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 for 2018.

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

Well, it looks like you should check out Hanover if you’re thinking of moving to New Hampshire — it’s the best the Granite State has to offer according to the data.

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:

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 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 5,000
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • 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 5,000 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 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.

Hanover, NH

Source: Public domain
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Population: 8,482
Rank Last Year:
Median Home Value: $469,300 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.6% (1st best)
More on Hanover: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Hanover isn’t just the nicest place to live in New Hampshire – it’s also the one of the fastest growing places in the state. And with good reason.

It’s got the 1st lowest unemployment rate, the 1st highest adjusted income, and rates above most places in education.

When you’re looking at science and data, Hanover definitely deserves a spot on the list for 2018.

Portsmouth, NH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 21,458
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 11)
Median Home Value: $361,000 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.3% (2nd best)
More on Portsmouth: Real Estate| Data| Photos

If you live in Portsmouth, you probably know how great it is already.

Portsmouth has a stable economy where residents earn a large salary ($69,664). And the crime is really, really low (8th lowest in New Hampshire).

If we could afford to move here, we probably would.

Exeter, NH

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Population: 9,022
Rank Last Year:
Median Home Value: $228,900 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (7th best)
More on Exeter: Real Estate| Data| Photos

The crime is the 3rd lowest in the state in Exeter, and there were only 11 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 Exeter earn $66,964 a year.

Hampton, NH

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Population: 9,542
Rank Last Year:
Median Home Value: $336,700 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (8th best)
More on Hampton: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Crime is something that doesn’t happen very often in Hampton. Statistically the 11th safest place in the state, there were only 26 violent crimes in the entire city last year.

It’s really beautiful in Hampton, and new homes continue to replace older homes. Resident earn $84,312 a year, and homes are valued at more than $336,700.

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

Durham, NH

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,666
Rank Last Year:
Median Home Value: $322,400 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (14th best)
More on Durham: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Durham 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 14th lowest in the state at 5.7%, and residents make a pretty penny. Median incomes are $48,804, and the average cost of a home is $322,400. Which is an indication that lots of people want to live here.

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

Londonderry, NH

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,049
Rank Last Year:
Median Home Value: $276,200 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (6th best)
More on Londonderry: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Who doesn’t want to live in Londonderry? Because, according to the data, most everyone should want to.

Crime is lower than the state average, and the unemployment rate sits at only 4.6%. The school systems are generally well funded, meaning lots of personal attention for area kids.

Expect to see more of Londonderry in the news in the coming months.

Milford, NH

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Population: 9,136
Rank Last Year:
Median Home Value: $220,900 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (4th best)
More on Milford: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Milford has been called one of the best small towns in America. If you live here, you’re most likely already aware of how great it is to live there.

Just about everyone who wants a job in Milford has one; the unemployment rate is hovering at about 3.9% and lowering. And the Milford police department is doing a solid job, as crime is the 7th lowest in the state here.

Who wouldn’t want to live in a place like this?

South Hooksett, NH

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Population: 5,958
Rank Last Year:
Median Home Value: $250,000 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (5th best)
More on South Hooksett: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Looks like little South Hooksett might be a hidden gem in New Hampshire. The population is shrinking a bit, despite the fact that home values are still rising ($250,000) and crime is really low (23rd lowest in the state).

Perhaps the cat’s now out of the bag — quick better move in before prices go up more.

Dover, NH

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Population: 30,750
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $238,100 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (14th best)
More on Dover: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Dover takes 9th place on our list of best places in New Hampshire for 2018 thanks to a strong showing in unemployment rate (14th overall) and things to do.

Dover 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 $238,100 at the median.

Nashua, NH

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Population: 87,279
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $239,100 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (17th best)
More on Nashua: Real Estate| Data| Photos

Things can’t get much better than in the town of Nashua. The crime is the 5th lowest in the entire state, and the residents who live in Nashua make huge salaries, and almost all of them have great jobs.

The median home costs a cool $239,100 and households make $68,944 which is good for 6th in New Hampshire.

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 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 according to the data:

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

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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