THE 10 BEST Places To Live In New Hampshire For 2020


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

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

If you want four seasons, down-to-earth, friendly people, and no state or personal tax, you can find it in New Hampshire. You can also find some of the best places to live in the country.

While the whole place is downright lovely, some spots in the Granite State deserve special attention for standing out as truly extraordinary. This is why HomeSnacks created a list of the top ten best places to live in New Hampshire for 2020. New Hampshire's best places all exude gold star qualities like affordable housing, jobs that provide a nice income, and excellent schools. And that, folks, is just the beginning.

The places on our list have some of the best farmers' markets, farm-to-table dining, and just an all around healthier outlook. It must be working because New Hampshirites have one of the highest life expectancy rates. Don't worry, New Hampshire has some great places to retire to as well. We can also thank some of New Hampshire's best places for Segway, Stonyfield Yogurt, and Badger Balm. Not only are these New Hampshire companies making products people love, they are helping to create jobs. And those jobs are keeping New Hampshire's economy strong with a 2.4 % unemployment rate.

To see the places that made our exclusive best of the best places to live in New Hampshire for 2020, take a look below.

How did we determine the best place to live in New Hampshire for 2020. We looked at the most recent FBI and Census data. The competition was fierce to say the least, but there can be only one best place to live in New Hampshire. What's the best place to live in New Hampshire? That would be Hanover.

We are not at all surprised. Hanover has affordable homes, great jobs, Blue Ribbon schools, and super nice people.

To see what other places made our list, keep reading. And if you don't see your favorite there, head on down to the bottom.

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 10 Best Places To Live In New Hampshire For 2020

Hanover, NH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 8,591
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $576,700 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (9th best)
More on Hanover: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hanover has it made. In fact, according to science, it's one of the best places to live in the state of New Hampshire.

The unemployment rate is the 9th lowest in the state at 3.4%, and residents make a pretty penny. Median incomes are $103,558, and the average cost of a home is $576,700. Which is an indication that lots of people want to live here.

We wouldn't be surprised if more and more publications call Hanover one of America's gems.

Portsmouth, NH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 21,778
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $397,400 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.5% (5th best)
More on Portsmouth: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Portsmouth is feeling the love as it ranks as the 2nd best city to live in New Hampshire for 2020.

It ranked highly because of its high incomes (5th overall) and low crime (11th 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".

Hampton, NH

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 9,235
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $358,300 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.5% (2nd best)
More on Hampton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

With the unemployment rate being the 2nd lowest in New Hampshire and very stable household median incomes, it's easy to see why someone would want to live in Hampton.

Plus, the crime rate is the 14th lowest in the state!

Durham, NH

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 11,101
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $342,900 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (23rd best)
More on Durham: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Durham 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 Durham. 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.

Londonderry, NH

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,465
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $295,800 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (6th best)
More on Londonderry: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The crime is the 13th lowest in the state in Londonderry, and there were only 39 violent crimes in the entire city last year. We think it's even safer here than the numbers indicate.

The schools are some of the best in New Hampshire, and residents live in very expensive homes. They also earn more than most every other city in the state. Residents in Londonderry earn $87,335 a year.

Exeter, NH

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 9,070
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $228,000 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (11th best)
More on Exeter: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Exeter takes 6th place on our list of best places in New Hampshire for 2020 thanks to a strong showing in unemployment rate (11th overall) and things to do.

Exeter is no stranger to top ten lists, being named one of the best places to live in the country by multiple outlets over the past ten years. And that tends to happen when home prices hit $228,000 at the median.

South Hooksett, NH

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,811
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $257,800 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.3% (8th best)
More on South Hooksett: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Well, I guess technically 3.3% of South Hooksett residents who want to have a job can't find one, so not everyone has a job, but it's the 8th closest of any city in New Hampshire.

You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.

In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, South Hooksett also ranked well for crime (26th) and median income ($87,717).

Lebanon, NH

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 13,619
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $243,500 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.9% (3rd best)
More on Lebanon: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lebanon is a short drive from everything, but who would want to leave the 8th best place in New Hampshire?

Homes are priced around $243,500 and residents have the 4th shortest commute in New Hampshire.

Milford, NH

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 9,168
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $228,700 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (13th best)
More on Milford: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Milford is known for having a great education system and has the 23rd shortest commute time.

Additionally, the unemployment rate in Milford is the 13th lowest in New Hampshire and the median income is the 14th highest in the state.

Dover, NH

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 31,316
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $249,600 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (12th best)
More on Dover: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Dover comes in at a close 10th. They have the 12th lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 8th highest median income as well, which means the people in Dover are working and getting paid well.

Additionally, the median home value is the 8th best in the state.

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in New Hampshire

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 43,040 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 5,000
  • Towns -- Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns -- Populations below 1,000

This left us with 27 cities, 38 towns, and 26 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in New Hampshire have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 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 Cities 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 27, 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. You can download the data here.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in New Hampshire? That would be Hanover.

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.

Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living 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 the best place to live in New Hampshire for 2020.

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 according to the data:

  1. Berlin (Pop. 10,382)
  2. Newport (Pop. 5,019)
  3. Rochester (Pop. 30,661)

For more New Hampshire reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In New Hampshire?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Hanover 8,591 3.4% $576,700
2 Portsmouth 21,778 2.5% $397,400
3 Hampton 9,235 1.5% $358,300
4 Durham 11,101 5.7% $342,900
5 Londonderry 11,465 3.2% $295,800
6 Exeter 9,070 3.9% $228,000
7 South Hooksett 5,811 3.3% $257,800
8 Lebanon 13,619 1.9% $243,500
9 Milford 9,168 3.9% $228,700
10 Dover 31,316 3.9% $249,600

How Is Your Town 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.