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NH's Population Projected to Reach 1.5 Million by 2050

CONCORD, NH – New Hampshire’s population is likely to reach over 1.5 million by 2050, according to a report by the Department of Business and Economic Affairs’ Office of Planning and Development (OPD).

OPD issues population projections every five years; this year’s projection is based on current fertility, mortality, and migration rates, according to Ken Gallager, principal planner with OPD. Gallager notes that the data is not a prediction of the state’s future population, but what is likely if the current factors transpire.

The 2020 U.S. Census count for New Hampshire was 1,377,533 and is projected to reach 1,501,909 in 2050. It will reach a high of 1,511,770 in 2040 but begin to decline over the following decade, due to the aging of the Baby Boom generation.

“The main factor in the growth is migration,” Gallager said. “Between 2020 and 2025, the state is projected to have a net in-migration of 51,600 and we anticipate that in-migration to be consistent – between 50,000 and 52,500 in each 5-year time period.”

A slight increase in the number of births, 65,800 between 2025 and 2030, is projected and will decline to 59,600 between 2045 and 2050, which reflects low fertility rates and declining number of women of childbearing age, he said. Between 2030 and 2050, the number of women of childbearing age will go from 299,300 to 295,800.

New Hampshire is projected to see more deaths than births between 2025 and 2030, reaching a natural decline of 60,500 between 2045 to 2050. Except for Strafford County, all counties are projected to lose population after 2045.

These population projection reports that come out every five years are greatly anticipated, Gallager said.

“There is great interest in them because municipalities use the data for planning the future and where their resources will need to be directed,” he said.

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