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Portsmouth, NH

portsmouth New Hampshire Community Profile Community Contact Portsmouth Economic Development Commission
Nancy Carmer, Economic Development Program Manager
1 Junkins Avenue
Portsmouth, NH 03801
Telephone (603) 610-7220
Fax (603) 427-1593
E-mail nmcarmer@cityofportsmouth.com
Web Site http://cityofportsmouth.com

Municipal Office Hours Monday, 8 am - 6 pm, Tuesday through Thursday, 8 am - 4:30 pm, Friday, 8 am - 1 pm

County Rockingham
Labor Market Area Portsmouth, NH-ME Metropolitan NECTA
Tourism Region Seacoast
Planning Commission Rockingham
Regional Development Coastal Economic Development Corp.

Election Districts
US Congress District District 1 (All Wards)
Executive Council District District 3 (All Wards)
State Senate District District 21 (All Wards)
State Representative Rockingham County Districts 25, 30 (Ward 1) 26, 30 (Ward 2) 27, 31 (Ward 3) 28, 30 (Ward 4) 29,30 (Ward 5)

Incorporated: 1631
Origin: This territory was a part of the original land grant to John Mason and Francisco Gorges in 1622. A township grant was issued by the council of Plymouth (MA) in 1631 which covered what is now Portsmouth and the harbor, Greenland, Rye, New Castle, and Newington. First called Piscataqua, the settlement became known as Strawberry Banke because of the wild strawberries that were found there. The name Portsmouth was adopted in 1653 to honor John Mason, Captain of the Port in Portsmouth, England, and because it was a good harbor situated at the river's mouth. Already an important center of trade and shipping, Portsmouth became capitol of the province of New Hampshire in 1679, and was incorporated as a city in 1849.
Villages and Place Names: Atlantic Heights, Christian Shore, Creek Area, Elwyn Park, Meadowbrook, Pannaway Manor, Portsmouth Plains, Haymarket Square, Sagamore Hill, Strawbery Banke, the Woodlands
Population, Year of the First Census Taken: 4,720 residents in 1790
Population Trends: Population change decreased for Portsmouth by 5,004 over 58 years, from 26,900 in 1960 down to 21,896 in 2018. The largest decennial percent change was a 2 percent increase between 1970 and 1980; population declined by 21 percent between 1990 and 2000. The 2018 Census estimate for Portsmouth was 21,896 residents, which ranked 13th among New Hampshire's incorporated cities and towns.
Population Density and Land Area, 2018 (US Census Bureau): 1,396.4 persons per square mile of land area, the third highest among the cities and towns. Portsmouth contains 15.7 square miles of land area and 1.1 square miles of inland water area.

Municipal Services
Type of Government City Manager & Council
Budget: Municipal Appropriations, 19 $64,922,957
Budget: School Appropriations, 2018-2019 $48,036,136
Zoning Ordinance 1927/05
Master Plan Update in Progress
Capitol Improvement Plan Yes
Industrial Plans Reviewed By Planning Department
Boards and Commissions
Elected:City Council; School; Police; Fire
Appointed:Please visit http://cityofportsmouth.com, for a list of boards & committees to which citizens may be appointed.
Public Library Portsmouth Athenaeum; Portsmouth Public

Emergency Services
Police Department Full-time
Fire Department Municipal
Emergency Medical Service Full & part-time
Nearest Hospital(s) Distance Staffed Beds
Portsmouth Regional, Portsmouth Local 209

Electric Supplier Eversource Energy
Natural Gas Supplier Unitil
Water Supplier Portsmouth Water Department
Sanitation Municipal
Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant Yes
Solid Waste Disposal
Curbside Trash PickupMunicipal
Pay-As-You-Throw ProgramNo
Recycling ProgramMandatory
Telephone Company Fairpoint
Cellular Telephone Access Yes
Cable Television Access Yes
Public Access Television Station Yes
High Speed Internet Service:

(NH Dept. of Revenue Administration) Property Taxes
2018 Total Tax Rate (per $1,000 of value) $15.38
2018 Equalization Ratio 96.0
2018 Full Value Tax Rate (per $1,000 of value) $14.42
2018 Percent of Local Assessed Value by Property Type
Residential Land and Buildings56.9%
Commercial Land and Buildings39.4%
Public Utilities, Current Use, and Other4.6%

(ACS 2014-2018) Housing
Total Housing Units 10,359
Single-Family Units, Detached or Attached 5,145
Units in Multiple-Family Structures:  
Two to Four Units in Structure 1,958
Five or More Units in Structure 2,982
Mobile Homes and Other Housing Units 274
(US Census Bureau) Population
(1-year Estimates/Decennial)
Total Population Community County
2018 21,896 309,176
2010 20,779 295,223
2000 20,822 278,748
1990 26,252 246,744
1980 26,254 190,345
1970 25,717 138,951
Demographics, American Community Survey (ACS) 2014-2018
Population by Gender
Male:   10,758 Female:   11,020
Population by Age Group
Under age 5 864
Age 5 to 19 2,970
Age 20 to 34 5,631
Age 35 to 54 5,864
Age 55 to 64 2,497
Age 65 and over 3,952
Median Age 40.3 years
Educational Attainment, population 25 years and over
High school graduate or higher 95.3%
Bachelor's degree or higher 56.4%

(ACS 2014-2018) Income, Inflation Adjusted $
Per capita income $50,351
Median family income $105,821
Median household income $78,027
Median Earnings, full-time, year-round workers, 16 years ad over
Male $66,932
Female $52,977
Individuals below the poverty level 6.1%

(NHES - ELMI) Labor Force
Annual Average 2008 2018
Civilian Labor Force 13,334 14,061
Employed 12,892 13,783
Unemployed 442 278
Unemployment Rate 3.3% 2.0%

(NHES - ELMI) Employment & Wages
Annual Average Covered Employment 2008 2018
Goods Producing Industries
Average Employment $2,789 $2,869
Average Weekly Wage $1,192 $1,538
Service Providing Industries
Average Employment $23,611 $28,313
Average Weekly Wage $986 $1,304
Total Private Industry
Average Employment $26,400 $31,182
Average Weekly Wage $1,008 $1,326
Government (Federal, State, and Local)
Average Employment $1,855 $1,922
Average Weekly Wage $951 $1,090
Total, Private plus Government
Average Employment $28,254 $33,104
Average Weekly Wage $1,004 $1,312

If "n" appears, data does not meet disclosure standards.

(NH Dept. of Education) Education and Child Care
Schools students attend: Portsmouth operates grades K-12 SAU 52
Career Technology Center(s): Portsmouth Career Technical Center #19 Region: 19
Educational Facilities (includes Charter Schools) Elementary Middle/Junior High High School Private/Parochial
Number of Schools 4 1 1 1
Grade Levels P K 1-5 6-8 9-12 P K 1-8
Total Enrollment 1,013 531 1,128 169
2020 NH Licensed Child Care Facilities (Bureau of Child Care Licensing): Total Facilities: 18 Total Capacity: 1,274
Nearest Community/Technical College: Great Bay
Nearest Colleges or Universities: University of NH

Largest Businesses Product/Service Employees Established
HCA Portsmouth Regional Hospital Health care services 1,000 1987
Liberty Mutual Insurance Insurance services 1,000 1969
High Liner Foods Seafood production 394
Portsmouth Consular Center, US Dept of State Passport, visa services 1,601
Bottomline Technologies Finance software 450
John Hancock Financial services 400
Lonza Biologies Biopharma 950
City of Portsmouth Municipal services 712
Amadeus Hospitality/Event software 420
Service Credit Union Banking services 317

Employer Information Supplied by Municipality

(Distance estimated from city/town hall) Transportation
Road Access US Routes 1, 4
State Routes 1A, 1B, 16, 33, 1 Bypass
Nearest Interstate, Exit I-95, Exits 3 - 7
Distance Local access
Railroad Guilford Rail Service
Public Transportation COAST; Wildcat Transit
Nearest Public Use Airport, General Aviation
Pease InternationalRunway11,321 ft. asphalt/concrete
Lighted? Yes Navigational Aids? Yes
Nearest Airport with Scheduled Service
Manchester-Boston Regional Distance 48 miles
Number of Passenger Airlines Serving Airport 4
Driving distance to selected cities:
Manchester, NH 46 miles
Portland, ME 52 miles
Boston, MA 57 miles
New York City, NY 268 miles
Montreal, Quebec 302 miles

(ACS 2014-2018) Commuting to Work
Workers 16 years and over
Drove alone, car/truck/van 74.7%
Carpooled, car/truck/van 7.0%
Public transportation 1.6%
Walked 7.0%
Other Means 9.7%
Worked at home 8.2%
Mean Travel Time to Work 21.6 minutes
Percent of Working Residents: (ACS 2014-2018)
Working in community of residence 51.3%
Commuting to another NH community 34.9%
Commuting out-of-state 13.8%
Recreation, Attractions, and Events
X Municipal Parks
Boys Club/Girls Club
X Golf Courses
X Swimming: Indoor Facility
X Swimming: Outdoor Facility
X Tennis Courts: Indoor Facility
X Tennis Courts: Outdoor Facility
Ice Skating Rink: Indoor Facility
X Bowling Facilities
X Museums
X Cinemas
X Performing Arts Facilities
X Tourists Attractions
X Youth Organizations (i.e., Scouts, 4-H)
X Youth Sports: Baseball
X Youth Sports: Soccer
X Youth Sports: Football
X Youth Sports: Basketball
X Youth Sports: Hockey
X Fishing/Hunting
X Boating/Marinas
Snowmobile Trails
X Bicycle Trails
X Cross Country Skiing
X Beach or Waterfront Recreational Area
X Overnight or Day Camps
Nearest Ski Area(s): Gunstock
Other: Outdoor Ice Skating Rink; Strawbery Banke; Harbor & Isles of Shoals Cruises; Historic Homes; Fish Pier; Trolley; Sailing; Kayaking; Music Festival; Shopping; History Tours; Market Square Day; First Night; Seafood, Chili, and NH Film Festivals

Economic & Labor Market Information Bureau, NH Employment Security, 2020. Community Response Received 6/14/18

All information regarding the communities is from sources deemed reliable and is submitted subject to errors, omissions, modifications, and withdrawals without notice. No warranty or representation is made as to the accuracy of the information contained herein. Specific questions regarding individual cities and towns should be directed to the community contact.


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