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There are some unresolved issues in classical hierarchical routing protocols for wireless sensor networks (WSN), In this paper, an energy-efficient multi-hop hierarchical routing protocol (EMHR) is proposed for WSN. Based on the energy strategy in the cluster head decision, the node of the largest surplus energy is selected to become the cluster head, which can effectively avoid the low-energy nodes as the cluster head. In data transmission, the data in cluster-heads can be transmitted by multi-hop, According to the determined of weight function determining the next-hop cluster head, this EMHR protocol balances the load of network topology and reduces the cluster heads energy dissipation. Simulation results show that EMHR protocol significantly prolongs survival time of the network and balances energy load of the cluster heads transmission path in WSN.