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Aging Population

Citizens Count Editor

New Hampshire has the second-oldest population in the United States. One out of every five residents is over the age of 60.

The latest demographic research shows these trends continuing.  

  • The state's Office of Energy and Planning projects a 129% increase in the number of residents age 65+ and a 243% increase in the population age 85+ by 2040
  • Researchers at the Carsey Institute made similar predictions 

An aging population places several stressors on state agencies and programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare. As the population ages, the labor pool will shrink and the downturn will negatively impact the economy. 

Efforts to address the aging population in NH

In 2017, Gov. Chris Sununu created the Millennial Advisory Council. The council is charged with recommending policy to attract and retain younger workers in NH. The council issued its first report in December 2017. Its recommendations included:

  • Revising state zoning laws to encourage the construction of affordable housing
  • Informing students about alternatives to traditional four-year college, such as vocational schools and school-to-work pathways
  • Promoting the use of renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions
  • Extending commuter rail service to Nashua
  • Encouraging family-friendly workplace policies
  • Providing incentives for hiring recent New Hampshire graduates

In 2018, New Hampshire created the new office of state demographer, charged with developing demographic projections and giving notes on the potential demographic impact of proposed bills.

More recently, the Legislature established the State of New Hampshire Commission on Aging in 2019, which advises the governor and General Court on policy and planning related to aging. 

Many of ideas for attracting a younger population have their own pros and cons. For example, New Hampshire has long debated whether a commuter rail would benefit the economy enough to outweigh costs to the state government. 


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I am curious if there are plans to expand the state owned nursing homes. Based on the rapid aging of our population, by 2030 1/3 of NH residents will be 65 or older (DHHS, 2016). I understand the goal is to provide the least restrictive living environment as possible but not everyone will be able to remain in the community with supports. Constructing new wings to existing LTC facilities or building new ones is monumental task and I wonder if there is a committee to study the feasibility and the long range plan.

Thank you,
Chrystine Collins-Blums


NH has been slow to promote and aim funding at affordable housing. The same mistake can’t be made with nursing homes that are already stretched. Fred Kocher

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