May 27, 2024 1:12 pm
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Report: NH Sees Significant Decline Child Population

Credit: iStock

Kathryn Carley

New Hampshire experienced one of the country’s greatest percentage declines in child population over the past decade, according to a new report.

The latest census data showed New Hampshire’s child population fell 11% between 2010 and 2020, and analysts said a lack of housing is a big reason.

Phil Sletten, research director for the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute, said housing is unaffordable and unavailable, preventing new families from moving to the state.

“New Hampshire has not built enough housing units since the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009 to keep up with demand,” Sletten pointed out. “Which also spiked during the pandemic.”

Sletten noted the median price of a single-family home in New Hampshire last month was 82% higher than it was six years ago, while the statewide rental vacancy rate for two-bedroom apartments last year fell to 0.3%.

New Hampshire has the second-oldest population in the U.S. and Sletten emphasized investments in education will be key to ensuring there are enough workers to care for the elderly as well as fill the statewide workforce, which remains thousands of workers below its pre-pandemic levels.

“That means that investments in children throughout the state, no matter where they are in the state, will become more important,” Sletten contended.

Census data showed every county in New Hampshire also became more racially and ethnically diverse between 2010 and 2020. More than 20% of New Hampshire’s children identified as being from a race or ethnicity other than white and non-Hispanic in 2020.

This story was written by Kathryn Carley, a producer at Public News Service, where this story first appeared.