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State, northeastern U.S. Area: 9,282 sq mi (24,040 sq km). Pop. (2009 est.): 1,324,575. Capital: Concord. One of the New England states, New Hampshire is bordered by Canada and the U.S. states of Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont; the Atlantic Ocean lies to the southeast. The Connecticut River forms its western boundary with Vermont. The White Mountains in its central part contain Mount Washington. The region was inhabited by Algonquian-speaking peoples (seeAlgonquian languages) when the first English people settled near Portsmouth in 1623. The area came under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts in 1641 and became a separate crown colony in 1679. It was the first colony to declare its independence from Britain in 1776. Following the nation's establishment, the state grew rapidly. Agriculture flourished and manufacturing developed along the rivers. Portsmouth became a major shipbuilding centre. The economy is now based primarily on manufacturing and tourism, although dairy farming and granite quarrying are also important. Because it holds the nation's earliest presidential primary, it has furnished the first testing ground for many candidacies. Dartmouth and the University of New Hampshire are two of the state's prominent educational institutions.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on New Hampshire, visit Britannica.com.