Belknap County, New Hampshire

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Belknap County is one of ten counties in the U.S. state of New Hampshire. It is located in New Hampshire's Lakes Region, slightly southeast of the state's geographic center. The county seat is Laconia.[1] As of the 2000 census, the county's population was 56,325. The population in 2009 was estimated to be 61,585.[2]

Contents

History

Belknap County was organized in 1840 by removing parts of northeastern Merrimack County and northwestern Strafford County.[3] It is named for Dr. Jeremy Belknap, a renowned preacher, historian, and author of The History of New Hampshire. The first County Court was held within the town of Meredith, at a village known as Meredith Bridge on the Winnipesaukee River. In 1855, the town of Laconia was separated from Meredith.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 469 square miles (1,210 km2), of which 401 sq mi (1,040 km2) is land and 67 sq mi (170 km2) (14.35%) is water, most of which is part of Lake Winnipesaukee.

Adjacent counties

Demographics

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 56,325 people, 22,459 households, and 15,496 families residing in the county. The population density was 140 people per square mile (54/km²). There were 32,121 housing units at an average density of 80 per square mile (31/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.61% White, 0.29% Black or African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.55% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.16% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races. 0.74% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 17.2% were of English, 13.6% Irish, 13.3% French, 12.2% French Canadian, 8.5% American, 6.9% Italian and 5.7% German ancestry according to Census 2000. 95.0% spoke English, 2.7% French and 1.2% Spanish as their first language.

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