People move to N.H. in pandemic

Business NH Magazine
Published: 3/29/2021 1:24:39 PM

The pandemic has many reassessing their lives, including where they live. And, as it turns out, many are moving to the Granite State. The Census Bureau indicates NH’s population grew by 5,500 to 1,366,000 between July 2019 and July 2020, according to the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of NH. This was the largest population percentage increase in New England.

“In contrast, the region as a whole and four of its six states lost population between July 2019 and July 2020, due in part to mortality associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. New Hampshire’s population percentage increase has been the largest in New England in each of the last three years,” said Kenneth Johnson, UNH professor of sociology and senior demographer at Carsey, in a recent report.

While NH is growing, it’s not due to more babies. In fact, Carsey research shows population growth is completely due to in-migration as deaths continue to outnumber births in the state. Johnson says population growth in NH and New England is considerably smaller than gains in many states in the south and west and has been for the past four years.

Reports from U-Haul and Atlas Van Lines shows people have moved here since the pandemic started. A recent Migration Patterns Study released by Atlas Van Lines shows NH registered the third highest percentage (61.6%) of inbound moves in the U.S in 2020. Only Idaho, North Carolina (which tied for first) and Maine exceeded the Granite State.

For context, NH experienced equal amounts of inbound and outbound moves in 2019 and made the top-10 inbound list in 2018 with a rate of inbound moves at 57.3%, according to Atlas Van Lines.

U-Haul data analyzing migration patterns in 2020 paints a more moderate picture with NH ranking 23rd for DIY movers.

That’s up from NH’s rank of 31st in 2019. “Due to fewer people leaving, arrivals accounted for 50.8% of all one-way U-Haul traffic in New Hampshire during 2020,” the U-Haul report states. The state’s cities that are experiencing the most growth are Tilton, Concord and Lebanon, according to U-Haul.


These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit

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