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Community Profiles

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 Selectmen: Monday through Thursday, 8 am - 4 pm, Friday, 8 am - 3:30 pm; Town Clerk, Tax Collector: Monday through Thursday, 8 am - 4 pm, Friday, 8 am - 3:30 pm

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 1,802 over 41 years, from 952 in 1980 to 2,754 in 2021. The largest decennial percent change was a 58 percent increase between 1980 and 1990. 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 2016-2020) Housing
Total Housing Units 1,993
Single-Family Units, Detached or Attached 1,611
Units in Multiple-Family Structures:  
Two to Four Units in Structure 80
Five or More Units in Structure 167
Mobile Homes and Other Housing Units 135
(US Census Bureau) Population
(1-year Estimates/Decennial)
Total Population Community County
2021 2,754 92,201
2020 2,723 91,123
2010 2,490 89,118
2000 1,847 81,826
1990 1,506 74,998
1980 952 65,806
Demographics, American Community Survey (ACS) 2016-2020
Population by Gender
Male:   1,466 Female:   1,054
Population by Age Group
Under age 5 104
Age 5 to 19 367
Age 20 to 34 440
Age 35 to 54 671
Age 55 to 64 523
Age 65 and over 415
Median Age 44.8 years
Educational Attainment, population 25 years and over
High school graduate or higher 97.1%
Bachelor's degree or higher 36.4%

(ACS 2016-2020) Income, Inflation Adjusted $
Per capita income $35,457
Median family income $83,365
Median household income $74,583
Median Earnings, full-time, year-round workers, 16 years ad over
Male $46,286
Female $39,654
Individuals below the poverty level 2.8%

(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 University

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 2016-2020) Commuting to Work
Workers 16 years and over
Drove alone, car/truck/van 76.9%
Carpooled, car/truck/van 11.9%
Public transportation 0.0%
Walked 0.7%
Other Means 1.6%
Worked at home 8.9%
Mean Travel Time to Work 26.3 minutes
Percent of Working Residents: (ACS 2016-2020)
Working in community of residence 87.0%
Commuting to another NH community 9.8%
Commuting out-of-state 3.2%
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, 2021. 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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