Belknap County, New Hampshire

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Belknap County
Laconia District Court.jpg
Laconia District Court on Academy Square in Laconia
Map of New Hampshire highlighting Belknap County.svg
Location within the U.S. state of New Hampshire
New Hampshire in United States.svg
New Hampshire's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 43°30′55″N71°26′10″W / 43.515202°N 71.436073°W / 43.515202; -71.436073
CountryFlag of the United States.svg United States
StateFlag of New Hampshire.svg  New Hampshire
Founded1840
Named for Jeremy Belknap
Seat Laconia
Largest cityLaconia
Area
  Total470.0 sq mi (1,217 km2)
  Land401.8 sq mi (1,041 km2)
  Water68.2 sq mi (177 km2)  14.5%
Population
 (2020)
  Total63,705
  Density158.5/sq mi (61.2/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
  Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts 1st, 2nd
Website www.belknapcounty.org

Belknap County ( /ˈbɛlnæp/ ) is a county in the U.S. state of New Hampshire. As of the 2020 census, the population was 63,705. [1] The county seat is Laconia. [2] It is located in New Hampshire's Lakes Region, slightly southeast of the state's geographic center. Belknap County comprises the Laconia, NH Micropolitan Statistical Area, which in turn constitutes a portion of the Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT Combined Statistical Area.

Contents

The southwestern half of Lake Winnipesaukee lies in Belknap County, while several other major lakes such as Squam Lake and Lake Winnisquam lie partially or wholly within the county. The Belknap Mountains lie along the shore of Winnipesaukee east of Laconia and feature Mount Major, known for its numerous hiking trails and Gunstock Mountain, home of a popular ski resort. Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion is a concert venue in Gilford which features major national touring music acts, while the Laconia Motorcycle Week attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every June. Funspot Family Fun Center, located in Weirs Beach, is the largest video game arcade in the world.

History

Belknap County was organized in 1840 by removing parts of northeastern Merrimack County and northwestern Strafford County. [3] It is named for Dr. Jeremy Belknap, a renowned preacher, historian, and author of The History of New Hampshire. The first County Court was held within the town of Meredith, at a village known as Meredith Bridge on the Winnipesaukee River. In 1855, the town of Laconia was separated from Meredith.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 469 square miles (1,210 km2), of which 400 square miles (1,000 km2) are land and 68 square miles (180 km2) (15%) are water. [4] It is the second-smallest county in New Hampshire by area. Most of the county's water area is part of Lake Winnipesaukee.

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1850 17,721
1860 18,5494.7%
1870 17,681−4.7%
1880 17,9481.5%
1890 20,32113.2%
1900 19,526−3.9%
1910 21,3099.1%
1920 21,178−0.6%
1930 22,6236.8%
1940 24,3287.5%
1950 26,6329.5%
1960 28,9128.6%
1970 32,36712.0%
1980 42,88432.5%
1990 49,21614.8%
2000 56,32514.4%
2010 60,0886.7%
2020 63,7056.0%
U.S. Decennial Census [1] [5]
1790-1960 [6] 1900-1990 [7]
1990-2000 [8]

2000 census

As of the census [9] of 2000, there were 56,325 people, 22,459 households, and 15,496 families living in the county. The population density was 140 inhabitants per square mile (54/km2). There were 32,121 housing units at an average density of 80 per square mile (31/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.61% White, 0.29% Black or African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.55% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.16% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races. 0.74% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 17.2% were of English, 13.6% Irish, 13.3% French, 12.2% French Canadian, 8.5% American, 6.9% Italian and 5.7% German ancestry. 95.0% spoke English, 2.7% French and 1.2% Spanish as their first language.

There were 22,459 households, out of which 30.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.7% were married couples living together, 9.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 3% were non-families. 24.40% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 23.60% under the age of 18, 6.70% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 26.40% from 45 to 64, and 15.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $43,605, and the median income for a family was $50,510. Males had a median income of $34,741 versus $25,445 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,758. About 4.50% of families and 6.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.60% of those under age 18 and 4.90% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 60,088 people, 24,766 households, and 16,609 families living in the county. [10] The population density was 150.1 inhabitants per square mile (58.0/km2). There were 37,386 housing units at an average density of 93.4 per square mile (36.1/km2). [11] The racial makeup of the county was 96.6% white, 1.2% Asian, 0.5% black or African American, 0.2% American Indian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.2% of the population. [10] In terms of ancestry, 20.8% were English, 20.7% were Irish, 8.5% were Italian, 8.0% were German, 7.1% were French Canadian, and 6.6% were American. [12]

Of the 24,766 households, 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.5% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.9% were non-families, and 25.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.84. The median age was 44.7 years. [10]

The median income for a household in the county was $54,929 and the median income for a family was $64,875. Males had a median income of $46,378 versus $34,690 for females. The per capita income for the county was $28,517. About 5.2% of families and 8.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.7% of those under age 18 and 10.0% of those age 65 or over. [13]

Politics and government

Belknap County has become the most Republican county in New Hampshire: the Republican Party is the majority political party in the county, holding all 18 of its seats in the General Court as of January 2021. Since 1888, only three Democrats have won Belknap County: Woodrow Wilson in 1912 when the Republican Party was mortally divided between William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt; 1964, when Lyndon B. Johnson swept the Northeast due to Republican Barry Goldwater's conservative views regarding the Civil Rights Movement; and 2008, when Barack Obama swept every county in New England bar one. In 2020, Senator Jeanne Shaheen became the first Democrat to win Belknap County in a Senate race in over 50 years. [14]

United States presidential election results for Belknap County, New Hampshire [15]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.%No.%No.%
2020 20,89954.31%16,89443.90%6861.78%
2016 19,31555.11%13,51738.57%2,2136.31%
2012 17,57151.85%15,89046.89%4261.26%
2008 16,40248.80%16,79649.97%4161.24%
2004 17,92055.48%14,08043.59%2980.92%
2000 14,79955.23%10,71940.00%1,2774.77%
1996 10,68545.24%10,34543.81%2,58610.95%
1992 10,57842.16%8,40533.50%6,10724.34%
1988 14,45467.92%6,60331.03%2231.05%
1984 14,20074.63%4,74324.93%840.44%
1980 12,07765.12%4,36523.54%2,10411.34%
1976 9,87660.78%6,14337.81%2301.42%
1972 11,53670.72%4,61028.26%1661.02%
1968 8,64261.42%4,94235.12%4873.46%
1964 5,90842.41%8,02457.59%00.00%
1960 9,15661.92%5,63038.08%00.00%
1956 9,90275.95%3,13124.01%50.04%
1952 9,56771.81%3,75528.19%00.00%
1948 7,15264.79%3,82234.62%650.59%
1944 6,18853.74%5,32546.24%20.02%
1940 6,11551.96%5,65348.04%00.00%
1936 6,21953.98%5,15044.70%1531.33%
1932 6,04855.04%4,91144.69%290.26%
1928 6,76264.63%3,68935.26%110.11%
1924 5,99663.79%3,21734.23%1861.98%
1920 5,62861.74%3,46438.00%230.25%
1916 2,57951.57%2,31046.19%1122.24%
1912 1,74136.82%1,86239.38%1,12523.79%
1908 2,91661.07%1,69235.43%1673.50%
1904 2,86760.31%1,76137.04%1262.65%
1900 3,09961.32%1,81935.99%1362.69%
1896 3,46572.67%97820.51%3256.82%
1892 2,66350.56%2,47246.93%1322.51%
1888 2,68750.35%2,53747.54%1132.12%
1884 2,36848.57%2,38148.84%1262.58%
1880 2,35047.81%2,48350.52%821.67%
1876 2,02846.71%2,30853.16%60.14%

County Commission

The executive power of Belknap County's government is held by three county commissioners, each representing one of the three commissioner districts within the county.

DistrictCommissionerHometownParty
1 Peter Spanos (Chair) Winnisquam Republican
2Glen Waring (Vice Chair) Gilmanton Republican
3Hunter Taylor (Clerk) Alton Democrat

In addition to the County Commission, there are five directly elected officials: they include County Attorney, Register of Deeds, County Sheriff, Register of Probate, and County Treasurer. [16]

OfficeName
County AttorneyAndrew Livernois (R)
Register of DeedsJudith McGrath (R)
County SheriffWilliam Wright (R)
Register of ProbateAlan Glassman (R)
County TreasurerMichael Muzzey (R)

[17]

General court

The legislative branch of Belknap County is made up of all of the members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives from the county. In total, there are 18 members from nine different districts. After the 2020 elections, the party distribution and representatives were as follows.

AffiliationMembersVoting share
Democratic Party 00%
Republican Party 18100%
Total18100%

Communities

There are ten towns and one city in Belknap County.

City

Towns

Census-designated places

Villages

See also

Related Research Articles

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alton, New Hampshire</span> Town in New Hampshire, United States

Alton is a town in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 5,894 at the 2020 census, up from 5,250 at the 2010 census. It is home to Alton Bay State Forest and Mount Major State Forest.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Belmont, New Hampshire</span> Town in New Hampshire, United States

Belmont is a town in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 7,314 at the 2020 census.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Center Harbor, New Hampshire</span> Town in New Hampshire, United States

Center Harbor is a town in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States. As of the 2020 census, the town had a population of 1,040. It is situated between Lake Winnipesaukee and Squam Lake.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gilford, New Hampshire</span> Town in New Hampshire, United States

Gilford is a town in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 7,699 at the 2020 census, up from 7,126 at the 2010 census. Situated on Lake Winnipesaukee, Gilford is home to Governors Island, Ellacoya State Beach, Belknap Mountain State Forest, Gunstock Mountain Resort, and the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion, a seasonal outdoor concert venue. The lakeside village of Glendale lies within Gilford's borders.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Laconia, New Hampshire</span> City in New Hampshire, United States

Laconia is a city in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 16,871 at the 2020 census, up from 15,951 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Belknap County. Laconia, situated between Lake Winnipesaukee and Lake Winnisquam, includes the villages of Lakeport and Weirs Beach. Each June, the city hosts Laconia Motorcycle Week, also more simply known as "Bike Week", one of the country's largest rallies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sanbornton, New Hampshire</span> Town in New Hampshire, United States

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tilton, New Hampshire</span> Town in New Hampshire, United States

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tilton Northfield, New Hampshire</span> Census-designated place in New Hampshire, United States

Tilton Northfield is a census-designated place (CDP) representing two adjacent villages in the towns of Tilton in Belknap County and Northfield in Merrimack County in the U.S. state of New Hampshire. The CDP encompasses the town centers of both Tilton and Northfield, located on either side of the Winnipesaukee River. The population was 3,324 at the 2020 census.

Meredith is a census-designated place (CDP) and the main village in the town of Meredith in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 2,527 at the 2020 census, out of 6,662 in the entire town of Meredith.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Meredith, New Hampshire</span> Town in New Hampshire, United States

Meredith is a town in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 6,662 at the 2020 census. Meredith is situated in the state's Lakes Region and serves as a major resort town. Meredith Village, the commercial center of the town, lies long the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, and several other large lakes lie partially or completely within the town borders. It is home to the Stonedam Island Natural Area and the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad, and it serves as one of the ports of call for the MS Mount Washington.

Alton is a census-designated place (CDP) and the main village in the town of Alton in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 499 at the 2020 census, compared to 5,894 in the entire town of Alton.

References

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  15. Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
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  17. "General Election Winners - 11/03/2020" (PDF). New Hampshire Secretary of State's Office. November 11, 2020. Retrieved December 8, 2020.

Coordinates: 43°31′N71°25′W / 43.52°N 71.42°W / 43.52; -71.42