Race in New Hampshire: The Picture at the County Level

I recently was fortunate to co-moderate a discussion on race in New Hampshire via the New Hampshire Community Conversation that I host with my partner, Tiffany Eddy. At one point a guest, Rogers Johnson, mentioned the demographic profile of blacks and other minorities in New Hampshire, namely, that apart from the fact that they represent such a small proportion of our population, they’re also not evenly distributed across the state.

That got me thinking about just how this looks. I found population estimates at the county level in the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey for 2018, and when I visualized the table I found there, I was able to see exactly what Mr. Johnson had been talking about.

Blacks in New Hampshire

Source: American Community Survey, 2018 1-Year Estimates, Table DP05. Author’s own analysis.

Hillsborough County’s population has the largest proportion of Blacks (2.1%) of all counties in New Hampshire, followed by Strafford and Merrimack (1.0% each), and Grafton (0.9%).

Asians in New Hampshire

The story is the same when looking at Asians. Again, Hillsborough’s proportion of Asians in its population is the highest of all NH counties, at 3.2%. Grafton is in second, at 2.9%, and Strafford third, at 2.6%.

Source: American Community Survey, 2018 1-Year Estimates, Table DP05. Author’s own analysis.

Notice in both maps above that Coos, Carroll and Sullivan Counties are all consistently the lightest color — meaning they have the smallest proportions of their populations identifying as either Black or Asian. But the color shading flips when we look at the population that identifies as White.

Whites in New Hampshire

Source: American Community Survey, 2018 1-Year Estimates, Table DP05. Author’s own analysis.

Now we see that Hillsborough, Grafton, and Strafford Counties have comparatively the lowest proportion of White, while Coos, Carroll and Sullivan have the highest.

But we need to take this with a grain of salt, because Hillsborough is “lowest” only in comparison to the other 9 counties. Its proportion White is 90%. Carroll County’s proportion is 97% White. So, still overwhelmingly White throughout the state, no two ways about it! Mapping out the demographics makes it more clear, though, where our neighbors are located.

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