When European settlers first came to what is now New Hampshire, they encountered many Algonquian Native Americans. As the settlers took more and more land, most of the dispossessed Native Americans withdrew to what was to become Canada. Only a small number of Native Americans now reside in the state.
The early settlers were English, as were those who migrated to New Hampshire from neighboring New England colonies. As the towns prospered in the 18th century, the population greatly increased. In 1732, more than a century after the first settlement, there were only about 12,500 people in New Hampshire, but by 1790 the population had grown to 141,885.
By that time many Scots-Irish, as well as small groups of Dutch, German, and French settlers, had reached New Hampshire. During the 19th century the great westward migration drew many people away from New Hampshire. However, this population loss was offset by a major influx of workers from Québec and Ireland. Heavy immigration from at least 50 countries continued until the 1920s. New Hampshire’s population also has been increased by an influx of people from other states. In 2000 whites were 96 percent of the population, Asians were 1.3 percent, blacks were 0.7 percent, Native Americans were 0.2 percent, and those of mixed race or not reporting ethnicity were 1.7 percent. Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders numbered 371 at the time of the census. Hispanics, who may be of any race, constituted 1.7 percent of the population.
New Hampshire’s 2000 population was 1,235,786. In 2006 the state had an average population density of 57 persons per sq km (147 per sq mi), but the population is concentrated in the cities and towns in the south. Between 1990 and 2000, the population of New Hampshire grew by 11.4 percent. In 2000, 59 percent of the state’s inhabitants were classified as urban, one of the lowest rates among the states. Manchester, the state’s largest city, had a population of 109,497 in 2006. Nashua, an industrial center near the border with Massachusetts, had a population of 87,157. Concord, the state capital, had 42,378 residents. Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s only seaport, had a population of 20,618. "New Hampshire" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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