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New Hampshire's Economic Climate: Key Indicators

Executive Summary

Date: October 31st, 2013

This report presents our NH Economic Dashboard, a collection of data measuring the state’s business climate that aims to help prioritize decision-making around the state’s economic and quality-of-life policies.

The dashboard collects data on 50 indicators over a range of issues, including education, tax policy, infrastructure, healthcare and cultural resources. For each data point, the Center notes New Hampshire’s rank against the rest of the country, as well as the ranks of seven other states, including our neighboring states and “competitor” states.

Rather than capture every nuance of New Hampshire’s economic landscape, the goal of this dashboard is to present key, easily understandable information that will provoke new thinking and approaches from state policymakers and other decision makers.

In particular, the results of the dashboard suggest one new lens through which to analyze the state’s strengths and weaknesses. Many of the indicators where New Hampshire excels – including homeownership rates, education levels, and size of the science and engineering workforce – reflect past or current conditions.

On the other hand, in more “future-oriented” measurements – average student debt, the change in the 35-to-44-year-old share of the population, housing costs, and the rate of college-going among high school graduates – New Hampshire fares quite poorly. These measures are directly linked to the state’s ability to attract and retain young people and arm them with the skills needed to compete for good jobs in coming years, and thus are of vital importance to the future of the state’s economy and quality of life.

It is our hope that this dashboard will inform discussions around these topics, as policymakers adapt to the changing economic environment New Hampshire now finds itself in.

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