These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In New Hampshire For 2018


Here are the cream of the crop in the Granite State.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it on 2018-05-30 with new images and data.

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Where are the best places in the state of New Hampshire?

To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Granite State where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.

However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in New Hampshire.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.

After analyzing 25 places in New Hampshire, we came up with this list of the best places:

  1. Hanover (Photos | Homes)
  2. Portsmouth (Photos | Homes)
  3. Exeter (Photos | Homes)
  4. Hampton (Photos | Homes)
  5. Durham (Photos | Homes)
  6. Londonderry (Photos | Homes)
  7. Milford (Photos | Homes)
  8. South Hooksett (Photos | Homes)
  9. Dover (Photos | Homes)
  10. Nashua (Photos | Homes)

Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in New Hampshire.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more New Hampshire reading, check out:

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Concord with a population of 42,634 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities — Populations over 5,100
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,100
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This left us with 25 cities, 38 towns, and 26 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,100 people to truly be ‘the best’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

How We Calculated The Best Place To Live In New Hampshire

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in New Hampshire across a number of criteria from one to 25, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In New Hampshire”.

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in New Hampshire.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Hanover at the end of the cul-de-sac.

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1. Hanover

Hanover, New Hampshire

Source: Public domain

Population: 8,482
Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $469,300 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.6% (1st best)
More on Hanover: Real Estate | Data
Crime is something that doesn’t happen very often in Hanover. Statistically the 6th safest place in the state, there were only 11 violent crimes in the entire city last year.

It’s really beautiful in Hanover, and new homes continue to replace older homes. Resident earn $96,406 a year, and homes are valued at more than $469,300.

What else could you possibly want if you’re someone who likes the the good things in life?

2. Portsmouth

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Source: Public domain

Population: 21,458
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 11)
Home Values: $361,000 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.3% (2nd best)
More on Portsmouth: Real Estate | Data
We think the motto in Portsmouth should be “Everything is greater in Portsmouth,” and that seems to be pretty close to the truth.

Portsmouth has some of the highest home values in New Hampshire, and they’re going up fast. Additionally, Portsmouth only has 610.0% of its residents living in poverty.

Crime is also well below the state average, making Portsmouth a solid option for people who value safety. At least those who can afford it.

3. Exeter

Exeter, New Hampshire

Population: 9,022
Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $228,900 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (7th best)
More on Exeter: Real Estate | Data
Exeter is another great city in New Hampshire with a low unemployment rate and where residents earn high salaries.

Said one reviewer on City-Data.com: ” We feel incredibly safe in Exeter. The houses and neighborhoods are beautiful, the people are friendly, and it’s wonderful to have such good neighbors. People watch out for each other here, they teach their children to be respectful of others and things.”

Enough said.

4. Hampton

Hampton, New Hampshire

Population: 9,542
Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $336,700 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (8th best)
More on Hampton: Real Estate | Data
The Town of Hampton consistently ranks as one of the best places to live. There aren’t any surprises here. Which probably adds credibility to our data, right?

Let’s see why Hampton ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Hampton are the 3rd most expensive in the state of New Hampshire, with the average home worth a whopping $336,700. We’re not elitists, nor are we saying that big homes means a better place to live. But price reflects demand, and simply put, a lot of people want to live in Hampton if they can afford it.

Other numbers that stand out: Hampton residents have the 4th highest income in the state, and the 11th lowest crime numbers in New Hampshire.

5. Durham

Durham, New Hampshire

Population: 10,666
Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $322,400 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (13th best)
More on Durham: Real Estate | Data
When you’re looking at the best places you could live in New Hampshire, Durham came in 5th. Let’s see why.

It has a low unemployment rate and high incomes.

Plus, Durham has an impressive history for a place of just over 10,666 people. The median home costs a cool $322,400 and households make $48,804 which is good for 22nd in New Hampshire.

6. Londonderry

Londonderry, New Hampshire

Population: 11,049
Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $276,200 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (6th best)
More on Londonderry: Real Estate | Data
Perhaps what makes Londonderry so amazing is the high emphasis they put on quality education: they have one of the higest rate of educationat attainment for adults.

However, quality education isn’t all that makes Londonderry great. They also have the 3rd highest median income and the 23rd shorest commute time.

7. Milford

Milford, New Hampshire

Population: 9,136
Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $220,900 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (4th best)
More on Milford: Real Estate | Data
If you want to live in New Hampshire, you can’t go wrong if you decide to make the Milford area your home. However, everyone and their mother wants to live here.

Can you blame them? It’s a beautiful place with really low crime, where a majority of residents are wealthy (a $57,134 median income will do that).

Plus, the residents are really involved with helping to make Milford as great as possible. You can’t get it much better than in Milford.

8. South Hooksett

South Hooksett, New Hampshire

Population: 5,958
Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $250,000 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (5th best)
More on South Hooksett: Real Estate | Data
South Hooksett is just about as close to a perfect area as you can get. Residents here are gainfully employed, and the schools are some of the best in the state. It’s safe, and residents get to enjoy the benefits of quality at home living.

It’s quite a gem tucked away in New Hampshire.

9. Dover

Dover, New Hampshire

Population: 30,750
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Home Values: $238,100 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (13th best)
More on Dover: Real Estate | Data
The Town of Dover consistently ranks as one of the best places to live. There aren’t any surprises here. Which probably adds credibility to our data, right?

Let’s see why Dover ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Dover are the 9th most expensive in the state of New Hampshire, with the average home worth a whopping $238,100. We’re not elitists, nor are we saying that big homes means a better place to live. But price reflects demand, and simply put, a lot of people want to live in Dover if they can afford it.

Other numbers that stand out: Dover residents have the 9th highest income in the state, and the 4th lowest crime numbers in New Hampshire.

10. Nashua

Nashua, New Hampshire

Population: 87,279
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Home Values: $239,100 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (17th best)
More on Nashua: Real Estate | Data
Nashua is feeling the love as it ranks as the 10th best city to live in New Hampshire for 2015.

It ranked highly because of its high incomes (6th overall) and low crime (5th overall and one of the best in the top ten).

We think the city should probably change its motto at this point to something like “The Place To Be In New Hampshire”.

Wrapping Up The Best Of The Best In New Hampshire

If you’re looking at areas in New Hampshire with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Hanover made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for 2018.

Best Towns To Live In New Hampshire

  1. Charlestown (Pop. 1,374)
  2. Goffstown (Pop. 3,225)
  3. Contoocook (Pop. 1,773)
  4. Gorham (Pop. 1,582)
  5. Henniker (Pop. 1,598)
  6. Hooksett (Pop. 4,149)
  7. Hillsborough (Pop. 2,037)
  8. Enfield (Pop. 1,272)
  9. Hampton Beach (Pop. 2,264)
  10. Peterborough (Pop. 3,015)

Best Small Towns To Live In New Hampshire

  1. Amherst (Pop. 670)
  2. Loudon (Pop. 782)
  3. Walpole (Pop. 401)
  4. Hancock (Pop. 201)
  5. Plainfield (Pop. 282)
  6. Newfields (Pop. 323)
  7. New Hampton (Pop. 367)
  8. Warner (Pop. 473)
  9. Seabrook Beach (Pop. 958)
  10. North Haverhill (Pop. 898)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in New Hampshire:

  1. Franklin (Pop. 8,440)
  2. Laconia (Pop. 16,171)
  3. Berlin (Pop. 10,154)

For more New Hampshire reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In New Hampshire

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Hanover 8,482 2.6% $469,300
2 Portsmouth 21,458 3.3% $361,000
3 Exeter 9,022 4.7% $228,900
4 Hampton 9,542 4.8% $336,700
5 Durham 10,666 5.7% $322,400
6 Londonderry 11,049 4.6% $276,200
7 Milford 9,136 3.9% $220,900
8 South Hooksett 5,958 4.2% $250,000
9 Dover 30,750 5.7% $238,100
10 Nashua 87,279 6.0% $239,100
11 Newmarket 5,597 7.2% $218,900
12 Lebanon 13,528 3.4% $240,000
13 Derry 22,392 7.3% $203,200
14 Concord 42,634 5.3% $204,600
15 Keene 23,537 5.5% $183,300
16 Pinardville 5,110 4.9% $200,400
17 Hudson 7,961 6.0% $220,800
18 Somersworth 11,756 6.7% $176,500
19 Suncook 5,171 9.4% $200,600
20 Manchester 110,231 6.0% $207,200
21 Claremont 13,022 5.6% $137,300
22 Rochester 30,052 5.8% $161,200
23 Berlin 10,154 9.2% $88,700
24 Laconia 16,171 7.5% $178,100
25 Franklin 8,440 7.1% $160,100

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