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 Nelson, NH   
NH cities/towns
Community Contact Town of Nelson
Edie Drinkwater, Administrative Assistant
7 Nelson Common Road
  Nelson, NH 03457
Telephone (603) 847-0047
Fax (603) 847-3197
Web Site
Municipal Office Hours Selectmen: meet every other Wednesday at 3; Administrative Assistant, Town Clerk, and Tax Collector: Tuesday, 9-6, Thursday 9-12, or by appointment
County Cheshire County
Labor Market Area Keene, NH Micropolitan NECTA
Tourism Region Monadnock Region
Planning Commission Southwest Region Planning
Regional Development Monadnock Economic Development Corp.
Election Districts
US Congress District 2
Executive Council District 2
State Senate District 10
State Representative Cheshire County Districts 8, 16
Incorporated: 1774
Origin: One of the original border towns, this territory was first granted in 1752 as Monadnock No. 6. In 1774, it was renamed Packersfield after Thomas Packer, High Sheriff of Portsmouth, who was one of the Masonian Proprietors. In 1777, some residents petitioned to rename the town Sullivan. The petition failed, but in 1786, a portion of the town was combined with part of Gilsum and Keene to form the town of Sullivan. Packersfield kept that name until 1814, when it was renamed in honor of Lord Horatio Nelson, who died on board the British ship Victory in the war against Napoleon.
Villages and Place Names: Munsonville
Population, Year of the First Census Taken: 721 residents in 1790
Population Trends: Population change for Nelson totaled 327 over 50 years, from 304 in 1970 to 631 in 2020. The largest decennial percent change was a 45 percent increase from 1970 to 1980. The town's population decreased by 13 percent from 2010 to 2020. The 2022 Census estimate for Nelson was 647 residents, which ranked 213th among New Hampshire's incorporated cities and towns.
Population Density and Land Area: 2022 (US Census Bureau): 29.5 persons per square mile of land area. Nelson contains 22 square miles of land area and 1.4 square miles of inland water area.

Municipal Services
Type of Government Selectmen
Budget:Municipal Appropriations,2021 $1,144,891
Budget:School Appropriations,2021-2022 $2,282,201
Zoning Ordinance 1970/21
Master Plan 2009
Capital Improvement Plan No
Industrial Plans Reviewed By Planning Board
Boards and Commissions
    Elected: Selectmen; Planning; Zoning; Library; Cemetery; Highway Equip.; Fire & Rescue Equip.
    Appointed: Conservation; Agricultural
Public Library Olivia Rodham Memorial

Emergency Services
Police Department Part-time
Fire Department On-Call
Emergency Medical Service Volunteer
Nearest Hospital(s) Distance Staffed Beds
Cheshire Medical Center, Keene 11 miles   94
Monadnock Community, Peterborough 20 miles   25

Electric Supplier Eversource Energy
Natural Gas Supplier None
Water Supplier Private wells
Sanitation Private septic
Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant No
Solid Waste Disposal
    Curbside Trash Pickup Private
    Pay-As-You-Throw Program Yes
    Recycling Program None
Telephone Company Consolidated Communications
Cellular Telephone Access Limited
Cable Television Access Yes
Public Access Television Station No
High Speed Internet Service: Business Limited
High Speed Internet Service: Resident Limited

Property Taxes (NH Dept. of Revenue Administration)
2022 Total Tax Rate $14.12
2022 Equalization Ratio 99.8
2022 Full Value Tax Rate (per $1000 of value) $14.04
2022 Percent of Local Assessed Valuation by Property Type
    Residential Land and Buildings 94.6%
    Commercial Land and Buildings 2.1%
    Public Utilities, Current Use, and Other 3.4%

Housing (ACS 2018-2022)
Total Housing Units 429
Single-Family Units,Detached or Attached 379
Units in Multiple-Family Structures:
    Two to Four Units in Structure 14
    Five or More Units in Structure 0
Mobile Homes and Other Housing Units 36

Population(1-Year Estimates/Decennial) (US Census Bureau)
Total Population Community County
   2022 647   77,463
   2020 631   76,458
   2010 728   77,117
   2000 637   73,825
   1990 536   70,121
   1980 442   62,116

Demographics American Community Survey (ACS 2018-2022)
Population by Gender
Male   252 Female   298
Population by Age Group
      Under Age 5 22
      Age 5 to 19 76
      Age 20 to 34 39
      Age 35 to 54 131
      Age 55 to 64 125
      Age 65 and over 157
            Median Age 56 years

Educational Attainment, population age 25 or older 448
      High school graduation or higher 97.5%
      Bachelor's degree or higher 59.6%
Income, Inflation Adjusted $   (ACS 2018-2022)
Per Capita Income $57,848
Median Family Income $104,464
Median Household Income $91,786
Median Earnings, full-time, year-round workers
      Male $60,625
      Female $66,458
Individuals below poverty level 2.8%
Labor Force   (NHES - ELMI)

Annual Average 2012 2022
    Civilian Labor Force 453   417
    Employed 436   410
    Unemploymed 17   7
    Unemployment rate 3.8%   1.7%

Employment & Wages   (NHES-ELMI)
Annual Average Covered Employment 2012 2022
Good-Producing Industries  
    Average Employment  n  15
    Average Weekly Wage  n  $842
Service-Providing Industries  
    Average Employment  n  28
    Average Weekly Wage  n  $894
Total Private  
    Average Employment  n  43
    Average Weekly Wage  n  $876
Government(Federal, State, Local)  
    Average Employment  18  19
    Average Weekly Wage  $539  $0
Total, Private Industry plus Government  
    Average Employment  n  61
    Average Weekly Wage  n  $801
If "n" appears, data do not meet disclosure standards.

Education and Child Care
Schools Students Attend: Nelson operates grades K-5; grades 6-12 are tuitioned to Keene District: SAU 29
Career Technology Center: Cheshire Career Center (Keene) Fall Mountain RHS - CTE
Educational Facilities(includes Charter Schools) Elementary Middle/Junior High High School Private/Parochial
Number of Schools 1      
Grade Levels K 1-5      
Total Enrollment 59      
Nearest Community/Technical College: River Valley; Nashua
Nearest College or Universities: Keene State; Franklin Pierce; Antioch New England

2022 NH Licensed Child Care Facilities (DHHS-Bureau of Child Care Licensing)   Total Facilities:     1   Capacity:     8

Largest Businesses Product/Service Employees Established
Not Available
Employer Information Supplied by Municipality
Transportation (distance estimated from city/town hall)
Road Access US Routes:
State Routes: 9, 123
Nearest Interstate/Exit: I-91 (VT), Exit 3
Distance: 28 miles
Railroad No
Public Transportation No
Nearest Public Use Airport, General Aviation
    Dillant-Hopkins, Swanzey Runway  6,201 ft. asphalt
    Lighted?  Yes Navigation Aids?  Yes
Nearest Airport With Scheduled Service
    Manchester-Boston Regional Distance   48 miles
    Number of Passenger Airlines Serving Airport 4
Driving distance to select cities:
    Manchester, New Hampshire 58 miles
    Portland, Maine 150 miles
    Boston, Massachusetts 87 miles
    New York City, New York 233 miles
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada 252 miles
Commuting To Work (ACS 2018-2022)
Workers 16 years of age and over
  Drove alone, car/truck/van: 65.7%
  Carpooled, car/truck/van: 10.2%
  Used Public Transportation: 0.0%
  Walked: 6.4%
  Traveled by other means: 0.4%
  Worked at home: 17.3%
Mean Travel Time to Work: 23.8 minutes
Work in community of residence: 85.9%
Commute to other NH community: 12.4%
Commute out-of-state: 1.8%
Recreation, Attractions, Events
X Municipal Parks
Boys Club/Girls Club
Golf Courses
Tennis Courts: Indoor Facility
Tennis Courts: Outdoor Facility
Ice Skating Rink: Indoor Facility
Bowling Facilities
X Performing Arts Facilities
Tourist Attractions
X Youth Organizations (ie Scouts and 4-H)
Youth Sports: Baseball
Youth Sports: Soccer
Youth Sports: Football
Youth Sports: Basketball
Youth Sports: Hockey
X Fishing/Hunting
X Boating/Marinas
X Snowmobile Trails
Bicycle Trails
Cross Country Skiing
X Beach or Waterfront Recreation Areas
Overnight or Day Camps

Nearest Ski Areas: Pat's Peak, Granite Gorge
Other: Boat Landing; Monadnock Sunapee Trail; Local Artisans Art Gallery; Sucker Brook Cove Wildlife Sanctuary; Partridge Woods Hiking Trails