The Social Connectedness section of the SHA describes how involved people are and how they feel about being included in the community.
The key factors in this section were selected to demonstrate social connectedness in NH are:
Below, we present key data points within the factor areas that illustrate what Social Connectedness looks like in our state. We also highlight data points for communities whose experience is very different than what the state level data implies. Whenever possible, we have referenced data that is centrally accessible in the NH Department of Health and Human Services Data Portal’s Social Determinants of Health dashboard. Data points that are not available on the NH DHHS Data Portal are linked to their respective sources.
New Hampshire communities vary in the risk factors that impact resilience. Residents are engaged in their communities, but engagement is not consistent across subpopulations. Social isolation is an important issue, especially among these groups.
What does Social Connectedness look like in NH?
Community resilience has been defined as “the capacity of individuals and households to absorb, endure, and recover from the health, social, and economic impacts of a disaster” and is constructed based on total risk factors. Risk factors include: income-to-poverty ratio, single or zero caregiver household, crowding, communication barrier, households without full-time, year-round employment, disability, no health insurance, age 65 and older, no vehicle access, and no broadband internet access.
Data below reflects the 2019 Community Resilience Estimates showing the percentage of people with risk factors. Statewide data is represented in the top line, followed by data from communities with significantly different experiences.
- Coos County: 33%
- Carroll County: 30%
- Coos County: 43%
- Carroll County: 49%
- Coos County: 23%
- Carroll County: 21%
There are a variety of ways to measure inclusiveness. Given the demographics of New Hampshire, having age-friendly communities is important, as is the issue of social isolation.
Social connections are important
87% of 18 to 34 year olds who responded to the 2021 Community Engagement survey report feeling lonely or isolated sometimes, often, or always.
This index score in the 2016-2020 America’s Health Rankings considers the following factors: poverty; living alone; divorced, separated or widowed; never married; disability; and independent living difficulty among adults ages 65 and older. On a scale of 1 to 100, a higher value indicates greater risk.
NH is an overall civically engaged state. Civic engagement differences vary across groups, however, as reflected in the UNH Carsey School of Public Policy 2020 New Hampshire Civic Health Index. Data below reflects the 2017-2020 Current Population Survey results.
Age 65 and older
Age 65 and older
The 2020 NH Civic Health Index found:
- NH residents had higher Awareness and Engagement than the U.S. as a whole for all indicators except one indicator, that look at how people become aware of what is going on in their communities and engage in opportunities to participate in community activities.
- NH residents had higher engagement than the U.S. as a whole in three of the eight Connecting in Community indicators, which address how people connect with each other in community outside of institutions, and how trust is a key component of those connections.
- NH residents had higher engagement than the U.S. as a whole across all Volunteering and Giving indicators, including how people give back to their communities through volunteering and making charitable contributions.
- Engagement across several civic life indicators varied by age/generation and level of education, including lower overall levels of engagement by members of the Millennial generation, despite high interest.
- NH’s trust in neighbors had declined. Most notably, NH is in the bottom ten states for the reported number of residents who:
- do favors for neighbors (8.2%, ranked 40th),
- help friends or extended family with food. housing, or money (6.3%, ranked 45th),
- connecting with someone who is of a different racial, ethnic, or cultural background (44.2%, ranked 46th).