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Grafton County is a county located in the U.S. state of New Hampshire. As of the 2010 census, the population was 89,118. Its county seat is North Haverhill, which is a village within the town of Haverhill. Until 1972, the county courthouse and other offices were located in downtown Woodsville, a larger village within the town of Haverhill. Grafton County is part of the Lebanon, NH–VT Micropolitan Statistical Area.

The county is the home of Dartmouth College and Plymouth State University. Progressive Farmer rated Grafton County fourth in its list of the “Best Places to Live in Rural America” in 2006, citing low unemployment (despite slow economic growth), a favorable cost of living, and the presence of White Mountain National Forest, the state’s only national forest.

History

Grafton was one of the five counties originally identified for New Hampshire in 1769. It was named for Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton, who had been a supporter of American causes in Parliament, and who was serving as British Prime Minister at the time. The county was organized at Woodsville in 1771, and originally included the entire northern frontier of New Hampshire, including a number of towns that are now in Vermont. In 1803, the northern area was removed for the formation of Coos County. The three counties to the south were Strafford, Hillsborough and Cheshire, and the eastern edge bordered the “District of Maine”. In 1797, the county contained 50 townships and 17 locations, and had a population of 23,093.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,750 square miles, of which 1,713 sq mi  is land and 37 sq mi  (2.10%) is water.

Grafton County is heavily rural. About half of its total area is in the White Mountain National Forest. Squam Lake, featured in the film On Golden Pond, and the Old Man of the Mountain landmark are located here, as are Dartmouth College and the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. Many of the 4,000-foot mountains of New Hampshire are within the county. The Appalachian Trail passes through parts of at least ten towns in the county.

National protected area

White Mountain National Forest (part)

Politics and government

In the 2000 U.S. Presidential election, Al Gore narrowly defeated George W. Bush, taking 47.31% of the vote to Bush’s 46.71%. Other candidates got a combined 5.98%. In 2004 John Kerry defeated George Bush by a wider margin: Kerry received 55.74% of the vote, while Bush received 43.17%. In 2008, Barack Obama carried Grafton by a landslide, receiving 63.03% of the vote to John McCain’s 35.45%. It was Obama’s highest percentage by county in New Hampshire.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 81,743 people, 31,598 households, and 20,254 families residing in the county. The population density was 48 people per square mile. There were 43,729 housing units at an average density of 26 per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 95.76% White, 1.73% Asian, 0.53% Black or African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.39% from other races, and 1.26% from two or more races. 1.12% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 19.0% were of English, 12.9% Irish, 11.1% French, 7.8% American, 7.5% German, 6.8% French Canadian and 5.5% Italian ancestry according to Census 2000.  95.1% spoke English, 1.5% French and 1.3% Spanish as their first language.

There were 31,598 households out of which 29.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.40% were married couples living together, 8.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.90% were non-families. 27.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the county the population was spread out with 21.90% under the age of 18, 13.50% from 18 to 24, 27.00% from 25 to 44, 24.20% from 45 to 64, and 13.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 96.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $41,962, and the median income for a family was $50,424. Males had a median income of $31,874 versus $25,286 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,227. About 5.10% of families and 8.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.60% of those under age 18 and 7.50% of those age 65 or over.

Radio stations in Grafton County

  • WPNH – 1300 AM, Plymouth
  • WTSL – 1400 AM, Hanover – News/Talk
  • WLTN – 1400 AM, Littleton – Oldies – “Oldies 1400”
  • WUVR – 1490 AM, Hanover – Talk
  • W217BH – 91.3 FM, Littleton – New Hampshire Public Radio – Simulcast of WEVO in Concord, New Hampshire
  • WEVH – 91.3 FM, Hanover – New Hampshire Public Radio
  • WPCR – 91.7 FM, Plymouth – Plymouth State University
  • W231BW – 94.1 FM, Littleton – Classic rock – “The Outlaw” – Simulcast of WOTX in Groveton
  • W237CR – 95.3 FM, Littleton – Eclectic Music Mix (Hot AC/Rock/Dance) – “Kiss 102.3” – Simulcast of WXXS in Lancaster
  • W240AK – 95.9 FM, Lebanon – Religious – “Alive Radio” – Simulcast of WBAR in Lake Luzerne, New York
  • WLTN-FM – 96.7 FM, Lisbon – 70’s-90’s Adult Contemporary – “Mix 96.7”
  • W245AF – 96.9 FM, Ashland – “New Hampshire Gospel Radio” – Simulcast of WVNH in Concord, New Hampshire
  • W247AO – 97.3 FM, Plymouth – New Hampshire Public Radio – Simulcast of WEVO in Concord, New Hampshire
  • W249AW – 97.7 FM, Lebanon – Religious – “Alive Radio” – Simulcast of WBAR in Lake Luzerne, New York
  • WFRD – 99.3 FM, Hanover – Active Rock – “99 Rock”
  • WPNH – 100.1 FM, Plymouth – “The Planet”
  • WXXK – 100.5 FM, Lebanon – Country – “Kixx Country”
  • WYKR-FM – 101.3 FM, Haverhill – Country
  • W272AU – 102.3 FM, Hanover – Classic rock – “Champ 101.3 & 102.1” – Simulcast of WVXR in Randolph, Vermont
  • W280CS – 103.9 FM, Hanover – Vermont Public Radio Classical Channel – Simulcast of WVPR in Burlington, Vermont
  • WLKC – 105.7 FM, Campton – “The River” – Simulcast of WXRV in Andover, Massachusetts
  • WMTK – 106.3 FM, Littleton – Classic rock – “The Notch”
  • W294AB – 106.7 FM, Hanover – Classic rock – “Q106” – Simulcast of WHDQ in Claremont, New Hampshire
  • W299AM – 107.7 FM, Lebanon – Adult Album Alternative – “Point FM” – Simulcast of WRJT in Royalton, Vermont

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