Belknap County
Laconia District Court on Academy Square in Laconia
Laconia District Court on Academy Square in Laconia
Map of New Hampshire highlighting Belknap County
Location within the U.S. state of New Hampshire
Map of the United States highlighting New Hampshire
New Hampshire's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 43°30′55″N 71°26′10″W / 43.515202°N 71.436073°W / 43.515202; -71.436073
Country United States
State New Hampshire
Founded1840
Named forJeremy Belknap
SeatLaconia
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 zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts1st, 2nd
Websitewww.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.

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
Census Pop.
185017,721
186018,5494.7%
187017,681−4.7%
188017,9481.5%
189020,32113.2%
190019,526−3.9%
191021,3099.1%
192021,178−0.6%
193022,6236.8%
194024,3287.5%
195026,6329.5%
196028,9128.6%
197032,36712.0%
198042,88432.5%
199049,21614.8%
200056,32514.4%
201060,0886.7%
202063,7056.0%
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 people 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 16 of 18 seats in the General Court as of January 2019. 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 20,899 54.31% 16,894 43.90% 686 1.78%
2016 19,315 55.11% 13,517 38.57% 2,213 6.31%
2012 17,571 51.85% 15,890 46.89% 426 1.26%
2008 16,402 48.80% 16,796 49.97% 416 1.24%
2004 17,920 55.48% 14,080 43.59% 298 0.92%
2000 14,799 55.23% 10,719 40.00% 1,277 4.77%
1996 10,685 45.24% 10,345 43.81% 2,586 10.95%
1992 10,578 42.16% 8,405 33.50% 6,107 24.34%
1988 14,454 67.92% 6,603 31.03% 223 1.05%
1984 14,200 74.63% 4,743 24.93% 84 0.44%
1980 12,077 65.12% 4,365 23.54% 2,104 11.34%
1976 9,876 60.78% 6,143 37.81% 230 1.42%
1972 11,536 70.72% 4,610 28.26% 166 1.02%
1968 8,642 61.42% 4,942 35.12% 487 3.46%
1964 5,908 42.41% 8,024 57.59% 0 0.00%
1960 9,156 61.92% 5,630 38.08% 0 0.00%
1956 9,902 75.95% 3,131 24.01% 5 0.04%
1952 9,567 71.81% 3,755 28.19% 0 0.00%
1948 7,152 64.79% 3,822 34.62% 65 0.59%
1944 6,188 53.74% 5,325 46.24% 2 0.02%
1940 6,115 51.96% 5,653 48.04% 0 0.00%
1936 6,219 53.98% 5,150 44.70% 153 1.33%
1932 6,048 55.04% 4,911 44.69% 29 0.26%
1928 6,762 64.63% 3,689 35.26% 11 0.11%
1924 5,996 63.79% 3,217 34.23% 186 1.98%
1920 5,628 61.74% 3,464 38.00% 23 0.25%
1916 2,579 51.57% 2,310 46.19% 112 2.24%
1912 1,741 36.82% 1,862 39.38% 1,125 23.79%
1908 2,916 61.07% 1,692 35.43% 167 3.50%
1904 2,867 60.31% 1,761 37.04% 126 2.65%
1900 3,099 61.32% 1,819 35.99% 136 2.69%
1896 3,465 72.67% 978 20.51% 325 6.82%
1892 2,663 50.56% 2,472 46.93% 132 2.51%
1888 2,687 50.35% 2,537 47.54% 113 2.12%
1884 2,368 48.57% 2,381 48.84% 126 2.58%
1880 2,350 47.81% 2,483 50.52% 82 1.67%
1876 2,028 46.71% 2,308 53.16% 6 0.14%


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.

District Commissioner Hometown Party
1 Peter Spanos (Chair) Winnisquam Republican
2 Glen Waring (Vice Chair) Gilmanton Republican
3 Hunter 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]

Office Name
County Attorney Andrew Livernois (R)
Register of Deeds Judith McGrath (R)
County Sheriff William Wright (R)
Register of Probate Alan Glassman (R)
County Treasurer Michael 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.

Affiliation Members Voting share
Democratic Party 0 0%
Republican Party 18 100%
Total 18 100%

Communities

There are ten towns and one city in Belknap County.

City

Towns

Census-designated places

Villages

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Belknap County, New Hampshire: 2020 DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171)". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on July 4, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "COUNTY LIST - New Hampshire Genealogy and History AT SEARCHROOTS". searchroots.com. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved September 15, 2008.
  4. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on December 27, 2014. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
  5. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
  6. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
  7. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
  8. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
  9. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  10. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
  11. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
  12. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
  13. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
  14. ^ David Leip. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org.
  15. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 7, 2018. Retrieved August 7, 2018.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  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′N 71°25′W / 43.52°N 71.42°W / 43.52; -71.42