Hampshire 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 land area and the 10th least populous of the 50 states.
In January 1776, it became the first of the British North American
colonies to establish a government independent of the Kingdom of Great
Britain's authority, and it was the first to establish its own state
constitution. Six months later, it became one of the original 13
states that founded the
United States of America, and in June 1788 it
was the ninth state to ratify the Constitution, bringing that document
Concord is the state capital, while Manchester is the largest city in
the state. It has no general sales tax, nor is personal income (other
than interest and dividends) taxed at either the state or local level.
New Hampshire primary
New Hampshire primary is the first primary in the U.S.
presidential election cycle. Its license plates carry the state motto,
"Live Free or Die". The state's nickname, "The
Granite State", refers
to its extensive granite formations and quarries.
Among prominent individuals from New
Hampshire are founding father
Nicholas Gilman, Senator Daniel Webster, Revolutionary War hero John
Stark, editor Horace Greeley, founder of the Christian Science
religion Mary Baker Eddy, poet Robert Frost, astronaut Alan Shepard,
rock musician Ronnie James Dio, author Dan Brown, actor Adam Sandler,
inventor Dean Kamen, comedians
Sarah Silverman and Seth Meyers,
restaurateurs Richard and Maurice McDonald, and President of the
United States Franklin Pierce.
With some of the largest ski mountains on the East Coast, New
Hampshire's major recreational attractions include skiing,
snowmobiling, and other winter sports, hiking and mountaineering,
observing the fall foliage, summer cottages along many lakes and the
seacoast, motor sports at the New
Hampshire Motor Speedway, and
Motorcycle Week, a popular motorcycle rally held in Weirs Beach near
Laconia in June. The
White Mountain National Forest
White Mountain National Forest links the Vermont
Maine portions of the Appalachian Trail, and has the Mount
Washington Auto Road, where visitors may drive to the top of
6,288-foot (1,917 m) Mount Washington.
2.2 Metropolitan areas
4.2 Birth data
6 Law and government
6.1 Governing documents
6.2 Branches of government
6.3 Local government
6.4.2 Election results
6.4.3 Free State Project
7.3 Public transportation
7.4 Freight railways
8.1 High schools
8.2 Colleges and universities
9.1 Daily newspapers
9.2 Other publications
9.3 Radio stations
9.4 Television stations
11.1 In fiction
12 Notable residents or natives
14 See also
16 Further reading
17 External links
The state was named after the southern English county of
Captain John Mason.
New Hampshire, showing roads, rivers and major cities
Shaded relief map of New Hampshire
Mount Adams (5,774 ft or 1,760 m) is part of New Hampshire's
Lake Winnipesaukee and the Ossipee Mountains
See also: List of counties in New Hampshire, List of mountains in New
Hampshire, List of lakes in New Hampshire, List of rivers in New
Hampshire, and Geology of New Hampshire
Hampshire is part of the
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,
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, with Mount Washington the tallest in the
northeastern U.S. – site of the second-highest wind speed ever
recorded – and other mountains like
Mount Madison and Mount
Adams surrounding it. 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
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
(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.
Piscataqua River and its several tributaries form the state's only
significant ocean port where they flow into the Atlantic at
Salmon Falls River
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
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 km2) in the east-central part of New
Umbagog Lake along the
Maine border, approximately 12.3
square miles (31.9 km2), is a distant second.
Squam Lake is the
second largest lake entirely in New Hampshire.
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
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
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.
Rivers of New Hampshire
Androscoggin River Watershed
Dead Diamond River
East Branch Dead Diamond River
Little Dead Diamond River
Little Magalloway River
Middle Branch Dead Diamond River
Middle Branch Little Magalloway River
South Branch Little Dead Diamond River
Swift Diamond River
West Branch Dead Diamond River
West Branch Little Dead Diamond River
West Branch Little Magalloway River
West Branch Magalloway River
West Branch Peabody River
Connecticut River Watershed
East Branch Mohawk River
Little Sugar River
North Branch Gale River
North Branch Millers River
North Branch Sugar River
North Branch Upper Ammonoosuc River
South Branch Ashuelot River
South Branch Gale River
South Branch Israel River
South Branch Sugar River
Upper Ammonoosuc River
West Branch Mohawk River
West Branch Upper Ammonoosuc River
Wild Ammonoosuc River
Merrimack River Watershed
East Branch Baker River
East Branch Pemigewasset River
Little Massabesic Brook-Sucker Brook
Little River (Big River)
Little River (Merrimack River)
Little Suncook River
Middle Branch Piscataquog River
North Branch Contoocook River
North Fork East Branch Pemigewasset River
Red Hill River
South Branch Baker River
South Branch Piscataquog River
South Branch Souhegan River
West Branch Mad River
West Branch Souhegan River
West Branch Warner River
Piscataqua River/NH Atlantic Coast Watershed
Hampton Falls River
Little River (New
Hampshire Atlantic coast)
Little River (Brentwood)
Little River (Exeter)
Little River (Lamprey River)
North Branch River
Salmon Falls River
Saco River Watershed
Cold River (Bearcamp River)
Dan Hole River
East Branch Saco River
East Branch Whiteface River
East Fork East Branch Saco River
Little Cold River
Middle Branch Mad River
South Branch Mad River
Swift River (Bearcamp River)
Swift River (Saco River)
Mountains of New Hampshire
New Ipswich Mountain
North Pack Monadnock
Middle Carter Mountain
Middle Moriah Mountain
North Carter Mountain
Shelburne Moriah Mountain
South Carter Mountain
Black Crescent Mountain
Little Haystack Mountain
The Cannon Balls
North Bald Cap
North Twin Mountain
South Twin Mountain
Others (White Mtns.)
East Peak Mount Osceola
Mount Starr King
North Moat Mountain
Owl's Head (Carroll)
Owl's Head (Franconia)
Blue Job Mountain
Köppen climate map of New Hampshire
During autumn, the leaves on many hardwood trees in New
colors, attracting many tourists.
A winter view of an apple orchard in Hollis, New Hampshire
Hampshire experiences a humid continental climate (Köppen climate
classification Dfa in some southern areas, Dfb in most of the state,
and Dfc Subarctic in some northern highland areas), with warm, humid
summers, and long, cold, and snowy winters. Precipitation is fairly
evenly distributed all year. The climate of the southeastern portion
is moderated by the
Atlantic Ocean and averages relatively milder
winters (for New Hampshire), while the northern and interior portions
experience colder temperatures and lower humidity. Winters are cold
and snowy throughout the state, and especially severe in the northern
and mountainous areas. Average annual snowfall ranges from 60 inches
(150 cm) to over 100 inches (250 cm) across the state.
Average daytime highs are in the mid 70s°F to low 80s°F (around
24–28 °C) throughout the state in July, with overnight lows in
the mid 50s°F to low 60s°F (13–15 °C). January temperatures
range from an average high of 34 °F (1 °C) on the coast to
overnight lows below 0 °F (−18 °C) in the far north and
at high elevations. Average annual precipitation statewide is roughly
40 inches (100 cm) with some variation occurring in the White
Mountains due to differences in elevation and annual snowfall. New
Hampshire's highest recorded temperature was 106 °F
(41 °C) in Nashua on July 4, 1911, while the lowest recorded
temperature was −47 °F (−44 °C) atop Mount Washington
on January 29, 1934. Mount Washington also saw an unofficial
−50 °F (−46 °C) reading on January 22, 1885, which, if
made official, would tie the all-time record low for
New England (also
−50 °F (−46 °C) at Big Black River, Maine, on January
16, 2009, and Bloomfield,
Vermont on December 30, 1933).
Extreme snow is often associated with a nor'easter, such as the
Blizzard of '78 and the Blizzard of 1993, when several feet
accumulated across portions of the state over 24 to 48 hours. Lighter
snowfalls of several inches occur frequently throughout winter, often
associated with an Alberta Clipper.
New Hampshire, on occasion, is affected by hurricanes and tropical
storms although by the time they reach the state they are often
extratropical, with most storms striking the southern New England
coastline and moving inland or passing by offshore in the Gulf of
Maine. Most of New
Hampshire averages fewer than 20 days of
thunderstorms per year and an average of two tornadoes occur annually
National Arbor Day Foundation
National Arbor Day Foundation plant hardiness zone map depicts
zones 3, 4, 5, and 6 occurring throughout the state and indicates
the transition from a relatively cooler to warmer climate as one
travels southward across New Hampshire. The 1990
USDA plant hardiness
zones for New
Hampshire range from zone 3b in the north to zone 5b in
Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures for selected cities in
See also: List of cities in New Hampshire
Metropolitan areas in the
New England region are defined by the U.S.
Census Bureau as
New England City and Town Areas (NECTAs). The
following is a list of NECTAs in New Hampshire:
Lebanon – Hartford, VT
Nashua Metropolitan Division (part of
Boston metropolitan area)
Rochester – Dover
From "The New
Hampshire Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau".
Archived from the original on January 11, 2008. Retrieved June 16,
Main article: History of New Hampshire
Site of first house in New Hampshire, present mansion constructed in
1750, by Gov. W. B. Wentworth, New York Public Library
Fort William and Mary
Fort William and Mary in 1705
1922 map of New
Hampshire published in the bulletin of the Brown
Company in Berlin
Various Algonquin-speaking Abenaki tribes, largely divided between the
Pennacook nations, inhabited the area before European
settlement. Despite the similar language, they had a very
different culture and religion from other Algonquin peoples. English
and French explorers visited New
Hampshire in 1600–1605, and David
Thompson settled at Odiorne's Point in present-day Rye in 1623. The
first permanent settlement was at Hilton's Point (present-day Dover).
By 1631, the Upper Plantation comprised modern-day Dover, Durham and
Stratham; in 1679, it became the "Royal Province". Father Rale's War
was fought between the colonists and the Wabanaki Confederacy
throughout New Hampshire.
Hampshire was one of the thirteen colonies that rebelled against
British rule during the American Revolution. By the time of the
American Revolution, New
Hampshire was a divided province. The
economic and social life of the Seacoast region revolved around
sawmills, shipyards, merchants' warehouses, and established village
and town centers. Wealthy merchants built substantial homes, furnished
them with the finest luxuries, and invested their capital in trade and
land speculation. At the other end of the social scale, there
developed a permanent class of day laborers, mariners, indentured
servants and even slaves.
The only battle fought in New
Hampshire was the raid on Fort William
and Mary, December 14, 1774, in Portsmouth Harbor, which netted the
rebellion sizable quantities of gunpowder, small arms and cannon.
(General Sullivan, leader of the raid, described it as, "remainder of
the powder, the small arms, bayonets, and cartouche-boxes, together
with the cannon and ordnance stores") over the course of two nights.
This raid was preceded by a warning to local patriots the previous
Paul Revere on December 13, 1774, that the fort was to be
reinforced by troops sailing from Boston. According to unverified
accounts, the gunpowder was later used at the Battle of Bunker Hill,
transported there by Major Demerit, who was one of several New
Hampshire patriots who stored the powder in their homes until it was
transported elsewhere for use in revolutionary activities. During the
raid, the British soldiers fired upon the rebels with cannon and
muskets. Although there were apparently no casualties, these were
among the first shots in the American Revolutionary period, occurring
approximately five months before the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
United States Constitution was ratified by New
Hampshire on June
21, 1788, when New
Hampshire became the ninth state to do so.
Hampshire was a Jacksonian stronghold; the state sent Franklin
Pierce to the White House in the election of 1852. Industrialization
took the form of numerous textile mills, which in turn attracted large
flows of immigrants from
Quebec (the "French Canadians") and Ireland.
The northern parts of the state produced lumber, and the mountains
provided tourist attractions. After 1960, the textile industry
collapsed, but the economy rebounded as a center of high technology
and as a service provider.
Starting in 1952, New
Hampshire gained national and international
attention for its presidential primary held early in every
presidential election year. It immediately became the most important
testing grounds for candidates for the Republican and Democratic
nominations. The media gave New
Hampshire (and Iowa) about half of all
the attention paid to all states in the primary process, magnifying
the state's decision powers (and spurring repeated efforts by
out-of-state politicians to change the rules.)
Hampshire population density
United States Census Bureau estimates the population of New
Hampshire was 1,342,795 on July 1, 2017, a 2.00% increase since the
United States Census. The center of population of New
Hampshire is located 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 that the fastest growth in the
state has been along its southern border, which is within commuting
Boston and other
Largest reported ancestry groups in New
Hampshire by town. Dark purple
indicates Irish, light purple English, pink French (self-identified
but ancestry Quebecois), turquoise French Canadian, dark blue Italian,
and light blue German. Grey indicates townships with no reported
population as of 2013.
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:
White: 93.9% (92.3% non-Hispanic)
Black or African American: 1.1%
American Indian and
Alaska Native: 0.2%
Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander: approx. 0.0%
Other race: 0.9%
Two or more races: 1.6%
Hampshire Racial Breakdown of Population
Black or African American
American Indian and
Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander
Two or more races
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%).
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
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: Births in table don't add up, because Hispanics are counted both
by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number.
Live Births by Race/Ethnicity of Mother
> Non-Hispanic White
Hispanic (of any race)
Total New Hampshire
Religion in New Hampshire
A Pew survey showed that the religious affiliations of the people of
Hampshire was as follows: Protestant 30%, Catholic 26%, LDS
(Mormon) 1%, Jewish 1%, Jehovah's Witness 2% and non-religious at
A survey suggests that 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
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 Roman Catholic
Church with 311,028 members; The
United Church of Christ
United Church of Christ with 26,321
members; and the
United Methodist Church
United Methodist Church with 18,029 members.
See also: New
Hampshire locations by per capita income
Bureau of Economic Analysis
Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that New Hampshire's total
state product in 2014 was $66 billion, ranking 40th in the United
Median household income
Median household income in 2008 was $49,467, the seventh
highest in the country. Its agricultural outputs are dairy products,
nursery stock, cattle, apples and eggs. Its industrial outputs are
machinery, electric equipment, rubber and plastic products and
Hampshire experienced a significant shift in its economic base
during the last century. Historically, the base was composed of the
New England manufactures of textiles, shoe making, and
small machining shops drawing upon low-wage labor from nearby small
farms and from parts of Quebec. Today, these sectors contribute only
2% for textiles, 2% for leather goods, and 9% for machining of the
state's total manufacturing dollar value (Source: U.S. Economic Census
for 1997, Manufacturing, New Hampshire). They experienced a sharp
decline due to obsolete plants and the lure of cheaper wages in the
The state's budget in FY2008 was $5.11 billion, including $1.48
billion in federal funds. The issue of taxation is controversial in
New Hampshire, which has a property tax (subject to municipal control)
but no broad sales tax or income tax. The state does have narrower
taxes on meals, lodging, vehicles, business and investment income, and
tolls on state roads.
According to the Energy Information Administration, New Hampshire's
energy consumption and per capita energy consumption are among the
lowest in the country. The Seabrook Station Nuclear Power Plant,
located near Portsmouth, is the largest nuclear reactor in New England
and provides about 30 percent of New Hampshire's electricity. Two
natural gas-fired plants and some fossil-fuel powered plants,
including the coal-fired Merrimack Station plant in Bow, provide most
of the rest.
New Hampshire's residential electricity use is low compared with the
national average, in part because demand for air conditioning is low
during the generally mild summer months and because few households use
electricity as their primary energy source for home heating. Over half
Hampshire households use fuel oil for winter heating. New
Hampshire has potential for renewable energies like wind power,
hydroelectricity, and wood fuel.
The state has no general sales tax and no personal state income tax
(the state does tax, at a 5 percent rate, income from dividends and
interest), and the legislature has exercised fiscal restraint. Efforts
to diversify the state's general economy have been ongoing.
New Hampshire's lack of a broad-based tax system has resulted in the
state's local communities having some of the nation's highest property
taxes. However, the state's overall tax burden is relatively low; in
Hampshire ranked 44th highest among states in combined
average state and local tax burden.
As of February 2010, the state's unemployment rate was 7.1%. By
October 2010, the unemployment rate dropped to 5.4%.
According to a 2013 study by Phoenix Marketing International, New
Hampshire had the eighth-highest number of millionaires per capita in
the United States, with a ratio of 6.48 percent. In 2013, New
Hampshire also had the nation's lowest poverty rate at just 8.7% of
all residents according to the Census Bureau.
Law and government
Treemap of the popular vote by county, 2016 presidential election.
Hampshire State House in Concord
Main article: Government of New Hampshire
The governor of New Hampshire, as of January 5, 2017, is Chris Sununu
(Republican). New Hampshire's two U.S. senators are
Jeanne Shaheen and
Maggie Hassan (both Democrats). New Hampshire's two U.S.
Carol Shea-Porter and
Ann McLane Kuster
Ann McLane Kuster (both
Hampshire is an alcoholic beverage control state, and through the
State Liquor Commission it takes in $100 million from the sale and
distribution of liquor.
Hampshire is the only state in the US that does not require adults
to wear seat belts in their vehicles.
Hampshire State Constitution of 1783 is the supreme law of the
state, followed by the New
Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated and
Hampshire Code of Administrative Rules. These are roughly
analogous to the federal
United States Constitution, United States
Code of Federal Regulations
Code of Federal Regulations respectively.
Branches of government
Hampshire has a bifurcated executive branch, consisting of the
governor and a five-member executive council which votes on state
contracts worth more than $5,000 and "advises and consents" to the
governor's nominations to major state positions such as department
heads and all judgeships and pardon requests. New
Hampshire does not
have a lieutenant governor; the Senate president serves as "acting
governor" whenever the governor is unable to perform the duties.
The legislature is called the General Court. It consists of the House
of Representatives and the Senate. There are 400 representatives,
making it one of the largest elected bodies in the English-speaking
world, and 24 senators. Most are effectively volunteers, nearly
half of which are retirees. (For details, see the article on
Government of New Hampshire.)
The state's sole appellate court is the New
Hampshire Supreme Court.
The Superior Court is the court of general jurisdiction and the only
court which provides for jury trials in civil or criminal cases. The
other state courts are the Probate Court, District Court, and the
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Hampshire has 10 counties and 234 cities and towns.
Hampshire is a "Dillon Rule" state, meaning that the state retains
all powers not specifically granted to municipalities. Even so, the
legislature strongly favors local control, particularly with regard to
land use regulations. New
Hampshire municipalities are classified as
towns or cities, which differ primarily by the form of government.
Most towns generally operate on the town meeting form of government,
where the registered voters in the town act as the town legislature,
and a board of selectmen acts as the executive of the town. Larger
towns and the state's thirteen cities operate either on a
council-manager or council-mayor form of government. There is no
difference, from the point of view of the state government, between
towns and cities besides the form of government. All state-level
statutes treat all municipalities identically.
Hampshire has a small number of unincorporated areas that are
titled as grants, locations, purchases, or townships. These locations
have limited to no self-government, and services are generally
provided for them by neighboring towns or the county or state where
needed. As of the 2000 census, there were 25 of these left in New
Hampshire, accounting for a total population of 173 people (as of
2000[update]); several were entirely depopulated. All but two of these
unincorporated areas are located in Coos County.
Main articles: Politics of New
Hampshire and Political party strength
in New Hampshire
Presidential elections results
The Republican Party and the Democratic Party are the two largest
parties in the state. A plurality of voters are registered as
undeclared, and can choose either ballot in the primary and then
regain their undeclared status after voting. The Libertarian Party
had official party status from 1990 to 1996. There is also a program
known as the
Free State Project
Free State Project with the goal of turning New Hampshire
into a libertarian stronghold by suggesting that libertarians move
there so they can concentrate their power. The Libertarian Party
regained ballot access after the 2016 election because the
gubernatorial candidate received over 4% of the vote.
As of February 5, 2016, there were 882,959 registered voters, of whom
389,472 (44.1%) did not declare a political party affiliation, 262,111
(29.7%) were Republican, and 231,376 (26.2%) were Democratic.
Saint Anselm College
Saint Anselm College has held several national debates on campus.
Hampshire is internationally known for the New
the first primary in the quadrennial American presidential election
cycle. State law requires that the
Secretary of State schedule this
election at least one week before any "similar event." However, the
Iowa caucus has preceded the New
Hampshire primary. This primary, as
the nation's first contest that uses the same procedure as the general
election, draws more attention than those in other states, and has
often been decisive in shaping the national contest.
State law permits a town with fewer than 100 residents to open its
polls at midnight, and close when all registered citizens have cast
their ballots. As such, the communities of Dixville Notch in Coos
County and Hart's Location in Carroll County, among others, have
chosen to implement these provisions. Dixville Notch and Hart's
Location are traditionally the first places in both New
the U.S. to vote in presidential primaries and elections.
Nominations for all other partisan offices are decided in a separate
primary election. In Presidential election cycles, this is the second
primary election held in New Hampshire.
Saint Anselm College
Saint Anselm College in Goffstown has become a popular campaign spot
for politicians as well as several national presidential debates
because of its proximity to Manchester-
In the past, New
Hampshire has often voted Republican. Between 1856
and 1988, New
Hampshire cast its electoral votes for the Democratic
presidential ticket six times:
Woodrow Wilson (twice), Franklin D.
Roosevelt (three times), and
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson (once).
Beginning in 1992, New
Hampshire became a swing state in both national
and local elections. The state supported Democrats
Bill Clinton in
1992 and 1996,
John Kerry in 2004,
Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, and
Hillary Clinton in 2016. It was the only state in the country to
switch from supporting Republican
George W. Bush
George W. Bush in the 2000 election
to supporting his Democratic challenger in the 2004 election, when
John Kerry, a senator from neighboring Massachusetts, won the state.
Donald Trump very narrowly lost the state in 2016.
The Democrats dominated elections in New
Hampshire in 2006 and 2008.
In 2006, Democrats won both congressional seats (electing Carol
Shea-Porter in the 1st district and
Paul Hodes in the 2nd district),
re-elected Governor John Lynch, and gained a majority on the Executive
Council and in both houses of the legislature for the first time since
1911. Democrats had not held both the legislature and the governorship
since 1874. Neither U.S. Senate seat was up for a vote in 2006. In
2008, Democrats retained their majorities, governorship, and
Congressional seats; and former governor
Jeanne Shaheen defeated
John E. Sununu
John E. Sununu for the U.S. Senate in a rematch
of the 2002 contest.
The 2008 elections resulted in women holding a majority, 13 of the 24
seats, in the New
Hampshire Senate, a first for any legislative body
in the United States.
In the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans made historic gains in New
Hampshire, capturing veto-proof majorities in the state legislature,
taking all five seats in the Executive Council, electing a new U.S.
senator, Kelly Ayotte, winning both U.S. House seats, and reducing the
margin of victory of incumbent Governor John Lynch compared to his
2006 and 2008 landslide wins.
In the 2012 state legislative elections, Democrats took back the New
Hampshire House of Representatives and narrowed the Republican
majority in the
New Hampshire Senate
New Hampshire Senate to 13–11. In 2012, New
Hampshire became the first state in U.S. history to elect an
all-female federal delegation: Democratic Congresswomen Carol
Shea-Porter of Congressional District 1 and
Ann McLane Kuster
Ann McLane Kuster of
Congressional District 2 accompanied U.S. Senators
Jeanne Shaheen and
Kelly Ayotte in 2013. Further, the state elected its second female
governor: Democrat Maggie Hassan.
In the 2014 elections, Republicans retook the New
Hampshire House of
Representatives with a 239–160 majority and expanded their majority
New Hampshire Senate
New Hampshire Senate to 14 of the Senate's 24 seats. On the
national level, incumbent Democratic Senator
Jeanne Shaheen defeated
her Republican challenger, former
Massachusetts senator Scott Brown.
Hampshire also elected
Frank Guinta (R) for its First
Congressional District representative and
Ann Kuster (D) for its
Second Congressional District representative.
In the 2016 elections, Republicans held the New
Hampshire House of
Representatives with a majority of 220–175, and held onto their 14
seats in the New
Hampshire Senate. In the gubernatorial race, retiring
Maggie Hassan was succeeded by Republican Chris Sununu, who
defeated Democratic nominee Colin Van Ostern. Sununu became the
state's first Republican governor since Craig Benson, who left office
in 2005 following defeat by John Lynch. Republicans control the
governor's office and both chambers of the state legislature, a
governing trifecta in which the Republicans have full governing
power. In the presidential race, the state voted for the
Democratic nominee, former
Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton over the
Republican nominee, Donald Trump, by a margin of 2,736 votes, or 0.3%,
one of the closest results the state has ever seen in a presidential
race, while Libertarian nominee
Gary Johnson received 4.12% of the
vote. The Democrats also won a competitive race in the Second
Congressional District, as well as a competitive senate race. New
Hampshire's congressional delegation currently consists of exclusively
Democrats. It is one of only seven states with an entirely Democratic
delegation, five of which are in
New England (the others are Delaware
Free State Project
Main article: Free State Project
Free State Project
Free State Project seeks to entice 20,000 individuals with
libertarian-leaning views to move to New
Hampshire with the intent of
reducing the size and scope of government at the local, state and
federal levels through active participation in the political process.
On February 3, 2016, the project reached its goal of 20,000
Free State Project
Free State Project holds the annual New Hampshire
Liberty Forum and the annual Porcupine Freedom Festival, also
known as PorcFest.
Hampshire has a well-maintained, well-signed network of Interstate
highways, U.S. highways, and state highways. State highway markers
still depict the
Old Man of the Mountain
Old Man of the Mountain despite that rock formation's
demise in 2003. Several route numbers align with the same route
numbers in neighboring states. State highway numbering does not
indicate the highway's direction. Major routes include:
Interstate 89 runs northwest from near Concord to Lebanon on the
Interstate 93 is the main Interstate highway in New
runs north from Salem (on the
Massachusetts border) to Littleton (on
Vermont border). I-93 connects the more densely populated southern
part of the state to the Lakes Region and the White Mountains further
to the north.
Interstate 95 runs north–south briefly along New Hampshire's
seacoast to serve the city of Portsmouth, before entering Maine
U.S. Route 1
U.S. Route 1 runs north–south briefly along New Hampshire's
seacoast to the east of and paralleling I-95.
U.S. Route 2
U.S. Route 2 runs east–west through Coos County from Maine,
intersecting Route 16, skirting the White Mountain National Forest
passing through Jefferson and into Vermont.
U.S. Route 3
U.S. Route 3 is the longest numbered route in the state, and the only
one to run completely through the state from the
to the Canada–US border. It generally parallels Interstate 93. South
of Manchester, it takes a more westerly route through Nashua. North of
Franconia Notch, U.S. 3 takes a more easterly route, before
terminating at the Canada–US border.
U.S. Route 4
U.S. Route 4 terminates at the
Portsmouth Traffic Circle and runs
east–west across the southern part of the state connecting Durham,
Concord, Boscawen and Lebanon.
Hampshire Route 16 is a major north–south highway in the
eastern part of the state that generally parallels the border with
Maine, eventually entering
Maine Route 16. The southernmost
portion of NH 16 is a four-lane freeway, co-signed with U.S. Route 4.
Hampshire Route 101 is a major east–west highway in the
southern part of the state that connects Keene with Manchester and the
Seacoast region. East of Manchester, NH 101 is a four-lane, limited
access highway that runs to Hampton Beach and I-95.
Further information: New
Hampshire Highway System
Hampshire has 25 public-use airports, three with some scheduled
commercial passenger service. The busiest airport by number of
passengers handled is Manchester-
Boston Regional Airport in Manchester
and Londonderry, which serves the Greater
Boston metropolitan area.
Further information: List of airports in New Hampshire
Long-distance intercity passenger rail service is provided by Amtrak's
Vermonter and Downeaster lines.
Greyhound, Concord Coach,
Vermont Translines and Dartmouth Coach all
provide intercity bus connections to and from points in New Hampshire
and to long-distance points beyond and in between.
As of 2013[update], Boston-centered
MBTA Commuter Rail
MBTA Commuter Rail services reach
only as far as northern Massachusetts. The New
Hampshire Rail Transit
Authority is working to extend "Capital Corridor" service from Lowell,
Massachusetts, to Nashua, Concord, and Manchester, including
Boston Regional Airport; and "Coastal Corridor" service
from Haverhill, Massachusetts, to Plaistow, New Hampshire.
Legislation in 2007 created the New
Hampshire Rail Transit Authority
(NHRTA) with the goal of overseeing the development of commuter rail
in the state of New Hampshire. In 2011, Governor John Lynch vetoed HB
218, a bill passed by Republican lawmakers, which would have
drastically curtailed the powers and responsibilities of
NHRTA. The I-93 Corridor transit study suggested a rail
alternative along the Manchester and Lawrence branch line which could
provide freight and passenger service. This rail corridor would
also have access to Manchester-
Boston Regional Airport.
Eleven public transit authorities operate local and regional bus
services around the state, and eight private carriers operate express
bus services which link with the national intercity bus network.
Hampshire Department of Transportation operates a statewide
ride-sharing match service, in addition to independent ride matching
and guaranteed ride home programs.
Tourist railroads include the Conway Scenic Railroad,
Hobo-Winnipesaukee Railroad, and the Mount Washington Cog Railway.
Freight railways in New
Hampshire include Claremont & Concord
Pan Am Railways
Pan Am Railways via subsidiary Springfield Terminal
Railway (ST), the
New England Central Railroad (NHCR), the St.
Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad (SLR), and New
Further information: List of New
Dartmouth College's Baker Library
Thompson Hall, at UNH, was built in 1892.
See also: List of high schools in New Hampshire
The first public high schools in the state were the Boys' High School
and the Girls' High School of Portsmouth, established either in 1827
or 1830 depending on the source.
Hampshire has more than 80 public high schools, many of which
serve more than one town. The largest is
Pinkerton Academy in Derry,
which is owned by a private non-profit organization and serves as the
public high school of a number of neighboring towns. There are at
least 30 private high schools in the state.
Hampshire public schools with a Web presence
Hampshire is also the home of several prestigious
university-preparatory schools, such as Phillips Exeter Academy, St.
Paul's School, Brewster Academy, and Kimball Union Academy.
In 2008 the state tied with
Massachusetts as having the highest scores
on the SAT and ACT standardized tests given to high school
Colleges and universities
Main article: List of colleges and universities in New Hampshire
Antioch University New England
Community College System of New Hampshire:
Great Bay Community College
Lakes Region Community College
Manchester Community College
Nashua Community College
NHTI, Concord's Community College
River Valley Community College
White Mountains Community College
Tuck School of Business
Geisel School of Medicine
Thayer School of Engineering
Franklin Pierce University
Hellenic American University
New England College
Hampshire Institute of Art
Northeast Catholic College
Saint Anselm College
Thomas More College of Liberal Arts
University System of New Hampshire:
University of New Hampshire
University of New
Hampshire School of Law
University of New
Hampshire at Manchester
Granite State College
Keene State College
Plymouth State University
Main article: List of newspapers in New Hampshire
Berlin Daily Sun
Conway Daily Sun
The Dartmouth of Dartmouth College/Hanover
Eagle Times of Claremont
Eagle Tribune (Lawrence,
Massachusetts area, including parts of
southern New Hampshire)
Foster's Daily Democrat
Foster's Daily Democrat of Dover
Laconia Daily Sun
Hampshire Union Leader of Manchester, formerly known as the
The Portsmouth Herald
The Telegraph of Nashua
The Sun (Lowell,
Massachusetts area, including parts of southern New
Valley News of Lebanon
Area News Group
The Cabinet Press
Carriage Towne News (covering Kingston and surrounding towns)
The Exeter News-Letter
The Hampton Union
Hippo Press (covering Manchester, Nashua and Concord)
Manchester Ink Link
Hampshire (University of New
Hampshire student newspaper)
Hampshire Business Review
Hampshire Free Press
Hampshire Gazette (Portsmouth alternative biweekly)
Hampshire Herald (Manchester alternative biweekly)
NH Living Magazine
Salmon Press Newspapers (family of weekly newspapers covering Lakes
Region & North Country)
See List of radio stations in New Hampshire.
Main article: List of television stations in New Hampshire
ABC affiliate WMUR, Channel 9, Manchester
PBS affiliate WENH, Channel 11, Durham (New
Television); repeater stations in Keene and Littleton
Justice Network affiliate WWJE, Channel 50, Derry/Manchester
Ion Television station WPXG, Channel 21, Concord (satellite of WBPX in
The following professional and professional development sports teams
are located in New Hampshire:
Sport / League
Hampshire Fisher Cats
Eastern League (class AA baseball)
ECHL (ice hockey)
Seacoast United Phantoms
Premier Development League
Premier Development League (soccer)
Professional development (adult)
Independent Women's Football League
NH Olympic Development Program (soccer)
US Soccer Region 1
Professional development (youth: ages 11–17)
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon is an oval track and road
course which has been visited by national motorsport championship
series such as the
NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series, the NASCAR
Xfinity Series, the
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series,
American Canadian Tour
American Canadian Tour (ACT), the
Champ Car and the
IndyCar Series. Other motor racing venues include
Star Speedway and
New England Dragway in Epping, Lee Speedway in Lee, Twin State
Speedway in Claremont,
Monadnock Speedway in Winchester and Canaan
Fair Speedway in Canaan.
Hampshire has two
NCAA Division I
NCAA Division I teams: the Dartmouth Big Green
(Ivy League) and the New
Hampshire Wildcats (America East Conference),
as well as three Division II teams:
Franklin Pierce Ravens, Saint
Anselm Hawks and Southern New
Hampshire Penmen (Northeast-10
Seacoast United Phantoms
Seacoast United Phantoms are a soccer team based in Hampton, New
Hampshire. Founded in 1996, the team plays in the USL Premier
Development League (PDL), the fourth tier of the American Soccer
Pyramid, in the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference. The team
plays its home games at Amesbury Sports Park, where they have played
Annually since 2002, high-school statewide all-stars compete against
Vermont in ten sports during "Twin State" playoffs.
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In the spring, New Hampshire's many sap houses hold sugaring-off open
houses. In summer and early autumn, New
Hampshire is home to many
county fairs, the largest being the Hopkinton State Fair, in
Contoocook. New Hampshire's Lakes Region is home to many summer camps,
especially around Lake Winnipesaukee, and is a popular tourist
destination. The Peterborough Players have performed every summer in
Hampshire since 1933. The
Barnstormers Theatre in
Tamworth, New Hampshire, founded in 1931, is one of the
longest-running professional summer theaters in the United States.
In September, New
Hampshire is host to the New
Hampshire has also registered an official tartan with the
proper authorities in Scotland, used to make kilts worn by the Lincoln
Police Department while its officers serve during the games. The fall
foliage peaks in mid-October. In the winter, New Hampshire's ski areas
and snowmobile trails attract visitors from a wide area. After the
lakes freeze over they become dotted with ice fishing ice houses,
known locally as bobhouses. Funspot, the world's largest video
arcade (now termed a museum), is located in Laconia.
Bob Montana, the original artist for Archie Comics, attended
Manchester Central High School
Manchester Central High School for a year, and may have based
Riverdale High School in part on Central.
Al Capp, creator of the comic strip Li'l Abner, used to joke that
Dogpatch, the setting for the strip, was based on Seabrook, where he
would vacation with his wife.
A Separate Peace
A Separate Peace (1972) was filmed in Exeter at Phillips Exeter
Academy, alma mater of author John Knowles.
Animal House (1978) is said to be inspired by Dartmouth College, alma
mater of one of the scriptwriters, Chris Miller.
On Golden Pond (1981) was filmed and takes place at Squam Lake.
The World According to Garp
The World According to Garp (1982), although filmed elsewhere, is set
in a thinly disguised Phillips Exeter, alma mater of author John
What About Bob?
What About Bob? (1991) takes place primarily at
Lake Winnipesaukee but
was actually filmed in Virginia.
Jumanji (1995) was filmed in Keene.
In Dreams (1999) had location shots filmed in New Castle, showing a
Wentworth-by-the-Sea Hotel before its restoration.
Live Free or Die
Live Free or Die (2006) was filmed in Claremont.
In Your Eyes (2014) was primarily shot in New
Hampshire and partially
takes place in Exeter and Hooksett.
Many novels, plays and screenplays have been set in New Hampshire. The
state has played other roles in fiction, including:
Daniel Webster is a prominent figure in Stephen
Vincent Benét's short story entitled "The Devil and Daniel Webster"
(1937), about a New
Hampshire farmer who sells his soul to the devil
and is defended by Daniel Webster.
Peterborough is the inspiration for the town of Grover's Corners, in
Thornton Wilder's play
Our Town (1938).
The novel Peyton Place (1956) was inspired by the town of Gilmanton.
John Knowles based the Devon School in
A Separate Peace
A Separate Peace (1959) on
Phillips Exeter Academy
Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter.
The prep school in John Irving's
The World According to Garp
The World According to Garp (1978)
was also based on Phillips Exeter Academy. Irving's stepfather was a
faculty member at the school, and Irving is an alumnus; New Hampshire
settings are common in his works, including The Hotel New Hampshire
In the cable television series Breaking Bad, the character Walter
White escapes to a cabin in a fictional county in Northern New
Hampshire, and two of the show's episodes are titled "Live Free or
Die" and "
The Sopranos episode, "Live Free or Die", the character Vito
Spatafore hides out, for a time, from the
New Jersey and New York mob
families in New Hampshire.
The character of Josiah Bartlet, President of the
United States on the
television series The West Wing, was depicted as a two-term New
In the television show Gilmore Girls, characters Rory and Lorelai stay
at a bed and breakfast in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in the episode
"Road Trip to Harvard."
In the "Wag the Hog" episode of Bob's Burgers, Critter mentions he
will be going up to Laconia, New Hampshire, likely for the annual
In an episode of
All in the Family
All in the Family Archie and Edith took a vacation
to, as Archie put it, "the lake with the funny name," Lake
Notable residents or natives
See article List of people from New Hampshire.
On January 5, 1776 at Exeter, the Provincial Congress of New Hampshire
ratified the first independent constitution in the Americas, free of
On June 12, 1800, Fernald's Island in the
Piscataqua River became the
first government-sanctioned US Navy shipyard.
Started in 1822, Dublin's Juvenile Library was the first free public
In 1828, the first women's strike in the nation took place at Dover's
Founded in 1833, the Peterborough Town Library was the first public
library, supported with public funds, in the world.
On August 3, 1852, Center Harbor was the site of the first
intercollegiate athletic event. Harvard defeated Yale in a 2-mile
(3.2 km) rowing race on Lake Winnipesaukee, the first meeting in
a rivalry that continues to this day.
Finished on June 27, 1874, the first trans-Atlantic telecommunications
cable between Europe and America stretched from Balinskelligs Bay,
Ireland, to Rye, New Hampshire.
On February 6, 1901, a group of nine conservationists founded the
Society for the Protection of New
Hampshire Forests, the first
forest-conservation advocacy group in the US.
In 1908, Monsignor
Pierre Hevey organized the nation's first credit
union, "La Caisse Populaire, Ste-Marie" (The People's Bank) in
Manchester, to help mill workers save and borrow money, which is now
St. Mary's Bank.
In 1933, the League of New
Hampshire Craftsmen held the first crafts
fair in the nation.
In July 1944, the Bretton Woods Agreement, the first fully negotiated
system intended to govern monetary relations among independent
nation-states, was signed at the Mount Washington Hotel.
On May 5, 1961,
Alan Shepard of Derry rode a Mercury spacecraft and
became the first American in space.
In 1963, New Hampshire's legislature approved the nation's first
modern state lottery, which began play in 1964.
Ralph Baer of Sanders Associates, Inc., Nashua, recruited
engineers to develop the first home video game.
Christa McAuliffe of Concord became the first private citizen selected
to venture into space. She perished with her six space shuttle
Challenger crewmates on January 28, 1986.
On May 17, 1996, New
Hampshire became the first state in the country
to install a green LED traffic light. New
Hampshire was selected
because it was the first state to install the red and yellow variety
On May 31, 2007, New
Hampshire became "...the first state to recognize
same-sex unions without a court order or the threat of one."
New England portal
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Coordinates: 44°00′N 71°30′W / 44°N 71.5°W / 44;
ISNI: 0000 0004 0414 9988