How New Hampshire Has Changed Since 2008

New Hampshire is among the most transient states in the nation, with an influx of young voters that favors Democrats.

Those are among the findings of a demographic analysis of the Granite State released Tuesday by three academics from the University of New Hampshire. Their work shows that the electorate casting ballots in next month’s bellwether presidential primary will look distinctly different than it did in 2008.

Many people think of the typical Granite State primary voter as a “laconic Yankee with deep ancestral roots in the state, who dismisses fourth-generation residents as newcomers,” the report says. In fact, more than 30%  of potential New Hampshire voters this year were either too young to vote in 2008, or resided outside the state.

Just five states and the District of Columbia have a smaller proportion of their native-born population living in their birth state than New Hampshire, the report says. Most of the migrants have come from the Boston area, along with other parts of the Northeast and South.

Between 2008 and 2015, 129,000 New Hampshire residents turned age 18 while about 68,000 older residents died. In ideological terms, younger voters are more likely to identify themselves as liberal while established voters lean conservative.

But the older generation of voters is being replaced by a first wave of Baby Boomers – people now in their 60s – that is among the most likely to identify with Democrats of any New Hampshire age group.

“Those were the same kids that grew up with the anti-war movement,” said Kenneth Johnson, a demographer at the University of New Hampshire who helped write the report.

While those trends seem to favor Democrats, their impact is likely to be muted by typically low voter turnout among young adults.


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