Best Places To Raise A Family In New Hampshire For 2020


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.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best cities for families in New Hampshire.

Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.

New Hampshire isn't just any New England state, it's actually one of the safest, most family friendly states in America.

Ask any Granite Stater and they will tell you that there are a ton of family friendly activities everywhere you turn, here. The White Mountain State is just one big playground for little and big kids alike.

Yes, if you're looking for a state with affordable, family friendly staycations, New Hampshire is your place. There are currently 93 State Parks, a plethora of super clean beaches just East of Hampton and over ten skiable mountains just North of Meredith. And if those family friendly activities don't interest you, the MWV Children's Museum in Conway or the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord will surely keep your family entertained for an entire weekend. However, if zoos are more your style, a family visit to Carriage Shack Farm in Londonderry, should do the trick.

More importantly, New Hampshire residents know that keeping a state's economy strong, jobs plentiful, and salaries competitive is a necessary undertaking if they want to keep families safe, educated, and employed. And that's just what they're doing. New Hampshire has some of the best schools in the country. Blue Ribbon elementary schools, gold star high schools, and colleges like the University of New Hampshire in Durham and Dartmouth College in Hanover, have been delivering the next generation to work at major New Hampshire companies like Timberland in North Conway and Planet Fitness Inc. in Dover.

To take a closer look at New Hampshire's top ten best places to raise a family for 2020, grab your family a pipin' hot basket of apple cider donuts in Contoocook, find a sunny spot on Wolfeboro's Lake Winnipesaukee, and read on.

To narrow down the most family friendly places in New Hampshire, we looked to the US Census for several factors: crime, education, family friendly activities and percent of households that currently have children. The cities also had to have a population of at least 5,000.

We ended up with 22 family friendly cities. Needless to say, it was quite difficult to narrow down the most family friendly places in New Hampshire for 2020.

The best place for families in new hampshire? Kudos to Durham for taking the number one spot.

To see how your favorite New Hampshire place compared, take a look at the list below; and if you don't see it there, head to the bottom.

Check out some more reading about New Hampshire and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In New Hampshire For 2020

Durham, NH

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 11,101
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 54
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 20.4%
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.

Berlin, NH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,382
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 55
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 25.1%
More on Berlin: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Berlin is a city along the Androscoggin River in Cos 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 Cos 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.

Review Of Berlin by HomeSnacks User

This town is absolutely gorgeous. Great scenery, biking trails, hiking trails, lakes, and many other sightings. Although there are many people unemployed and doing drugs in town and many drug bust happening all the time. The PD absolutely s***s and works on the most useless things that they can and take forever to get where they need to be. The school system is horrible and has barely any funding to the point where 6-8th grade needs so come into our high school and teachers need to move from classroom to classroom by week with a rolling cart as there aren't enough rooms. Berlin has alot of potential but there's not enough job opportunities and too many people using welfare and foodstamps.

A few of my favorite places are the four wheeling trails, the lakes, our "outdated" restaurants that add some class and a vintage feel that I love. It has it flaws but it's really not as bad as it's cracked up to be.

Milford, NH

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 9,168
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 49
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 28.1%
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.

Hanover, NH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 8,591
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 60
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 23.4%
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.

Exeter, NH

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 9,070
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 46
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 22.1%
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.

Derry, NH

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 22,381
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 52
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 32.5%
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.

Portsmouth, NH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 21,778
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 68
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 20.7%
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.

Hudson, NH

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,591
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 29.3%
More on Hudson: Homes For Sale | Data

Hudson is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. It is located along the Massachusetts state line. The population was 24,467 at the 2010 census, with an estimated population of 24,645 in 2013. It is the ninth-largest municipality in the state, by population.

Nashua, NH

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 88,606
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 59
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 27.6%
More on Nashua: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Nashua is a city in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. As of the 2010 census, Nashua had a total population of 86,494, making it the second-largest city in the state after Manchester. As of 2016 the population had risen to an estimated 87,882.

Concord, NH

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 43,040
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 52
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 28.8%
More on Concord: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Concord is the capital city of the U.S. state of New Hampshire and the county seat of Merrimack County. As of the 2010 census, its population was 42,695.

Review Of Concord by HomeSnacks User

Low crime, great schools, plenty of things to do year-round, great sense of community, good restaurants, theater and close to many recreational activities.

There were many lakes and public swimming pools nearby for summer activities, beautiful fall foliage and apple picking in the fall, lots of sledding, ice skating, and skiing in the winter

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 22 cities. You can download the data here.

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. Claremont
  3. Manchester

For more new hampshire reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In New Hampshire?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Durham, NH 11,101 49
2 Berlin, NH 10,382 59
3 Milford, NH 9,168 37
4 Hanover, NH 8,591 49
5 Exeter, NH 9,070 58
6 Derry, NH 22,381 51
7 Portsmouth, NH 21,778 72
8 Hudson, NH 7,591 59
9 Nashua, NH 88,606 42
10 Concord, NH 43,040 73

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *