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Coos County, New Hampshire
Map of New Hampshire highlighting Coos County
Location in the state of New Hampshire
Map of USA NH
New Hampshire's location in the U.S.
Founded 1803
Seat Lancaster
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,831 sq mi (4,742 km²)
1,800 sq mi (4,662 km²)
31 sq mi (80 km²), 1.70%
 - (2000)
 - Density

18/sq mi (7/km²)

Coos County (pronounced English pronunciation: /ˈkoʊɒs/ with two syllables) is a county in the U.S. state of New Hampshire, including the whole of the state's northern panhandle. The two-syllable pronunciation is sometimes made visible using diaeresis, notably in the Lancaster-based weekly newspaper The Coös County Democrat and on some county-owned vehicles.

Coos has the largest area of the New Hampshire counties, but as of 2000, by far the smallest population, at 33,111. The county seat is Lancaster. Major industries are forestry and tourism, with the once-dominant paper-making industry in sharp decline.

History Edit

Coos County was separated from the northern part of Grafton County and organized at Berlin December 24, 1803, although the county seat was later moved to Lancaster, with an additional shire town at Colebrook. The name Coos derives from the Algonquian Indian term meaning crooked, the Indian name of the Connecticut River, which rises in the northernmost end of the county.

During the American Revolutionary War two units of troops of the Continental ArmyBedel's Regiment and Whitcomb's Rangers — were raised from the settlers of Coos. From the Treaty of Paris of 1783 until 1835 the boundaries in the northern tip of the county (and New Hampshire itself) were disputed with Lower Canada (which was soon to become part of the Province of Canada), and for some years residents of the area formed the independent Republic of Indian Stream.

In the 1810 census there were 3,991 residents, and by 1870 there were nearly 15,000, at which point the entire county was valued at just under $USD 5 million, with farm productivity per acre comparing favorably with that of contemporary Illinois. Other early industries included forestry and manufacturing, using 4,450 water horsepower in 1870.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 4,743 km² (1,831 sq mi). 4,663 km² (1,800 sq mi) of it is land and 80 km² (31 sq mi) of it (1.70%) is water.

Much of its mountainous area is reserved as national forest, wilderness, state parks and other public areas. These encompass most of the northern portion of the White Mountains, including all the named summits of the Presidential Range (though one, Mt. Webster's, lies about 200 feet from the county line). Mt. Washington's peak is the highest in the Northeast.

Mountains of Coos CountyEdit

Adjacent countiesEdit


As of the census² of 2000, there were 33,111 people, 13,961 households, and 9,158 families residing in the county. The population density was 7/km² (18/sq mi). There were 19,623 housing units at an average density of 4/km² (11/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 98.05% White, 0.12% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.37% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.16% from other races, and 1.00% from two or more races. 0.61% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.17% of the population speak French at home.[1]

There were 13,961 households out of which 28.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.30% were married couples living together, 8.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.40% were non-families. 28.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.82.

In the county the population was spread out with 22.80% under the age of 18, 6.30% from 18 to 24, 26.70% from 25 to 44, 25.70% from 45 to 64, and 18.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 95.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,593, and the median income for a family was $40,654. Males had a median income of $32,152 versus $21,088 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,218. About 6.80% of families and 10.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.70% of those under age 18 and 12.50% of those age 65 or over.

Cities, towns, villages, and unincorporated places*Edit

* In New Hampshire, locations, grants, townships (which are different from towns), and purchases are unincorporated portions of a county which are not part on any town and have limited self-government (if any, as many are uninhabited). Villages are census divisions of towns or cities, but have no separate corporate existence from the municipality they are located in.

Media in Coos CountyEdit

Radio stationsEdit

(Compiled from

Television stationsEdit

Coos County is part of the Portland-Auburn DMA. Cable companies carry Fox (WPFO), ABC (WMTW), CBS (WGME), NBC (WCSH) and select Burlington and Portland stations.


External links Edit

Coordinates: 44°41′N 71°18′W / 44.69, -71.30

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Coos County, New Hampshire. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.