What’s Happening to the Class of ’09?

[imgbelt img=moosesign.jpg] The Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire is tracking 2009 high school graduates from Coos County, New Hampshire. These recent grads say their biggest worry is finding a job or a career.


[imgcontainer left] [img:moosesign.jpg] [source]Jimmy Emerson

The one thing recent high school graduates from Coos County, New Hampshire, all seem to agree on is that their community has undeniable beauty. And moose, too, as this sign from northern New Hampshire attests.

What happens to rural kids after they graduate from high school?

In Coos County, New Hampshire, more than half had left the community just two years after graduation, according to a recent survey. And the overwhelming majority of those who left are going to school.

And what’s the most important thing to these recent high school grads? Having a steady job and a successful career, they say. Employment is more important than college, children or living close to family.

We know about the Coos County class of 2009 because researchers at the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire have been tracking them since 2008 — asking the members of the class what they are doing and what their plans are for the future. 

To see the full survey, go here

This survey comes two years after graduation. It finds that only 49 percent of those found are still living in Coos County, which fills the northern end of New Hampshire. Coos County has the smallest population of any county in the state (just over 33,000) — and it was the only county in New Hampshire to lose population between 2000 and 2010.

The researchers, led by Eleanor Jaffee, asked the Class of ’09 where they lived. Turns out that nearly 4 out of ten lived at their parents’ homes. Another 30 percent lived in dorms and 23 percent in rentals.