Immigrants in New Hampshire

October 13, 2017

New Hampshire has a small but growing immigrant community. While only 6 percent of the state’s population was born in another country, foreign-born residents make up a vital, educated share of New Hampshire’s labor force. For example, 44 percent of immigrants in New Hampshire possess a college degree or higher, while 90 percent report speaking English well.

The state benefits from the various ways immigrants participate in the economy—from working as computer and math scientists to accounting for more than 22 percent of New Hampshire’s fishers, farmers, and foresters. As workers, business owners, taxpayers, and neighbors, immigrants are an integral part of New Hampshire’s diverse and thriving communities and make extensive contributions that benefit all.

Six percent of New Hampshire residents are immigrants, while over 7 percent are native-born U.S. citizens with at least one immigrant parent.

  • In 2015, 79,959 immigrants (foreign-born individuals) comprised 6 percent of the state’s population.
  • New Hampshire was home to 38,334 women, 35,555 men, and 6,070 children who were immigrants.
  • The top countries of origin for immigrants were Canada (11.2 percent of immigrants), India (10.6 percent), the Dominican Republic (5.1 percent), China (4.2 percent), and Germany (3.5 percent).
  • In 2016, 93,691 people in New Hampshire (7.3 percent of the state’s population) were native-born Americans who had at least one immigrant parent.

Over half of all immigrants in New Hampshire are naturalized U.S. citizens.

  • 45,461 immigrants (56.9 percent) had naturalized as of 2015, and 13,921 immigrants were eligible to become naturalized U.S. citizens in 2015.
  • Nine in 10 immigrants (89.8 percent) reported speaking English “well” or “very well.”

The greatest shares of immigrants in New Hampshire possess a college degree or more.

  • More than two in five adult immigrants had a college degree or more education in 2015, while one in seven had less than a high school diploma.

Education Level

Share (%) of All Immigrants

Share (%) of All Natives

College degree or more

44.0

35.0

Some college

20.5

29.6

High school diploma only

20.8

29.1

Less than a high-school diploma

14.6

6.3

More than 6,000 U.S. citizens in New Hampshire live with at least one family member who is undocumented.

  • In 2014, approximately 10,000 undocumented immigrants comprised 14 percent of the immigrant population, or a fraction of the total state population at 0.8 percent.
  • 13,050 people in New Hampshire, including 4,636 born in the United States, lived with at least one undocumented family member between 2010 and 2014.
  • During the same period, 1 percent of children in the state were U.S. citizens living with at least one undocumented family member (3,580 children in total).

Just over 200 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients live in New Hampshire.

  • As of 2017, 462 people in New Hampshire had applied for DACA.
  • DACA recipients in New Hampshire paid an estimated $812,000 in state and local taxes in 2016.

Immigrants are vital members of the New Hampshire labor force across industries.

  • 48,196 immigrant workers comprised 6.4 percent of the labor force in 2015.
  • Immigrant workers were most numerous in the following industries:

Industry

Number of Immigrant Workers

Manufacturing

9,412

Health Care and Social Assistance

8,904

Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

7,752

Educational Services

5,056

Retail Trade

3,873

Analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey 1-year PUMS data by the American Immigration Council.

  • The largest shares of immigrant workers were in the following industries:

Industry

Immigrant Share (%)
(of all industry workers)

Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting

14.3

Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

12.2

Real Estate Rental and Leasing

10.0

Manufacturing

8.5

Health Care and Social Assistance

6.8

Analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey 1-year PUMS data by the American Immigration Council.

Immigrants are a significant part of the New Hampshire workforce in a range of occupations.

  • In 2015, immigrant workers were most numerous in the following occupation groups:

Occupation Category

Number of Immigrant Workers

Production

6,004

Computer and Mathematical Sciences

5,922

Management

5,018

Office and Administrative Support

3,994

Sales and Related

3,783

Analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey 1-year PUMS data by the American Immigration Council.

  • The largest shares of immigrant workers were in the following occupation groups:

Occupation Category

Immigrant Share (%)
(of all workers in occupation)

Farming, Fishing, and Forestry

22.3

Computer and Mathematical Sciences

17.8

Healthcare Support

11.4

Production

10.2

Personal Care and Service

8.5

Analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey 1-year PUMS data by the American Immigration Council.

  • Undocumented immigrants comprised 1 percent of the state’s workforce in 2014.

Immigrants in New Hampshire have contributed hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes.

As consumers, immigrants add billions of dollars to New Hampshire’s economy.

  • New Hampshire residents in immigrant-led households had $2.4 billion in spending power (after-tax income) in 2014.

Immigrant entrepreneurs in New Hampshire generate hundreds of millions of dollars in annual business revenue.

  • 5,016 immigrant business owners accounted for 6.4 percent of all self-employed New Hampshire residents in 2015 and generated $154.6 million in business income.
  • In 2015, immigrants accounted for 20.6 percent of business owners in the Boston/Cambridge/Newton metropolitan area, which spans Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

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