In the morning commute, many more are heading toward Merrimack County than away from it

  • 2015 commuting patterns in NH N.H. Dept. Employment Security—Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 8/4/2019 9:00:33 PM

It seems that people in the rest of New Hampshire think Merrimack County is a pretty good place to work.

In 2015, the most recent year for which data is available, 40,600 people commuted into the county to work on an average day while just 34,000 departed Merrimack County to work in other parts of New Hampshire or, much less often, other states.

This pattern, largely due to state government being located around Concord, is not new but is growing, according to an analysis by New Hampshire Employment Security office. The last time the Employment Security office analyzed commuting patterns, using 2010 data, it found that about 1,000 more people commuted into Merrimack County than commuted out of it. That difference has grown six-fold by 2015, to more than 6,000 people.

The pattern is also unusual among the state’s 10 counties. Only Grafton County, where Dartmouth College and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center draw 11,000 commuters a day from across the river in Vermont, also saw more people commuting in than out.

The analysis of 2015 data taken from the American Community Survey found a number of patterns and statistics.

Trends and figures

■About 6% of people reported working from home, which is the fifth-highest rate of any state. The rate is highest in Cheshire County, where almost 10% of people worked from home.

■Virtually nobody uses public transit. 81% of commuters drove alone, 8% carpooled and 2.8% walked to work. Less than 1% took buses or taxis.

■The average commute took 27.2 minutes, up from 25.5 minutes in 2010. Coös County residents had the shortest average commute, 20.8 minutes, while Rockingham County residents on the Seacoast had the longest at 30.2 minutes.

■Nearly one-fifth of employed New Hampshire residents – 118,605 people – commute outside of New Hampshire, with 80% of those going to Massachusetts. Far fewer people – 77,977 – commute into New Hampshire from other states, led by Massachusetts.

Who works in Merrimack County?

Of the 75,721 people who worked in Merrimack County in 2015:

■46% of them (34,965) lived in Merrimack County:

■48% of them (36,495) lived in other parts of New Hampshire:

■6% of them (4,261) lived in another state

Where do Merrimack County residents work?

Of the 69,258 working adults living in Merrimack County in 2015:

■51% (34,965) worked within Merrimack County:

■22% (14,937) worked in Hillsborough County:

■22% (15,041) worked in one of the other 8 N.H. counties:

■6% (4,318) worked in another state

The data was from 2015, compiled by N.H. Department of Employment Security.


(David Brooks can be reached at 369-3313 or or on Twitter @GraniteGeek.)

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