Deaths exceed NH births but migration boosts population

DURHAM, N.H. (AP) — Newcomers from other states continue to be the key to population growth in New Hampshire.

The latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates show that New Hampshire’s population grew by 6,200 between July 2018 and July 2019, for a total of 1.36 million. With fewer births than deaths, migration accounted for all of the state’s population growth.

Ken Johnson, senior demographer at the University of New Hampshire, says most of the gain has come because more people are moving into New Hampshire from other states than leaving it.

Though the migration gains are modest compared to the influx of the 1980s and 1990s, it’s a turnaround from earlier in the decade when more people moved out of the state than moved in.

“In a state where deaths now exceed births, migration is critical to New Hampshire’s future,” he said.

New Hampshire was one of only four states in which deaths exceeded births last year. The others were West Virginia, Maine, and Vermont.

Johnson said deaths have increased because of the state’s growing senior population, though drug-related deaths among young adults also are contributing to the trend.

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