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Belknap County, New Hampshire facts for kids

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Belknap County
Laconia District Court on Academy Square in Laconia
Laconia District Court on Academy Square in Laconia
Map of New Hampshire highlighting Belknap County
Location within the U.S. state of New Hampshire
Map of the United States highlighting New Hampshire
New Hampshire's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  New Hampshire
Founded 1840
Named for Jeremy Belknap
Seat Laconia
Largest city Laconia
 • Total 470.0 sq mi (1,217 km2)
 • Land 401.8 sq mi (1,041 km2)
 • Water 68.2 sq mi (177 km2)  14.5%
 • Total 63,705
 • Density 158.5/sq mi (61.2/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts 1st, 2nd

Belknap County is a county in the U.S. state of New Hampshire. As of the 2020 census, the population was 63,705. The county seat is Laconia. It is located in New Hampshire's Lakes Region, slightly southeast of the state's geographic center. Belknap County comprises the Laconia, NH Micropolitan Statistical Area, which in turn constitutes a portion of the Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT Combined Statistical Area.

The southwestern half of Lake Winnipesaukee lies in Belknap County, while several other major lakes such as Squam Lake and Lake Winnisquam lie partially or wholly within the county. The Belknap Mountains lie along the shore of Winnipesaukee east of Laconia and feature Mount Major, known for its numerous hiking trails and Gunstock Mountain, home of a popular ski resort. Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion is a concert venue in Gilford which features major national touring music acts, while the Laconia Motorcycle Week attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every June. Funspot Family Fun Center, located in Weirs Beach, is the largest video game arcade in the world.


Belknap County was organized in 1840 by removing parts of northeastern Merrimack County and northwestern Strafford County. 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.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 469 square miles (1,210 km2), of which 400 square miles (1,000 km2) is land and 68 square miles (180 km2) (15%) is water. It is the second-smallest county in New Hampshire by area. Most of the county's water area is part of Lake Winnipesaukee.

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 17,721
1860 18,549 4.7%
1870 17,681 −4.7%
1880 17,948 1.5%
1890 20,321 13.2%
1900 19,526 −3.9%
1910 21,309 9.1%
1920 21,178 −0.6%
1930 22,623 6.8%
1940 24,328 7.5%
1950 26,632 9.5%
1960 28,912 8.6%
1970 32,367 12.0%
1980 42,884 32.5%
1990 49,216 14.8%
2000 56,325 14.4%
2010 60,088 6.7%
2020 63,705 6.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 60,088 people, 24,766 households, and 16,609 families living in the county. The population density was 150.1 inhabitants per square mile (58.0/km2). There were 37,386 housing units at an average density of 93.4 per square mile (36.1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.6% white, 1.2% Asian, 0.5% black or African American, 0.2% American Indian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.2% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 20.8% were English, 20.7% were Irish, 8.5% were Italian, 8.0% were German, 7.1% were French Canadian, and 6.6% were American.

Of the 24,766 households, 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.5% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.9% were non-families, and 25.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.84. The median age was 44.7 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $54,929 and the median income for a family was $64,875. Males had a median income of $46,378 versus $34,690 for females. The per capita income for the county was $28,517. About 5.2% of families and 8.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.7% of those under age 18 and 10.0% of those age 65 or over.


There are ten towns and one city in Belknap County.



Census-designated places


Women's History Month on Kiddle
Women Scientists of Antiquity
Mary the Jewess
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