Moving to New Hampshire? Check out our guide to Starting a Business in New Hampshire.

If you love fresh air and the outdoors, New Hampshire is one of the best states to settle in the United States. Most of the White Mountain National Forest is in the state, where visitors and residents can hike, ski, snowboard, or simply enjoy views of the autumn foliage and snow-capped peaks. Considering a move to the Granite State? Check out this run through of the five best New Hampshire cities to live in for advice on where to settle.  

1. Keene

New Hampshire’s best city to live in is Keene, the quintessential New England community with a historic downtown, tree-lined streets, and a large student population enrolled at one of the two institutes of higher learning in the city: Keene State College and Antioch University New England. Keene boasts a lot of culture for a city its size, with frequent performances by the local orchestra, chamber singer group, and award-winning Keene Chorale.  

2. Merrimack

Merrimack is an affluent small city of around 25,600 in Hillsborough County. The city’s economy is strong: Fortune 1000 company PC Connection is located in Merrimack, and major employers like Anheuser-Busch have a presence there, accounting for a high median household income topping $90,000 a year.

3. Dover

Ranking third is Dover, the oldest permanent settlement in the state with a history dating back to the early 17th century. The coastal city benefits from an excellent school system and features many historic buildings of note, including the Woodman Institute, a museum of local history.

4. Salem

Salem, #4 on the list, is a great little town in Rockingham whose many attractions bely its small size. They include an amusement park, a large mall, and America’s Stonehenge, a mysterious prehistoric stone formation drawing many visitors each year.

5. Concord

Closing out the list is #5 Concord, New Hampshire’s state capital and home to several institutes of higher learning.

[table “97” not found /]

Did your city make the list? Share the good news!

Feel free to share this badge of recognition. Please include attribution to

Best Cities To Live New Hampshire 2019 badge


We ranked a total of 2,509 qualified cities (those with populations above 25,000 and enough data for analysis) by five factors: employment (number of establishments, median earnings); housing (owner-occupied housing with a mortgage, monthly housing costs); quality of life (work commute, poverty levels); education (percentage with a bachelor’s degree or higher); and health (obesity ratios).