New Hampshire Counties
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New Hampshire Counties

There are currently ten Counties in the state of New Hampshire. Five of the counties were created in 1769, when New Hampshire was still an English colony and not a state, during the first subdivision of the state into counties. The last counties created were Belknap County and Carroll County, in 1840.

Hillsborough County, New Hampshire

Hillsborough County Education, Geography, and HistoryHillsborough County, New Hampshire Courthouse

Hillsborough County is the most populous county in the state of New Hampshire. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 400,721. Its county seats are Manchester and Nashua. Hillsborough is northern New England's most populous county as well as its most densely populated.

Hillsborough County comprises the Manchester-Nashua, NH Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT Combined Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Hillsborough County Name

Named in honor of Wills Hill, 1st Marquess of Downshire, PC (30 May 1718 - 7 October 1793), was a British politician of the Georgian era. He was usually called the Earl of Hillsborough in America when he served as Secretary of State for the Colonies in 1768-1772, a critical period leading toward the American Revolution. (Hillsborough County, New Hampshire and Hillsborough County, Florida in the United States are named in his honor.)


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Hillsborough County History

Hillsborough County was organized on May 6, 1771 and named in honor of Will Hill, the Earl of Hillsborough. The county has the largest population in the state with 346,160 residents, nearly one-third of whom live in the city of Manchester.

During the 1800s, Manchester was known as the textile capital of the United States. The Amoskeag Mills at Amoskeag Falls on the Merrimack River employed 17,000 people and produced four million yards of cloth per week at its peak.

Nashua, the second largest city in the county and also the state, was the first inland town to be settled in New Hampshire.

Peterborough was the inspiration for and the site of the first performance of the play, Our Town, by Thornton Wilder. The town of Hillsborough was the birthplace of our 14th president, Franklin Pierce. The county also boasts several playhouses and theaters, among them, the Palace Theater in Manchester and the American Stage Festival in Milford.

Dominant industries include manufacture and retail trade. Hillsborough County is the leading source of meals and rooms tax revenues for the state. Colleges in the county include the University of New Hampshire at Manchester and Nashua, Daniel Webster and Rivier in Nashua, Southern New Hampshire University, Hesser, Notre Dame and Springfield College in Manchester and Saint Anselm in Goffstown. Parks, such as Greenfield, Miller, Fox and Silver Lake State Parks and Beaver Brook and Shieling Forest offer outdoor recreation while the Currier Gallery of Art and the Institute of Arts and Sciences in Manchester and the Nashua Arts and Science Center provide cultural opportunities. The county agricultural fair at the 4H Youth Center in New Boston, always held on the weekend following Labor Day, and Manchester's Riverfest on the Merrimack River in the millyard are annual celebrations of rural and urban county life.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 892 square miles (2,310 km2), of which 876 square miles (2,270 km2) is land and 16 square miles (41 km2) (1.8%) is water. The highest point in Hillsborough county is Pack Monadnock Mountain at 2,290 feet (700 m).

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Merrimack County (north)
  • Rockingham County (east)
  • Essex County, Massachusetts (southeast)
  • Middlesex County, Massachusetts (south)
  • Worcester County, Massachusetts (southwest)
  • Cheshire County (west)
  • Sullivan County (northwest)


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