Demographic Analysis for Lakes Region Planning Commission


Total Population

Our first and the most important variable when looking at the overall demographic of a region was total population. The two column graphs show the total population of each town in 2011 and 2016. Although the two charts may look identical at first glance, we noticed that there is some variation during the five-year period. Most notably, Holderness and Tuftonboro experienced moderate population change despite what the bars look like. The next slide will provide a better look at these changes and show how the population change is more drastic than it appears for a five-year period.

Change in Total Population (2011-2016)

The new column chart specifically looks at the population change on a more realistic scale. For population growth, Holderness and Ashland both increased significantly. In 2011, Holderness had a small population of 1,667 and grew to 2,395 in 2016. Even though this change doesn’t seem very big based on the overall scale of the population, it represents a 43.7% change. Meanwhile, Tuftonboro’s population decreased from a population of 2,594 in 2011 to 2,098 in 2016. This represents a decrease in population of 19.1%. Overall, fifteen towns experienced a population growth which accounts for exactly 50% of the region. These statistics can be attributed to the increase of seasonal homes in the region. According to an article from the New Hampshire Review, the increase in seasonal homes has directly affected the economy and population increase.

Median Age

When analyzing the column charts above, the median age of NH residents has increased from 2011 to 2016. We came to this conclusion when comparing number of columns(towns) that are under the median age of 40. The 2011 column chart shows the following six towns have an average median age below 40: Gilmanton, Franklin, Ashland, Alexandria, Northfield, Barnstead. The 2016 column chart shows that only one town now has a median age below 40. The town of Ashland was the only town in the lakes region whose median age decreased by almost 5 years.

Median Age Growth (2011 - 2016)

In this chunk, we wanted to compare the 2011 and 2016 data from above, but in a side by side comparison to stress the change that has occurred. The faceted histogram clearly shows that the median age has risen in every single town in the Lakes Region besides four. Ashland, Bristol, Freedom, and Moultonborough were the only towns that did not increase in median age over the five-year period. Hebron and Bridgewater top the chart with median ages of 58 and 57.6 respectively. These numbers indicate a gradually rising median age demographic that is well above the U.S average of 37. According to population projections from the Laconia Sun, the age category of 65+ is expected to grow from the 2000 census of 8,496 to 27,081 in 2030 in Belknap County (218.8% growth). Meanwhile, the population of 85 and older is going to triple, 243%, from 2010 to 2040. In the article there are projections on what the towns populations are going to be by 2040. This can also be attributed to the aging of the baby boom generation.

Population that has moved from outside NH.

We wanted to look at the population that has moved into the Lakes Region from other states and attempt to find any patterns from 2011 to 2016. Even though there wasn’t any drastic change overall, we did notice a trend of towns in the immediate vicinity of lakes that had notable increases in this variable. These towns include Center Harbor, Laconia, Ossipee, Alton and Wolfeboro.

Comparitve Graph