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Thornton, NH

thornton New Hampshire Community Profile Community Contact Town of Thornton
Debra Shepard, Town Administrator
16 Merrill Access Road
Thornton, NH 03285
Telephone (603) 726-8168
Fax (603) 726-2078
E-mail townadmin@thornton.org
Web Site www.townofthornton.org

Municipal Office Hours Town Administrator, Tax Collector: Monday to Thursday, 8-4, Friday, 8-3:30; Town Clerk Tuesday and Thursday, 3:30-5:30

County Grafton
Labor Market Area Plymouth, NH LMA
Tourism Region White Mountains
Planning Commission North Country Council
Regional Development Grafton County Economic Development Council

Election Districts
US Congress District District 2
Executive Council District District 2
State Senate District District 2
State Representative Grafton County District 4

Incorporated: 1763
Origin: This territory was chartered in 1763, and named for Dr. Matthew Thornton. The grant was given to him in return for his service as surgeon in the Pepperell expedition of 1745. Dr. Thornton, whose practice was in Merrimack, was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, a justice of the Superior Court, speaker of the House of Representatives, member of the State Senate, delegate to the Continental Congress, and president of the state following the Revolutionary War. No settlements were made under the first grant, and a second was issued in 1768; the first settlements were made in 1770.
Villages and Place Names: Goose Hollow, West Thornton
Population, Year of the First Census Taken: 385 residents in 1790
Population Trends: Population change for Thornton totaled 2,130 over 50 years, from 594 in 1970 to 2,724 in 2020. The largest decennial percent change was a 60 percent increase from 1970 to 1980, followed by a 58 percent increase over the next decade. The town's population increased by nine percent from 2010 to 2020. The 2021 Census estimate for Thornton was 2,754 residents, which ranked 114th among New Hampshire's incorporated cities and towns.
Population Density and Land Area, 2021 (US Census Bureau): 54.8 persons per square mile of land area. Thornton contains 50.3 square miles of land area and 0.4 square miles of inland water area.

Municipal Services
Type of Government Selectmen
Budget: Municipal Appropriations, 2021 $3,691,583
Budget: School Appropriations, 2021-2022 $5,165,319
Zoning Ordinance 1970/19
Master Plan 2013
Capitol Improvement Plan Yes
Industrial Plans Reviewed By Planning Board
Boards and Commissions
Elected:Selectmen; Trust Funds; Planning; Library; Treasurer; Overseer Public Welfare
Appointed:Conservation; Zoning
Public Library Thornton Public

Emergency Services
Police Department Full-time
Fire Department Municipal
Emergency Medical Service Municipal
Nearest Hospital(s) Distance Staffed Beds
Speare Memorial, Plymouth 15 miles 25

Electric Supplier Eversource Energy; NH Electric Coop
Natural Gas Supplier None
Water Supplier Private wells
Sanitation Private septic
Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant No
Solid Waste Disposal
Curbside Trash PickupNone
Pay-As-You-Throw ProgramNo
Recycling ProgramMandatory
Telephone Company Consolidated Communications
Cellular Telephone Access Limited
Cable Television Access Yes
Public Access Television Station No
High Speed Internet Service:

(NH Dept. of Revenue Administration) Property Taxes
2021 Total Tax Rate (per $1,000 of value) $20.77
2021 Equalization Ratio 79.1
2021 Full Value Tax Rate (per $1,000 of value) $16.35
2021 Percent of Local Assessed Value by Property Type
Residential Land and Buildings95.6%
Commercial Land and Buildings2.2%
Public Utilities, Current Use, and Other2.2%

(ACS 2017-2021) Housing
Total Housing Units 1,918
Single-Family Units, Detached or Attached 1,573
Units in Multiple-Family Structures:  
Two to Four Units in Structure 64
Five or More Units in Structure 177
Mobile Homes and Other Housing Units 104
(US Census Bureau) Population
(Decennial/ACS 2017-2021)
Total Population Community County
2021 2,704 91,025
2020 2,708 91,118
2010 2,490 89,118
2000 1,847 81,826
1990 1,506 74,998
1980 952 65,806
Demographics, American Community Survey (ACS) 2017-2021
Population by Gender
Male:   1,515 Female:   1,189
Population by Age Group
Under age 5 154
Age 5 to 19 424
Age 20 to 34 414
Age 35 to 54 704
Age 55 to 64 563
Age 65 and over 445
Median Age 45.3 years
Educational Attainment, population 25 years and over 2,034
High school graduate or higher 98.4%
Bachelor's degree or higher 38.1%

(ACS 2017-2021) Income, Inflation Adjusted $
Per capita income $37,745
Median family income $85,391
Median household income $72,973
Median Earnings, full-time, year-round workers, 16 years ad over
Male $46,850
Female $42,276
Individuals below the poverty level 5.2%

(NHES - ELMI) Labor Force
Annual Average 2011 2021
Civilian Labor Force 1,598 1,662
Employed 1,518 1,611
Unemployed 80 51
Unemployment Rate 5.0% 3.1%

(NHES - ELMI) Employment & Wages
Annual Average Covered Employment 2011 2021
Goods Producing Industries
Average Employment 20 31
Average Weekly Wage $576 $775
Service Providing Industries
Average Employment 84 207
Average Weekly Wage $391 $664
Total Private Industry
Average Employment 104 238
Average Weekly Wage $426 $678
Government (Federal, State, and Local)
Average Employment 64 37
Average Weekly Wage $468 $957
Total, Private plus Government
Average Employment 167 275
Average Weekly Wage $442 $716

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

(NH Dept. of Education) Education and Child Care
Schools students attend: Thornton operates grades K-8; grades 9-12 are part of Pemi-Baker Cooperative (Ashland, Campton, Holderness, Plymouth, Rumney, Thornton, Wentworth) SAU 48
Career Technology Center(s): Plymouth Applied Technology Center
Educational Facilities (includes Charter Schools) Elementary Middle/Junior High High School Private/Parochial
Number of Schools 1
Grade Levels K 1-8
Total Enrollment 203
2021 NH Licensed Child Care Facilities (Bureau of Child Care Licensing): Total Facilities: 0 Total Capacity: 0
Nearest Community/Technical College: Lakes Region
Nearest Colleges or Universities: Plymouth State

Largest Businesses Product/Service Employees Established
Not Available

Employer Information Supplied by Municipality

(Distance estimated from city/town hall) Transportation
Road Access US Routes 3
State Routes 49, 175
Nearest Interstate, Exit I-93, Exit 29
Distance Local access
Railroad No
Public Transportation No
Nearest Public Use Airport, General Aviation
Plymouth RegionalRunway2,380 ft. turf
Lighted? No Navigational Aids? No
Nearest Airport with Scheduled Service
Lebanon Municipal Distance 58 miles
Number of Passenger Airlines Serving Airport 1
Driving distance to selected cities:
Manchester, NH 72 miles
Portland, ME 105 miles
Boston, MA 122 miles
New York City, NY 319 miles
Montreal, Quebec 199 miles

(ACS 2017-2021) Commuting to Work
Workers 16 years and over 1,558
Drove alone, car/truck/van 74.4%
Carpooled, car/truck/van 9.1%
Public transportation 0.0%
Walked 0.7%
Other Means 5.8%
Worked at home 10.0%
Mean Travel Time to Work 24.9 minutes
Percent of Working Residents: (ACS 2017-2021)
Working in community of residence 23.4%
Commuting to another NH community 74.4%
Commuting out-of-state 2.2%
Recreation, Attractions, and Events
X Municipal Parks
Boys Club/Girls Club
X Golf Courses
Swimming: Indoor Facility
Swimming: Outdoor Facility
Tennis Courts: Indoor Facility
Tennis Courts: Outdoor Facility
Ice Skating Rink: Indoor Facility
Bowling Facilities
Performing Arts Facilities
X Tourist Attractions
X Youth Organizations (i.e., Scouts, 4-H)
Youth Sports: Baseball
Youth Sports: Soccer
Youth Sports: Football
Youth Sports: Basketball
Youth Sports: Hockey
X Campgrounds
X Fishing/Hunting
X Boating/Marinas
X Snowmobile Trails
Bicycle Trails
X Cross Country Skiing
Beach or Waterfront Recreational Area
Overnight or Day Camps
Nearest Ski Area(s): Loon Mountain, Waterville Valley
Other: Waterville Valley; Loon Mountain; White Mountains

Economic & Labor Market Information Bureau, NH Employment Security, April 2023. Community Response Received 5/12/22

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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