The County of Carroll was formed on December 23, 1840, by an act of the State Legislature and organized from towns removed from Strafford County. It was named in honor of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, who had died eight years prior and was the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence. Ossipee is the county seat.
Carroll County is approximately 70 miles long, 30 miles wide and contains about 569,800 acres. One quarter of the county is within the White Mountain National Forest. It ranks second for New Hampshire counties in the number of its lakes.
With Mt. Washington to the north and Lake Winnipesaukee to the south, its major industries are tourism and recreation. The two largest of its 18 towns, Conway and Wolfeboro, stand out as popular destinations for tourists and outdoor enthusiasts. Carroll County is a rural area with no industrial or metropolitan base.
The 2001 estimated population of Carroll County is 44,438, making it the second least populated County in the state, with 17.8% being 65 and older and 21% being 17 and younger. The 2000 census shows Carroll County being the fastest growing County in the State, nearly double any other county in the state, with a 23.7% increase since 1990.