Is being in an area that’s growing quickly a good thing or a bad thing?
Depends on who you ask. Some want bigger, more exciting cities like Manchester and Nashua, while others want peace and quiet like in Franklin and Berlin, thank you very much.
But today we’re going to put opinions aside and just look at the cold hard facts — over the past five years, which cities in New Hampshire have the grown the fastest.
After getting knee deep in the Census’s American Community Survey, we emerged with this set of cities in the Granite State that have people climbing over each other to get in.
These are the 10 fastest growing cities in New Hampshire for 2018 according to the most recent census data:
- Dover (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Lebanon (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Portsmouth (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Rochester (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Manchester (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Nashua (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Keene (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Laconia (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Berlin (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Somersworth (Photos | Homes For Sale)
If you happen to be a resident of Dover, you’re probably not too surprised to find it on our list.
If you’re surprised–and you’re wondering why these places are kind of a big deal–keep reading. We’ll tell you what makes each of these 10 places in New Hampshire are growing like weeds–but first, a bit about our methodology.
How We Measured The Fastest Growing Cities In Granite State
To figure out which cities are growing the most, we simply had to look at the growth rates for cities sine the begining of the decade, according to the American Community Survey put out by the census every year. Specifically:
- Population in 2016
- Population in 2010
- Growth rate from 2010 to 2016 (The latest available data which came out in Dec 2017)
We ranked all 13 New Hampshire cities with a population over 5,000 people from highest growth rate to lowest.
The city with the highest growth rate during this time was crowned the fastest growing city in the Granite State.
And for those of you who are a little rusty with their statistics, you can calculate the growth rate by the following formula:
[Population 2016 – Population 2010] / [Population 2010]
Population: 30,750 Population 2010: 29,679
Growth Rate: 3.61%
Absolute Growth: 1,071
More on Dover: Homes For Sale | Data
Dover is a city in Strafford County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 29,987 at the 2010 census, the largest in the New Hampshire Seacoast region. The population was estimated at 31,153 in 2016. It is the county seat of Strafford County, and home to Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, the Woodman Institute Museum, and the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire.
Population: 13,528 Population 2010: 13,127
Growth Rate: 3.05%
Absolute Growth: 401
More on Lebanon: Homes For Sale | Data
Lebanon locally /lbnn/ is a city in Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 13,151 at the 2010 census and an estimated 13,513 as of 2016. Lebanon is located in western New Hampshire, south of Hanover, near the Connecticut River. It is the home to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Dartmouth Medical School, together comprising the largest medical facility between Boston, Massachusetts and Burlington, Vermont.
Population: 21,458 Population 2010: 20,963
Growth Rate: 2.36%
Absolute Growth: 495
More on Portsmouth: Homes For Sale | Data
Portsmouth is a city in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, in the United States. It is the only city in the county, but only the fourth-largest community, with a population of 21,233 at the 2010 census. As of 2016 the estimated population was 21,485. A historic seaport and popular summer tourist destination, Portsmouth was the home of the Strategic Air Command’s Pease Air Force Base, later converted to Portsmouth International Airport at Pease with limited commercial air service.
Population: 30,052 Population 2010: 29,801
Growth Rate: 0.84%
Absolute Growth: 251
More on Rochester: Homes For Sale | Data
Rochester is a city in Strafford County, New Hampshire, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 29,752, and in 2016 the estimated population was 30,345. The city includes the villages of East Rochester, Gonic, and North Rochester. Rochester is home to Skyhaven Airport
Population: 110,231 Population 2010: 109,791
Growth Rate: 0.4%
Absolute Growth: 440
More on Manchester: Homes For Sale | Data
Manchester is the most populous city in the U.S. state of New Hampshire and the largest city in northern New England, an area comprising the states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 109,565, and its estimated 2016 population was 110,506. It is one of two seats of Hillsborough County (along with Nashua), the state of New Hampshire’s most populous county. Manchester is located near the northern end of the Northeast megalopolis, along the banks of the Merrimack River—which divides the city into eastern and western sections. It was first named by the merchant and inventor Samuel Blodgett (after whom Samuel Blodget Park and Blodget Street in Manchester’s North End are named). Blodget’s vision was to create a great industrial center similar to that of the original Manchester in England, which was the world’s first industrialized city.
Population: 87,279 Population 2010: 87,042
Growth Rate: 0.27%
Absolute Growth: 237
More on Nashua: Homes For Sale | Data
Nashua is a city in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. As of the 2010 census, Nashua had a total population of 86,494, making it the second-largest city in the state (and in the three northern New England states) after Manchester. As of 2016 the population had risen to an estimated 87,882.
Population: 23,537 Population 2010: 23,547
Growth Rate: -0.04%
Absolute Growth: -10
More on Keene: Homes For Sale | Data
Keene is a city in Cheshire County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 23,409 at the 2010 census. It is the seat of Cheshire County.
Population: 16,171 Population 2010: 16,219
Growth Rate: -0.3%
Absolute Growth: -48
More on Laconia: Homes For Sale | Data
Laconia is a city in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 15,951 at the 2010 census, and an estimated 16,470 as of 2016. It is the county seat of Belknap County. Laconia, situated between Lake Winnipesaukee and Winnisquam Lake, includes the villages of Lakeport and Weirs Beach. Each June for nine days beginning on the Saturday of the weekend before Father’s Day and ending on Father’s Day, the city hosts Laconia Motorcycle Week, also more simply known as ‘bike week’, one of the country’s largest rallies, and each winter, the Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby. The city is also the site of the state’s annual Pumpkin Festival since 2015, having organized it after its former home of Keene rejected it due to riots in their neighborhoods in 2014. The city also includes one of the colleges of the Community College System of New Hampshire.
Population: 10,154 Population 2010: 10,208
Growth Rate: -0.53%
Absolute Growth: -54
More on Berlin: Homes For Sale | Data
Berlin /brln/ is a city along the Androscoggin River in Coös County in northern New Hampshire, United States. The population was 10,051 at the 2010 census. It includes the village of Cascade. Located on the edge of the White Mountains, the city’s boundaries extend into the White Mountain National Forest. Berlin is home to the Berlin and Coös County Historical Society’s Moffett House Museum & Genealogy Center, Service Credit Union Heritage Park, the Berlin Fish Hatchery, and the White Mountains Community College, member of the Community College System of New Hampshire.
Population: 11,756 Population 2010: 11,822
Growth Rate: -0.56%
Absolute Growth: -66
More on Somersworth: Homes For Sale | Data
Somersworth is a city in Strafford County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 11,766 at the 2010 census. Somersworth has the smallest area and third-lowest population of New Hampshire’s 13 cities.
These Places Grew Up So Fast, You Know?
So there you have it, the fastest growing cities in New Hampshire are led by Dover which has been growing at a blistering pace this decade relative to other cities and towns around the state.
It’ll be interesting to see if these places can keep growing at the same rate over the next couple of years. We’ll be here to let you know!
For more New Hampshire reading, check out:
- 10 Most Diverse Cities In New Hampshire
- 10 Safest Places In New Hampshire
- 10 Worst Places To Live In New Hampshire
Detailed List Of Fastest Growing Places In New Hampshire