These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In New Hampshire


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

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Where are the best places in the state of New Hampshire? They are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places where people have the best jobs, and where residents are happily married, where the sun shines the most.

And certainly, since crime is really low, every one wants to be there. It’s, literally, all sunshine and rainbows.

We looked at the 54 most populated cities in the Granite State for this study. The cities at the top are places where things are going swimmingly right now, at least according to data, which measures the good things that people say they want in a New Hampshire city.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against. We had more than 10 million people read our worst cities in a state series, which was featured in hundreds of media outlets, including an NPR feature.

So we know what we’re talking about.

Here are the 10 best places to live in New Hampshire:

  1. Hanover
  2. Stratham
  3. Bedford
  4. Hopkinton
  5. South Hooksett
  6. Hollis
  7. Bow
  8. Newmarket
  9. Merrimack
  10. Exeter

We understand there’s a lot of good in every place. However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty, ‘friendly people’ and community involvement), these are the best options in New Hampshire for making a place home.

The worst city to live in New Hampshire? Berlin. More on that later.

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How do you decide if a place is amazeballs or not?

In order to rank New Hampshire’s best cities, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, good weather, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we crunched the numbers for New Hampshire

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the government census, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Sperling’s Best Places, this is the criteria we used:

  • Strong schools
  • Low unemployment rates
  • High incomes
  • High home prices
  • Lots of sunny days a year
  • Low crime
  • Low cost of living

If you’d like to see the complete list of cities in New Hampshire, scroll to the bottom of this post to see a link to the entire data set.

Note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. This list is based on data, and is entirely unbiased. The cost of living numbers below are based on a national average of 100, so anything close to 100 is more affordable.

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1. Hanover

Best New Hampshire

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,608
Crime Index: 51
Cost Of Living Index: 153

Home of Dartmouth College, this is the best place you can live in New Hampshire…if you can afford it.

2. Stratham

Best New Hampshire

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,238
Crime Index: 41
Cost Of Living Index: 98

Stratham is a lot more affordable than Hanover is. It’s inland from the coast a bit and a short drive from Portsmouth.

3. Bedford

Best New Hampshire

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 21,180
Crime Index: 52
Cost Of Living Index: 85

This Manchester suburb is a quiet, safe, and affordable place to live in New Hampshire.

4. Hopkinton

Best New Hampshire

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,608
Crime Index: 33
Cost Of Living Index: 84

Hopkinton is on the western side of Concord, and is one of the safest places you can live in the state.

5. South Hooksett

Best New Hampshire

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,471
Crime Index: 39
Cost Of Living Index: 117

This is a village in the city of Hooksett, just north of Manchester.

6. Hollis

Best New Hampshire

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,679
Crime Index: 28
Cost Of Living Index: 89

Hollis is a very old, beautiful, historic town close to the Massachusetts state line.

7. Bow

Best New Hampshire

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,571
Crime Index: 48
Cost Of Living Index: 92

This Merrimack County town is on the southern side of Concord, and is a great alternative to Concord, since it’s far less expensive to live there.

8. Newmarket

Best New Hampshire

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,322
Crime Index: 40
Cost Of Living Index: 125

Just west of Portsmouth is the small town of Newmarket, which is a college town on the banks of Great Bay.

9. Merrimack

Best New Hampshire

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 25,540
Crime Index: 41
Cost Of Living Index: 91

Merrimack is the 8th largest place to live in New Hampshire. It’s on the south side of Manchester in Hillsborough County.

10. Exeter

Best New Hampshire

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,537
Crime Index: 36
Cost Of Living Index: 132

Exeter is an expensive, safe, and picturesque town in Rockingham County on the southern end of the state.

h2>There You Have It

Looking at the data, you can tell that anything within a 15-minute drive of Hanover is the most desirable, according to science and data. But as most New Hampshire residents would agree, almost every place here is awesome.

Other notable cities:
3rd Worst: Rochester
2nd Worst: Franklin
Worst: Berlin

We also wrote about the 10 worst places to live in New Hampshire if you’re interested in that story.

Detailed List Of Best Places To Live In New Hampshire

City Rank Population Crime Index Cost Of Living Index
Hanover 1 8,608 51 153
Stratham 2 7,238 41 98
Bedford 3 21,180 52 85
Hopkinton 4 5,608 33 84
South Hooksett 5 5,471 39 117
Hollis 6 7,679 28 89
Bow 7 7,571 48 92
Newmarket 8 5,322 40 125
Merrimack 9 25,540 41 91
Exeter 10 9,537 36 132
Windham 11 13,603 45 139
Portsmouth 12 21,140 85 146
Durham 13 8,897 53 138
Atkinson 14 6,756 28 110
Litchfield 15 8,263 42 90
Hampstead 16 8,538 44 101
Rye 17 5,310 57 126
New Ipswich 18 5,082 35 78
Loudon 19 5,307 62 86
Dover 20 30,021 66 123
New Boston 21 5,293 48 116
Goffstown 22 17,668 55 102
Hampton 23 8,997 77 131
Londonderry 24 10,683 60 129
Barrington 25 8,591 56 125
Salem 26 28,824 50 109
Sandown 27 5,997 41 110
Swanzey 28 7,236 58 78
Lebanon 29 13,275 100 116
Pelham 30 12,850 55 89
Weare 31 8,779 42 92
Pembroke 32 7,140 59 103
Rindge 33 6,001 56 97
Seabrook 34 8,703 94 89
Hudson 35 7,297 65 122
Milford 36 8,547 77 109
Plaistow 37 7,630 69 84
Gilford 38 7,140 91 97
Keene 39 23,389 97 108
Kingston 40 6,047 51 123
Suncook 41 5,258 83 106
Concord 42 42,767 93 111
Derry 43 21,855 90 121
Nashua 44 86,823 87 117
Claremont 45 13,304 89 105
Alton 46 5,240 92 94
Wakefield 47 5,044 71 115
Laconia 48 16,062 117 103
Manchester 49 109,786 113 111
Somersworth 50 11,782 116 111
Belmont 51 7,345 105 107
Rochester 52 29,830 102 114
Franklin 53 8,499 84 104
Berlin 54 10,009 75 96

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