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‘Babies On Board’ in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is one of the best states in America for having a baby, ranking high in the latest WalletHub analysis for overall baby-friendliness. 

The news must be getting around, as New Hampshire is currently experiencing a baby boom according to the University of New Hampshire’s Kenneth Johnson, Senior Demographer at the Carsey School, and an Andrew Carnegie Fellow.

“New Hampshire had an increase in births of 7 percent in 2021 compared to 2020,” Johnson said. “This is one of the largest percent increases in the U.S. for the year. Births rose from 11,791 in 2020 to 12,615 in 2021.”

Despite the recent increase in babies, Johnson warns New Hampshire’s fertility rate is among the lowest in the country. Combine that with an older population, and it spells trouble for the Granite State in the years to come.

“The number of births per 1,000 women 15-44 in New Hampshire will be about 50.5 in 2021, I estimate, due to the increased number of births. This is still less than the provisional estimate of the U.S. national fertility rate of 56.6 for 2021,” Johnson said.

The WalletHub study looks at key measures of cost and health care accessibility, as well as baby and family-friendliness. The data set ranges from the cost of delivering a baby in area hospitals to annual average infant-care costs to the number of pediatricians per capita.

New Hampshire ranks fourth overall in the survey, behind Massachusetts, Vermont, and Minnesota. Rhode Island ranks fifth and Connecticut 6th, while Maine lands 17th. Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina are ranked as the three worst states in the country to have babies.

New Hampshire has the second lowest cost of delivering a baby, second behind Maryland for cesarean birth costs, and second behind North Dakota for conventional delivery costs. New Hampshire also has the fifth most midwives and OB-GYNs per capita, as well as the third most pediatricians per capita.

Johnson said the current baby boom aside, New Hampshire is dealing with an older population that is in decline. The state was losing a net number of residents every year before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“In each of the last eight years, more people died than were born in New Hampshire. Thus, the decline in births and increase in deaths is not simply due to COVID, but actually proceeded the onset of the pandemic,” Johnson said. “The ongoing incidence of an excess of deaths over births in New Hampshire is primarily due to the fact that NH’s population is among the oldest in the US. However, the low fertility rate in the state exacerbates this problem.”

The good news is that, despite the trend of having more deaths than births, the Granite State’s population is increasing thanks to migration from other states. It is a fact Gov. Chris Sununu has frequently touted.

“We have the strongest economy in the Northeast and the fastest population growth in New England,” Sununu said in his State of the State earlier this year. “We are No. 1 in America for public safety, first in economic freedom and we continue to have the lowest poverty rate in the country, with some of the highest average wages.”

Whether people come for the minimum tax/maximum freedom environment of the Live Free or Die state, the high quality of life, or the natural beauty and recreation, they are continuing to come to New Hampshire, bolstering the population.

“All of New Hampshire’s population increase over the past several years is due to the fact that more people move into the state than leave it,” Johnson said.

FISHER: Welcome to Parenthood, NH! Your Life is Over

Well, well, well, look who finally figured out how to have babies. 

Granite Staters have been gettin’ busy, with the highest birth rate increase in the entire nation according to new data from the Pew Trusts. The Granite State saw a seven percent increase in babies born in 2021 compared to 2019.

Lockdowns, amirite?

Let me be the first to say to all you new parents out there, from the bottom of my heart: Ha. Ha.

Your life is over. Kaput.

Some starry-eyed optimists might see all those little rug rats as good news. Take Gov. Chris Sununu, for example.

“We’ve long known New Hampshire is the best state in the country to live, work, and raise a family,” said Sununu. “This latest study reinforces that, highlighting that people are moving to New Hampshire to start a family because of our low taxes, high quality of life, and safe communities.”

So says the amateur with three kids.

As a father of 10 (Yes, I’m Catholic. Why do you ask?), let me tell you that being a new parent in 2022 is gonna be terrible.

I don’t feel bad for any of you. I’ve been doing my part for years to keep up the state’s population while the rest of you slacked off. You were all getting dogs and going hiking and starting microbreweries and binge-watching Bridgerton, blah, blah, blah. We were the schmoes changing diapers and pushing double strollers and driving vans with four car seats crammed in them.

Then, because you ran out of shows on Netflix, you decide to have a kid.


The pandemic/inflation/Ukraine/supply chain/BigFoot issues have made regular life hard enough, but parenting? I mean, I can buy dog food. Maybe not my guy’s regular brand all the time, but he eats. You poor saps with infants have to stand in the Costco parking lot in the middle of the night to meet your black-market baby formula dealers.

And it’s not like it gets easier when they get older. They keep eating! Their whole lives! And you’re supposed to pay for it for some reason!

Get to a grocery store and see. You’re paying $8 bucks a pound for bologna — and not the good kind. Milk might as well be diesel. And bananas are what? $10?

Forget the visions you might have of being a soccer mom or a Little League dad. Gas is $5 a gallon now. Imagine how much you’ll be paying in seven or eight years. How are you going to get to all of those practices? Hopes and dreams? Heck, by then you’ll be willing to sell the kid just to afford to get to work.

Maybe you can shell out $80,000 for an imaginary electric minivan. You know, one of those green cars that magically reduces carbon by getting all its energy from the electric grid that runs off coal and oil. Hope it’s not one of the exploding models.

New Hampshire does have lots of affordable housing options for young families, though. Just head to the nearest state liquor store and you can pick up all the cardboard you’ll need for the night.

But what about schools when your little tyke is ready? The good news is New Hampshire has some of the best public schools in the country. When they’re open. Otherwise, you can get free Wi-Fi at your public library with the Chromebook your teacher will hand out for remote learning. You’ll need it for the next monkeypox outbreak.

I bet you thought you were done doing fractions, huh. Think again. You’re the teacher now, and it somehow pays worse than a real teacher’s salary.

Maybe you’re ok doing all the educating of the kids while simultaneously paying property tax on your cardboard shack. Maybe you’ve heard how politically radical our teachers have become. Well, relax. No more than half of the members of the NH NEA are Marxists.

The rest are committed Trotskyites.

But don’t worry, the good folks in the House Freedom Caucus have a plan to fix education. They are going to secede everything in New Hampshire from the Union except for the public schools. Those will become part of Massachusetts. I don’t know what that will fix, but then again I never read Ayn Rand, so what do I know?

All kidding aside, New Hampshire’s baby boom is great news for every new parent, and it’s pretty good news for the rest of the Granite State, too. Choosing to have children is a bet on the future, a sign of your belief that living here is pretty good and it can get even better.

Which may explain why the birth rate in New York fell by 5.5 percent.

Live free or die!