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Manchester is the largest city in the U.S. state of New Hampshiremarker and the largest city in northern New Englandmarker, an area comprising the states of Mainemarker, New Hampshiremarker, and Vermontmarker. It is in Hillsborough Countymarker along the banks of the Merrimack River. As of the 2000 census, the city had a population of 107,219. The estimated population in 2007 was 108,580. Manchester is near the northern end of the northeast megalopolis. As of the 2007 population estimate referred to above, Manchester is the most populous New England city north of Boston (including other Massachusetts cities).

In 2009 rated Manchester 13th in a list of the 100 best cities to live and launch a business in the United Statesmarker. In addition, Kiplinger voted Manchester the second most tax friendly city in the United States, second only to Anchorage, Alaskamarker. Also in 2009, Forbes magazine ranked the Manchester region first on its list of "America's 100 Cheapest Places to Live."


Mills on Merrimack River and the West Side of Manchester
Pennacook Indians called it Namoskeag, meaning "good fishing place"—a reference to the Amoskeag Fallsmarker in the Merrimack River. In 1722, John Goffe settled beside Cohas Brookmarker, later building a dam and sawmill at what was dubbed Old Harry's Town. It was granted by Massachusetts in 1727 as Tyngstown to veterans of Queen Anne's War who served in 1703 under Captain William Tyng. But at New Hampshire's 1741 separation from Massachusetts, the grant was ruled invalid and substituted with Wilton, Mainemarker, so Governor Benning Wentworth rechartered the town in 1751 as Derryfield.

In 1807, Samuel Blodget opened a canal and lock system to allow vessels passage around the falls. He envisioned here a great industrial center, "the Manchester of America", like the Industrial Revolution's Manchestermarker in Englandmarker, the first industrialized city in the world. Sure enough, in 1809, Benjamin Prichard and others built a cotton spinning mill operated by water power on the western bank of the Merrimack. Following Blodgett's suggestion, Derryfield was renamed Manchester in 1810, the year the mill was incorporated as the Amoskeag Cotton & Woolen Manufacturing Company. It would be purchased in 1825 by entrepreneurs from Massachusetts, expanded to 3 mills in 1826, and then incorporated in 1831 as the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company.

Elm Street c.
On the eastern bank, Amoskeag engineers and architects planned a model company town, founded in 1838 with Elm Street as its main thoroughfare. Incorporated as a city in 1846, Manchester would become home to the largest cotton mill in the world—Mill No. 11, stretching long by wide, and containing 4,000 looms. Other products made in the community included shoes, cigars, and paper. The Amoskeag foundry made rifles, sewing machines, textile machinery, fire engines, and locomotives in a division called the Amoskeag Locomotive Works (later, the Manchester Locomotive Works). The rapid growth of the mills demanded a large influx of workers, resulting in a flood of immigrants, particularly French Canadians. Many current residents descend from these workers. The Amoskeag Manufacturing Company went out of business in 1935, although its red brick mills have been renovated for other uses. Indeed, the mill town's 19th century affluence left behind some of the finest Victorian commercial, municipal, and residential architecture in the state.

View of downtown from north in 2009
Manchester is nicknamed the Queen City. More recent nicknames for the city are ManchVegas, Funchester, ManchHattan, and simply "Manch". In 1998, Manchester was named the "Number One Small City in the East" by Money magazine. The Mall of New Hampshiremarker, on Manchester's southern fringe near the intersection of Interstates 93 and 293, is the city's main retail center. In 2001, the Verizon Wireless Arenamarker, a venue seating more than 10,000, opened for major concerts and sporting events, enhancing the city's downtown revitalization efforts with a major hotel and convention center already in place directly across the street from the arena.

Geography and climate

Manchester is located at (42.986284, -71.451560).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , of which is land and is water, comprising 5.44% of the city. Manchester is drained by the Merrimack River, the Piscataquog Rivermarker and Cohas Brookmarker. Massabesic Lakemarker is on the eastern border. The highest point in Manchester is its extreme northwest corner, where the elevation reaches above sea level.

Image:Bridge St., West from Maple St., Manchester, NH.jpg|Bridge Street in 1909Image:Soldiers' Monument, Manchester, NH.jpg|War Monument c. 1905Image:Granite Street, West Manchester, NH.jpg|Granite Street c. 1900Image:Old Fire Station, Manchester, NH.jpg|Old Fire Station in 1907


Board of Mayor and Aldermen
  • Mayor: Frank Guinta (R)
  • Ward 1: Mark Roy (D)
  • Ward 2: Ted Gatsas (R)
  • Ward 3: Peter M. Sullivan (D)
  • Ward 4: Jim Roy (D)
  • Ward 5: Ed Osborne (D)
  • Ward 6: Real Pinard (I)
  • Ward 7: William P. Shea (D)
  • Ward 8: Betsi DeVries (D)
  • Ward 9: Michael Garrity (R)
  • Ward 10: George Smith (D)
  • Ward 11: Russell Ouellette (D)
  • Ward 12: Patrick Arnold (D)
  • At-large: Michael “Mike” Lopez
  • At-large: Daniel P. O’Neil

The mayor also serves as the chair of the board of school committee. Like the board of aldermen, the school board is has twelve members elected by ward and two at-large members. The School Board is not a City Department; rather, it is a School District which obtains financing from the Board of Mayor & Aldermen.


City Hall Plaza
Manchester's estimated 2007 population of 108,580 is greater than that of Burlington, Vermontmarker and Portland, Mainemarker—the most populous cities in their respective states—combined. Manchester is the center of the Manchester, NH, New England City and Town Metropolitan Area (NECTA MA), with a population in 2000 of 176,663. This is less than the population of either the Portland-South Portland-Biddeford NECTA or the Burlington-South Burlington NECTA, but both of these encompass considerably larger geographical areas than the Manchester NECTA.

As of the census of 2000, there were 107,219 people, 44,247 households, and 26,105 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,241.4 people per square mile (1,251.6/km²). There were 45,892 housing units at an average density of 1,390.2/sq mi (536.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.75% White, 2.10% African American, 0.30% Native American, 2.32% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.76% from other races, and 1.73% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.62% of the population.

As of the 2005-2007 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, White Americans made up 90.0% of Manchester's population; of which 85.3% were non-Hispanic whites. Blacks or African Americans made up 3.8% of Manchester's population; of which 3.7% were non-Hispanic blacks. American Indian made up 0.3% of the city's population. Asian Americans made up 2.4% of the city's population. Pacific Islander Americans made up less than 0.1% of the city's population. Individuals from some other race made up 2.3% of the city's population; of which less than 0.1% were non-Hispanic. Individuals from two or more races made up 1.2% of the city's population; of which 1.0% were non-Hispanic. In addition, Hispanics and Latinos made up 7.3% of Manchester's population.

The largest ancestry groups within the city's population are: French (22.1%), Irish (20.2%), English (10.3%), German (7.4%), and Italian (7.9%).

There were 44,247 households out of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.0% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 3.00.

West Side neighborhood
In the city the population was spread out with 23.7% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 95.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,774, and the median income for a family was $50,039. Males had a median income of $34,287 versus $26,584 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,244. 10.6% of the population and 7.7% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 14.6% are under the age of 18 and 11.7% are 65 or older.


The city is served by four newspapers: the New Hampshire Union Leader (formerly the Manchester Union Leader) (a daily); the Manchester Express (a weekly newspaper published by Hippo Press); The Hippo (weekly); and the Manchester Mirror (a weekly produced by the New Hampshire Union Leader).

In addition to several commercial AM and FM radio stations, Manchester is also served by local cable television and two commercial television stations:

Manchester is part of the Boston television market.


Pearl Street School c.
Elm Street in 2009

Public schools

Manchester's public school system is run by the Manchester School District.

High schools
Manchester School District has four public high schools:

Middle schools
Manchester School District has four public middle schools:
  • Hillside Middle School
  • Henry J. McLaughlin Middle School
  • Middle School at Parkside
  • Southside Middle School

Elementary schools
Manchester School District has fourteen elementary schools:
  • Bakersville Elementary School
  • Beech Street School
  • Gossler Park School
  • Green Acres Elementary School
  • Hallsville Elementary School
  • Highland-Goffes Falls Elementary School
  • Jewett Street School
  • McDonough Elementary School
  • Northwest Elementary School
  • Parker-Varney School
  • Smyth Road School
  • Webster School
  • Weston School
  • Henry Wilson School

Private schools

Manchester is served by three private high schools:

Other Roman Catholic schools include:
  • St. Joseph Regional Junior High School
  • St. Catherine School, an elementary school
  • St. Anthony School, an elementary school
  • St. Casimir, elementary and junior high school
  • St. Benedict Academy, an elementary school
  • Mount Saint Mary Academy, an elementary school

In addition:
  • Mount Zion Christian Schoolsmarker, a nondenominational, evangelical Christian school serving kindergarten through twelfth grade; recently relocated from neighboring Bedfordmarker to Manchester
  • Easter Seals Robert B. Jolicoeur School, a private special education school

Post-secondary schools

Area institutions of higher education, together enrolling more than 8,000 students, include:


Old Library in 1908
Cultural landmarks include the historic Palace Theatremarker; the Currier Museum of Artmarker; the New Hampshire Institute of Artmarker; the Franco-American Center; the Manchester Historic Association Millyard Museum; the Massabesic Audubon Center; the Amoskeag Fishways Learning and Visitors Center; the Lawrence L. Lee Scouting Museum and Max I. Silber Library; and the SEE Science Center. Valley Cemeterymarker, since 1841 the resting place of numerous prominent citizens, is an early example of a garden-style burial ground.

The Verizon Wireless Arenamarker is a civic center that hosts a variety of events, from professional minor-league sports such as hockey and arena football to concerts with major recording artists and comedians, national touring theatrical productions, family-oriented shows, and fairs. It opened in November 2001 and seats more than 10,000 patrons.[18908] The John F. Kennedy Memorial Coliseummarker is another, smaller venue located in downtown Manchester with a capacity of approximately 3,000 seats. It was completed in 1963, serves as home ice for the Manchester Central and Memorial High School hockey teams, and is home to the Southern New Hampshire Skating Club. [18909]


Club League Venue Established Championships
NERFU, Rugby Northeast Athletic Club 1984 0
EL, Baseball Stadiummarker 2004 1
AHL, Ice hockey Verizon Wireless Arenamarker 2001 0
af2, Arena football Verizon Wireless Arenamarker 2002 0
PBL, Basketball Southern New Hampshire Universitymarker 2007 0
PDL, Soccer Manchester Memorial High Schoolmarker 1996 0
USARS, Flat track roller derby ManchVegas Roller Girl Training Center 2008 0
NEFL, Semi-Pro Football Gill Stadiummarker 2004 0


Union Station c.
The city is served by Manchester-Boston Regional Airportmarker, the fourth largest airport in New England. It is the secondary airport serving Bostonmarker, Massachusettsmarker, and is used by most of the nation's major airlines, with the largest market share held by Southwest Airlinesmarker. The airport has international service to Torontomarker, Ontariomarker, via Air Canada; customs are handled in Toronto.

Interstates 93 and 293 and the F.E. Everett Turnpike are multi-lane highways that connect the metropolitan area to Concordmarker and the White Mountainsmarker to the north and Nashuamarker and Bostonmarker to the south. NH 101 is a four-lane highway eastbound from Manchester to Hampton Beachmarker, connecting the city with the southeastern part of the state and the seacoastmarker, as well as Mainemarker and the Massachusettsmarker North Shoremarker via Interstate 95. West of Manchester, NH 101 is a two-lane highway serving as the main artery to Keenemarker, the Monadnock regionmarker, and other points in southwestern New Hampshire.

Construction is underway to connect the Everett Turnpike just south of the city with the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport via a Merrimack River-crossing connector road, the first direct highway access with the airport to date. Currently most airport patrons must exit I-293 and then drive on Brown Avenue, a four-lane city street, to access the airport.

Public transportation is provided by the Manchester Transit Authority, which runs several bus routes throughout the city and surrounding areas. Concord Trailways and Boston Express run commuter services to Boston and other parts of the state. Vermont Transit Lines (affiliated with Greyhound Lines) has lines to Montreal. As of 2008, Boston Express has moved to suburb Londonderry, New Hampshiremarker, and now provides only limited service to downtown Manchester.

With the planned expansion of Interstate 93 to eight lanes from Salemmarker to Manchester, space will be reserved in the median for potential future commuter rail service along this corridor.


Amoskeag Bank in 1913
Manchester is northern New England's largest city, and its metropolitan area is one of the fastest growing in New England. Its economy has changed greatly, as Manchester was a textile mill town about 20 years ago. In March 2009 Kiplinger voted Manchester the second most tax friendly city in Americamarker, after Anchorage, Alaskamarker. Earlier in the year, CNN rated Manchester 13th in its 100 best places to live and launch a business in Americamarker.


City Hall Plazamarker, the tallest New England building north of Boston, is located in downtown Manchester. Other notable downtown buildings include the all-black Hampshire Plazamarker, the New Hampshire Tower, the New Hampshire headquarters of Citizens Bank (in the former Amoskeag Bank building) and Bank of America.

The Verizon Wireless Arenamarker has become the centerpiece of downtown Manchester. The venue can seat more than 10,000 for concerts and sporting events. The Verizon is also home to the Manchester Monarchs, the local AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings. The Stadiummarker (formerly Fisher Cats Park) is a baseball park located on the Merrimack River in downtown Manchester and is home to the local AA baseball affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Historic Gill Stadiummarker supported professional minor-league baseball into the early 21st century and continues to be a viable and popular downtown venue for many sporting and entertainment events, seating nearly 4,000 patrons, depending on the event format.

The Red Arrow, rated in 1998 as one of the top 10 diners in the United States, is located downtown.

In recent years there has been continual redevelopment of the Amoskeag Millyard and its residential Historic District. The increasing popularity of downtown living has caused many properties originally built as tenement housing for mill workers in the 19th century to be converted to stylish, eclectic residential condominiums. Many new retail stores and higher education institutions have been uniquely retro-fitted into properties along Commercial and Canal Street.


Manchester has two main retail areas: downtown Manchester and South Willow Street. The Mall of New Hampshiremarker is located on South Willow Street, with more than 125 stores.

Notable inhabitants

Stark House in 1906
See List of people from Manchester, New Hampshire for a more complete list.


Electric Supplier PSNH
Natural Gas Supplier National Grid
Water Supplier Manchester Water Works
Sanitation Municipal
Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant Yes
Solid Waste Disposal:
Curbside Trash Pickup Municipal
Pay-As-You-Throw Program No
Recycling Program Yard waste Mandatory, Recyclables Voluntary
Telephone Companies: Fairpoint
G4 Communications
Cellular Telephone Access Yes
Cable Television Access Yes
Public Access Television Station Yes
High Speed Internet Service:
- Business G4 Communications
- Residential G4 MetroReach

Sister cities

See also


  • Manchester: A Brief record of its Past and a Picture of its Present (1876) 598pp online
  4. Tamara K. Hareven, Amoskeag: Life and Work in an American Factory City
  5. "Population in Combined New England City and Town Areas (CNECTAs) and Their Component NECTAs in Alphabetical Order and Numerical and Percent Change: 1990 and 2000", U.S. Census Bureau, December 2003
  9. Rebuilding I93: Salem to Manchester (NHDOT) — Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)
  10. USA Today, Sep 18, 1998

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