Census: N.H. got a little older, earned a little less in 2012
Granite Staters got a little older, earned a little less money and became a bit more numerous in 2012.
Fewer people were living in poverty in New Hampshire than in any other state last year – 10 percent, up from 8.8 percent in 2011. In 2012, 10.6 percent of the state’s population lacked health insurance, up from 10.5 percent in 2011 but lower than the national rate of 15.4 percent.
And people who had moved to New Hampshire in the previous year made up 4.4 percent of the population 1 and older in 2012, the highest among the six New England states and up from 3.2 percent in 2011.
That’s all according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which yesterday released the 2012 estimates from its detailed American Community Survey, which polls 3 million households. Three- and five-year estimates, which provide a more accurate snapshot of smaller communities, will be out later this year.
An estimated 1,320,718 people lived in New Hampshire as of July 1, 2012, up 0.2 percent from a year earlier and up 0.3 percent from the population recorded in the April 1, 2010, census.
The United States as a whole has grown faster, with the national population up an estimated 1.7 percent between the 2010 census and mid-2012.
The median age of a New Hampshire resident in 2012 was 41.9 years, up from 41.5 in 2011. The national average was 37.4 in 2012.
Among New Hampshire residents 25 or older, 8.2 percent lacked even a high school diploma in 2012, down a bit from 8.6 percent in 2011. The number of people with college degrees ticked up, with 21.9 percent holding a bachelor’s degree and 12.6 percent holding a graduate degree, up from 21 percent and 12.4 percent, respectively, in 2011.
Median household income, when adjusted for inflation, fell an estimated 1.3 percent in New Hampshire last year, a change the Census Bureau said wasn’t statistically significant. Median household income was $63,280 in 2012, compared with $64,115 in 2011 when adjusted for inflation. At the national level it held steady, rising an estimated 0.1 percent to $51,371 in 2012.
Since 2000, median household income has declined 6.4 percent in New Hampshire and 6.6 percent for the nation as a whole when adjusted for inflation, likely in large part due to the recession of 2007-2009 and its aftermath.
As for housing, the percentage of people paying 30 percent or more of their household income on rent in 2012 was 48.9 percent, down a bit from the 2011 rate of 50.3 percent. Among homeowners, 37.9 percent were spending 30 percent or more of their monthly household income on housing, down from 39.9 percent in 2011.
The data released yesterday also indicated that more New Hampshire residents are new to the state: In 2012, 4.4 percent of New Hampshire residents over the age of 1 had lived somewhere else a year earlier, up from 3.2 percent in 2011.
That reinforces data released by the Census Bureau earlier this year that showed more people moved to New Hampshire in 2012 than moved away, reversing three years of net out-migration.
“These new data suggest the recession’s influence on migration may be waning and that migration trends may be reverting to those more typical of the pre-recession period – though they remain more restrained than during the boom. . . . In New Hampshire, the recent migration gain replaced the migration losses of the recession years,” wrote Kenneth Johnson, senior demographer at the Carsey Institute and a professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire, in an analysis.
The New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies last year released a report that identified slowing in-migration, which became net out-migration from 2009 to 2011, as a drag on New Hampshire’s economic recovery. The 2012 numbers don’t mean that process has reversed, said Dennis Delay, the center’s economist: “You can’t discern a trend from one year’s worth of data.”
Migration to New Hampshire has been slowing since 2001, even before the recession, he said. While the Census Bureau estimated net migration to New Hampshire of 872 people in 2012, he said that’s far less robust than the historical pattern of large numbers of people moving to New Hampshire as the economy recovers.
“I wouldn’t call it profound,” Delay said. “It’s not a significantly big difference from one year to the next.”
(Ben Leubsdorf can be reached at 369-3307 or
firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BenLeubsdorf.)