred to as the “north country” or “north of the notches”, in reference to White Mountain passes that channel traffic. It contains less than 5% of the state’s population, suffers relatively high poverty, and is steadily losing population as the logging and paper industries decline. However, the tourist industry, in particular visitors who go to northern New Hampshire to ski, snowboard, hike and mountain bike, has helped offset economic losses from mill closures.
Winter season lengths are projected to decline at ski areas across New Hampshire due to the effects of global warming, which is likely to continue the historic contraction and consolidation of the ski industry and threaten individual ski businesses and communities that rely on ski tourism.
The United States Census Bureau estimates the population of New Hampshire was 1,356,458 on July 1, 2018, a 3.04% increase since the 2010 United States Census. The center of population of New Hampshire is in Merrimack County, in the town of Pembroke. The center of population has moved south 12 miles (19 km) since 1950, a reflection of the fact the state’s fastest growth has been along its southern border, which is within commuting range of Boston and other Massachusetts cities.
The most densely populated areas generally lie within 50 miles (80 km) of the Massachusetts border, and are concentrated in two areas: along the Merrimack River Valley running from Concord to Nashua, and in the Seacoast Region along an axis stretching from Rochester to Portsmouth. Outside of those two regions, only one community, the city of Keene, has a population over 20,000. The four counties covering these two areas account for 72% of the state population, and one (Hillsborough) has nearly 30% of the state population, as well as the two most populous communities, Manchester and Nashua. The northern portion of the state is very sparsely populated: the largest county by area, Coos, covers the northern 1/4 of the state and has only around 31,000 people, about a third of whom live in a single community (Berlin). The trends over the past several decades have been for the population to shift southward, as many northern communities lack the economic base to maintain their populations, while southern communities have been absorbed by the Greater Boston metropolis.
As of the 2010 Census, the population of New Hampshire was 1,316,470. The gender makeup of the state was 49.3% male and 50.7% female. 21.8% of the population were under the age of 18; 64.6% were between the ages of 18 and 64; and 13.5% were 65 years of age or older.
The racial makeup of New Hampshire as of the 2010 Census was:
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.8% of the population in 2010: 0.6% were of Mexican, 0.9% Puerto Rican, 0.1% Cuban, and 1.2% other Hispanic or Latino origin.
According to the 2010–2015 American Community Survey, the largest ancestry groups in the state were Irish (21.0%), English (16.8%), French (14.9%), Italian (10.5%), German (9.0%), French Canadian (8.7%), and American (5.6%).
New Hampshire has the highest percentage (23.4%) of residents with French/French-Canadian/Acadian ancestry of any U.S. state.
According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey estimates from 2015, 2.1% of the population aged 5 and older speak Spanish at home, while 1.8% speak French. In Coos County, 9.6% of the population speaks French at home, down from 16% in 2000.
Note: Percentages in table do not add up to 100, because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number.
A Pew survey showed that the religious affiliations of the people of New Hampshire was as follows: Protestant 30%, Catholic 26%, LDS (Mormon) 1%, Jewish 1%, Jehovah’s Witness 2% and non-religious at 36%.
A survey suggests people in New Hampshire and Vermont are less likely than other Americans to attend weekly services and only 54% say that they are “absolutely certain there is a God” compared to 71% in the rest of the nation. New Hampshire and Vermont are also at the lowest levels among states in religious commitment. In 2012, 23% of New Hampshire residents in a Gallup poll considered themselves “very religious”, while 52% considered themselves “non-religious”. According to the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) the largest denominations are the Catholic Church with 311,028 members; The United Church of Christ with 26,321 members; and the United Methodist Church with 18,029 members.
In 2016, a Gallup Poll found that New Hampshire was the least religious state in the United States. Only 20% of respondents in New Hampshire categorized themselves as “very religious,” while the nationwide average was 40%, and the highest rate was 63% in Mississippi. Only 46% of New Hampshire residents cited religion as being important in their daily lives compared to 85% in Mississippi.
Experts theorize that this stark contrast is due to differences in both quality of life and ethnic diversity among the two states. A 2014 study found that a state’s religiosity declined with increased economic development. The same study found that the most significant predictor of a state’s religiosity were the state’s Human Development Index (HDI) and African American population, as African Americans are significantly more religious than the rest of the population. Consistent with these findings, the Northeast region has the highest HDI, and New Hampshire in particular had the highest median income and lowest poverty rate in the United States according to the 2016 U.S. Census. Mississippi had the lowest median income in the country. Additionally, African Americans only make up about 1.7% of New Hampshire’s population, while they make up 37.8% of Mississippi’s population.
Although rates of religiosity in New Hampshire are striking against rates in Mississippi, this rate is consistent with the trends in other states in New England. Gallup identified the Northeast as one of the least religious regions in the country. Vermont was the second least religious state with only 22% identifying as “very religious,” while only 26% and 27% identified as such in Maine and Massachusetts respectively.
Despite the state’s low rates of religious practice today, New Hampshire has a fascinating religious history. Until 1819, the state designated “town churches”- churches of officially recognized denominations that were granted public tax funding at annual town meetings. The state recognized five denominations- Congregational, Presbyterian, Quaker, Baptist and the Church of England. The Toleration Act in 1819 officially ended the practice of town churches in order to promote religious freedom and equality.
In 1821, Mary Baker Eddy, a prominent religious figure and founder of Christian Science, was born in a farmhouse in Bow, and lived most of her life in New Hampshire.
Zip Code Map
New Hampshire neighborhoods include: Albany, Alexandria, Allenstown, Alstead, Alton, Amherst, Andover, Antrim, Ashland, Atkinson, Auburn, Barnstead, Barrington, Bath, Bedford, Belmont, Bennington, Benton, Berlin, Bethlehem, Boscawen, Bow, Bradford, Brentwood, Bristol, Brookfield, Brookline, Campton, Canaan, Candia, Canterbury, Center Harbor, Center Ossipee, Charlestown, Chichester, Claremont, Colebrook, Concord, Contoocook, Conway, Cornish, Croydon, Deerfield, Deering, Derry, Dorchester, Dover, Dublin, Dummer, Dunbarton, Durham, East Hampstead, East Wakefield, Effingham, Enfield, Epping, Epsom, Exeter, Francestown, Franconia, Franklin, Freedom, Fremont, Gilford, Gilmanton, Gilmanton Iron Works, Gilsum, Goffstown, Gorham, Grafton, Grantham, Greenfield, Greenland, Greenville, Groveton, Hampstead, Hampton, Hampton Falls, Hanover, Harrisville, Haverhill, Hebron, Henniker, Hillsborough, Hinsdale, Holderness, Hollis, Hooksett, Hopkinton, Hudson, Jackson, Jaffrey, Keene, Kensington, Kingston, Laconia, Lancaster, Landaff, Langdon, Lee, Lempster, Lisbon, Litchfield, Littleton, Londonderry, Loudon, Lyme, Lyndeborough, Madbury, Madison, Manchester, Marlborough, Marlow, Mason, Meredith, Meriden, Merrimack, Middleton, Milan, Milford, Milton, Mont Vernon, Munsonville, Nashua, Nelson, New Boston, Newbury, New Castle, Newfields, Newington, New Ipswich, New London, Newmarket, Newport, Newton, Northfield, North Hampton, North Haverhill, North Stratford, Northwood, Nottingham, Orange, Orford, Ossipee, Pelham, Pembroke, Penacook, Peterborough, Piermont, Pike, Pittsfield, Plainfield, Plaistow, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Rindge, Rochester, Rumney, Rye, Salem, Salisbury, Sanbornton, Sanbornville, Seabrook, Sharon, Silver Lake, South Acworth, Springfield, Stoddard, Strafford, Stratham, Sugar Hill, Sunapee, Suncook, Surry, Swanzey, Thornton, Tilton, Troy, Union, Warner, Washington, Weare, West Chesterfield, West Ossipee, Whitefield, Wilmot, Wilton, Winchester, Windham, Windsor, Wolfeboro, Woodsville
For more information, see New Hampshire wiki