How many counties in New Hampshire?

How many counties in New Hampshire?

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the number of counties in New Hampshire. If you have ever wondered about the county divisions within this beautiful state, you have come to the right place! In this article, we will delve into the details and provide you with an in-depth understanding of the county system in New Hampshire. From the historical background to the current count, we will explore everything you need to know. So, let’s get started and uncover the fascinating world of New Hampshire counties together!

Overview of New Hampshire

New Hampshire, located in the northeastern United States, is a charming state known for its stunning natural beauty, historical significance, and vibrant communities. As one of the six New England states, New Hampshire offers a unique blend of picturesque landscapes, diverse wildlife, and rich cultural heritage. With its small size and close-knit communities, this state provides a warm and inviting atmosphere for both residents and visitors alike.

Geographical location of New Hampshire

Situated in the New England region, New Hampshire shares its borders with the states of Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont, as well as the Canadian province of Quebec. Covering an area of approximately 9,350 square miles, the state encompasses a diverse range of geographical features. From the rolling hills of the central region to the majestic White Mountains in the north, New Hampshire boasts an abundance of natural beauty. Additionally, the state is blessed with over 1,300 lakes and ponds, including the famous Lake Winnipesaukee, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Brief history of New Hampshire

New Hampshire has a fascinating history that dates back centuries. The region was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, such as the Abenaki and Pennacook people. In 1623, the first European settlement was established in the area known as "Little Harbor," which is now present-day Portsmouth. The state’s name was inspired by the English county of Hampshire.

During the American Revolution, New Hampshire played a crucial role in the fight for independence. It was the first state to establish its own government independent of British rule and also the first to write its own constitution. Furthermore, the state’s motto, "Live Free or Die," highlights the fierce independent spirit that has defined New Hampshire throughout its history.

Today, New Hampshire is renowned for its vibrant economy, excellent education system, and strong sense of community. Whether you are exploring the charming coastal towns, hiking in the White Mountains, or enjoying the lively cultural scene, New Hampshire offers a delightful blend of history, natural beauty, and modern amenities.

County system in New Hampshire

Explanation of county system in the United States

In the United States, the county system plays a crucial role in the administration of local government. Counties are political and geographic subdivisions within a state, responsible for various governmental functions. The establishment of counties varies from state to state, and each county has its own set of responsibilities and powers.

Role and function of counties in New Hampshire

New Hampshire, like most states in the US, has a county system in place to facilitate efficient governance at the local level. The state of New Hampshire is divided into ten counties: Rockingham, Strafford, Belknap, Carroll, Merrimack, Hillsborough, Cheshire, Sullivan, Grafton, and Coos. Each county has its own county seat and is governed by a board of county commissioners.

Counties in New Hampshire play a vital role in providing essential services to their residents. Some of the key functions of counties include:

  1. Law Enforcement: Counties are responsible for maintaining law and order within their jurisdiction. They have their own county sheriff’s office, which ensures public safety through various law enforcement activities.

  2. Judicial System: Counties house courts and judicial facilities where trials and hearings take place. They provide a local venue for legal proceedings, making the justice system more accessible to residents.

  3. Public Works: Counties oversee the construction and maintenance of public infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and public buildings. They are responsible for ensuring the safety and functionality of these vital assets.

  4. Public Health: Counties play a significant role in promoting public health and well-being. They administer health departments that offer a range of services, including health education, disease prevention, and environmental health protection.

  5. Human Services: Counties provide various social services to their residents, including assistance programs, mental health services, and support for vulnerable populations. They collaborate with state agencies and community organizations to address the needs of the local community.

  6. Tax Administration: Counties collect property taxes and distribute funds to support local government operations, including schools, public services, and infrastructure development.

By decentralizing governance, counties in New Hampshire ensure that local needs and concerns are effectively addressed. They serve as a vital link between the state government and the residents, working towards the betterment of their respective communities.

Number of counties in New Hampshire

Total number of counties in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is divided into counties for administrative purposes. As of the latest data available, there are a total of 10 counties in the state.

List of counties in New Hampshire

The following is a list of the counties in New Hampshire:

  1. Belknap County
  2. Carroll County
  3. Cheshire County
  4. Coos County
  5. Grafton County
  6. Hillsborough County
  7. Merrimack County
  8. Rockingham County
  9. Strafford County
  10. Sullivan County

Each county is further divided into various cities, towns, and unincorporated places that make up the local communities within them.

Changes in county boundaries over time

County boundaries in New Hampshire have undergone changes over the years due to various reasons such as population shifts, administrative adjustments, and the creation of new counties. While the current configuration of counties has remained relatively stable, it is worth noting that historical changes have occurred.

For instance, in 1997, the town of Bartlett was transferred from Carroll County to Coos County. Additionally, in 1991, the town of Waterville Valley was transferred from Grafton County to Carroll County. These changes, although relatively recent, showcase the occasional adjustments that can occur within county boundaries.

It is important to consult official sources or historical records for a more detailed understanding of the specific changes that have taken place in the county boundaries of New Hampshire over time.


In conclusion, New Hampshire consists of ten counties. Each county offers its unique charm and attractions, from the scenic beauty of the Lakes Region to the historic significance of Merrimack Valley. Whether you are a nature enthusiast or a history buff, the diverse counties of New Hampshire have something to offer for everyone. So, if you’re planning a visit to this charming state, don’t forget to explore the hidden gems that lie within each county.

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