10 Best Places To Raise A Family In New Hampshire For 2018

We used science and data to determine which cities in New Hampshire have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

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If you’re like the rest of us, you’re looking for the perfect place for your family. But you have a strict criteria; the city has to be safe, affordable, and stimulating. Basically, the place you move – or even visit – has to be outright perfect.

Is that attainable? Perhaps not, but we’ll get you as close as we can.


According to the United States Census, the number of American families who move is trending downwards Why is that? Perhaps it has to do with the ‘safety net’ factor: We get comfortable where we live, and we’re afraid to try a new move. What if the schools are bad? What if it’s dangerous?

Well, we can pretty much guarantee that if you choose the cities we’re mentioning below, you won’t lose any sleep whatsoever.

So, where are the best cities for families in New Hampshire? We’ve got the answers here.

These are the best cities to raise a family in the Granite State:

  1. Exeter (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Durham (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Milford (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Hanover (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Londonderry (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Newmarket (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Berlin (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Portsmouth (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Derry (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Hampton (Photos | Homes For Sale)

If you’re thinking of making a move to New Hampshire, and want a family-friendly place, we’ve got you covered. And if you already have kids, we’re surprised you made it this far into the article and hope your little ones give you a couple of more minutes of free time.

Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in New Hampshire and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in New Hampshire.

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How do you determine which place is best for families in New Hampshire anyways?

To give you the places in New Hampshire which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what’s family-friendly and what isn’t.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Granite State

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of New Hampshire, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 5,000 people. For New Hampshire, that meant a total of 21 cities.

Read on to see why Exeter is where all the families are headed, while Rochester is probably a place made for singles.

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1. Exeter

Exeter, NH

Population: 9,022
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 64
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 24.4%
More on Exeter: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Exeter is a town in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States. The town’s population was 14,306 at the 2010 census. Exeter was the county seat until 1997, when county offices were moved to neighboring Brentwood. Home to the Phillips Exeter Academy, a private university-preparatory school, Exeter is situated where the Exeter River feeds the tidal Squamscott River.

2. Durham

Durham, NH

Population: 10,666
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 43
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 20.1%
More on Durham: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Durham is a town in Strafford County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 14,638 at the 2010 census. Durham is home to the University of New Hampshire.

3. Milford

Milford, NH

Population: 9,136
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 33.6%
More on Milford: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Milford is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States, on the Souhegan River. The population was 15,115 at the 2010 census. It is the retail and manufacturing center of a six-town area known informally as the Souhegan Valley.

4. Hanover

Hanover, NH

Source: Public domain

Population: 8,482
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 42
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 24.4%
More on Hanover: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Hanover is a town along the Connecticut River in Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 11,260 at the 2010 census. CNN and Money magazine rated Hanover the sixth best place to live in America in 2011, and the second best in 2007. ‘This just might be the best college town,’ read the headline of a story in the January-February 2017 issue of Yankee.

5. Londonderry

Londonderry, NH

Population: 11,049
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 47
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 35.2%
More on Londonderry: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Londonderry is a town in western Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States. The town is bordered on the north by the city of Manchester and on the east by the town of Derry. The population was 24,129 at the 2010 census. Londonderry is known for its apple orchards and is home to the headquarters of Stonyfield Farm and partial home to Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.

6. Newmarket

Newmarket, NH

Population: 5,597
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 36
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 22.9%
More on Newmarket: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Newmarket is a town in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 8,936 at the 2010 census. Some residents are students and employees at the nearby University of New Hampshire in Durham.

7. Berlin

Berlin, NH

Source: Public domain

Population: 10,154
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 49
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 25.9%
More on Berlin: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Berlin /brln/ is a city along the Androscoggin River in Coös County in northern New Hampshire, United States. The population was 10,051 at the 2010 census. It includes the village of Cascade. Located on the edge of the White Mountains, the city’s boundaries extend into the White Mountain National Forest. Berlin is home to the Berlin and Coös County Historical Society’s Moffett House Museum & Genealogy Center, Service Credit Union Heritage Park, the Berlin Fish Hatchery, and the White Mountains Community College, member of the Community College System of New Hampshire.

8. Portsmouth

Portsmouth, NH

Source: Public domain

Population: 21,458
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 73
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 20.6%
More on Portsmouth: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Portsmouth is a city in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, in the United States. It is the only city in the county, but only the fourth-largest community, with a population of 21,233 at the 2010 census. As of 2016 the estimated population was 21,485. A historic seaport and popular summer tourist destination, Portsmouth was the home of the Strategic Air Command’s Pease Air Force Base, later converted to Portsmouth International Airport at Pease with limited commercial air service.

9. Derry

Derry, NH

Population: 22,392
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 61
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 33.6%
More on Derry: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Derry is a town in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 33,109 at the 2010 census. Although it is a town and not a city, Derry is the fourth most-populous community in the state. The town’s nickname, ‘Spacetown’, derives from the fact that Derry is the birthplace of Alan Shepard, the first astronaut from the United States in space. Derry was also for a time the home of the poet Robert Frost and his family.

10. Hampton

Hampton, NH

Population: 9,542
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 37
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 26.9%
More on Hampton: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Hampton is a town in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 14,976 at the 2010 census. Located beside the Atlantic Ocean, Hampton is home to Hampton Beach, a summer tourist destination.

There You Have It – The Best Places To Raise A Family In New Hampshire

If you’re looking for a breakdown of cities in New Hampshire ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here’s a look at the best cities for singles New Hampshire according to the data:

  1. Rochester
  2. Lebanon
  3. Manchester

For more New Hampshire reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places For Families In New Hampshire

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Exeter 9,022 60
2 Durham 10,666 60
3 Milford 9,136 62
4 Hanover 8,482 49
5 Londonderry 11,049 47
6 Newmarket 5,597 43
7 Berlin 10,154 45
8 Portsmouth 21,458 68
9 Derry 22,392 49
10 Hampton 9,542 42
11 Nashua 87,279 58
12 Hudson 7,961 52
13 Concord 42,634 76
14 Claremont 13,022 40
15 Dover 30,750 35
16 Keene 23,537 51
17 Somersworth 11,756 41
18 Laconia 16,171 45
19 Manchester 110,231 80
20 Lebanon 13,528 37
21 Rochester 30,052 37

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