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The 10 Happiest Places To Live In New Hampshire

By Kathy Morris
Nov. 10, 2020

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Ever wondered where in the country people are happiest? Better yet, what cities in your state have the secret sauce for happiness?

Just like where you work and what you do, where you live can have major implications for your quality of life. We set out to find the cities in New Hampshire where life is sweetest, the wages are high, and people aren’t wasting their lives away in cars,

The results? Happiness comes in small packages.

The result is this list of the best cities for :

  1. South Hooksett, NH
  2. Hanover, NH
  3. Hampton, NH
  4. Portsmouth, NH
  5. Londonderry, NH
  6. Lebanon, NH
  7. Dover, NH
  8. Concord, NH
  9. Pinardville, NH
  10. Hooksett, NH

These are the happiest places in New Hampshire. Keep reading to see what has everyone grinning so much.

How did we determined the happiest places to live in New Hampshire?

We turned happiness into a science and scoured the state to find the cities with all the ingredients for happiness:

  • Being well educated (Population with at least a bachelor’s degree)
  • Percent of households earning above $75,000
  • Median home prices
  • A short commute to work (Traffic = unhappiness)
  • Having a family (Getting, and staying married, has a ton of happiness benefits, on average)

We examined over 27 cities, to find the cities that have all of the above in spades.

While some may be confused to see marriage rates included in our metrics, studies show that married people are typically happier than unmarried people. However, it is worth noting that marriage doesn’t cause happiness. In fact, people leaving a bad marriage experience spikes of happiness. However, a happy marriage and positive social interactions are important for mood and mental health.

Similarly, if you’re scratching your head to see $75,000 as the cut-off for happiness, blame Purdue University. Their study found that amount meets basic needs and frees people from the pitfalls of deep financial insecurity that cause unhappiness.

All of our data comes from the most recent American Community Survey.

Keep reading for more on why each of these 10 places is brimming with happiness—or hop to the bottom to see where your city landed on the list.

1. South Hooksett

South Hooksett, NH

Population: 5,811
Earners Over $75k: 58.0%
Average Commute: 23
Marriage Rate: 23.0%

South Hooksett is the happiest city in all of New Hampshire. What makes South Hooksett residents so happy? They aren’t wasting their lives on long commutes for one. The average South Hooksett resident only drives 23.7 minuted to work. Toss in affordable housing and the fact that most South Hooksett residents are coming home to a loving partner and it’s easy to see the city has a lot going for it.

2. Hanover

Hanover, NH

Source: Public domain

Population: 8,591
Earners Over $75k: 60.6%
Average Commute: 13
Marriage Rate: 2.0%

In 2nd place we have Hanover. Residents of Hanover are highly educated, with an impressive 83.0% having at least a bachelor’s degree. And in this modern day, education means options, and folks in Hanover have plenty of them.

3. Hampton

Hampton, NH

Population: 9,235
Earners Over $75k: 59.8%
Average Commute: 25
Marriage Rate: 14.0%

Hampton is the third happiest city in New Hampshire. Why so happy? 14.0% of Hampton residents come home to a partner to share their life burdens. Bonus? Short commutes give them more time to spend with all their loved ones or on hobbies they enjoy.

4. Portsmouth

Portsmouth, NH

Source: Public domain

Population: 21,778
Earners Over $75k: 51.2%
Average Commute: 21
Marriage Rate: 10.0%

Folks in Portsmouth have a lot to smile about. An impressive 51.2% of Portsmouth households earn $75,000 or more. That means families in Portsmouth can afford peace of mind.

5. Londonderry

Londonderry, NH

Population: 11,465
Earners Over $75k: 59.2%
Average Commute: 29
Marriage Rate: 10.0%

Londonderry is the 5th happiest city in the whole state. Londonderry residents’ moods are kept high by reasonable home prices (the median home price in this New Hampshire city is only $295,800), happy marriages, and short commutes.

6. Lebanon

Lebanon, NH

Population: 13,619
Earners Over $75k: 43.8%
Average Commute: 17
Marriage Rate: 13.0%

Looking to relocate? Data says you should give Lebanon a second look because it has all the ingredients for happiness. A staggering 43.8% of households earn over 75,000. Toss in high marriage rates and reasonable commutes, and it’s easy to see those who call Lebanon home have a lot to be happy about.

7. Dover

Dover, NH

Population: 31,316
Earners Over $75k: 47.3%
Average Commute: 23
Marriage Rate: 12.0%

Dover is the 7th happiest city. Dover residents pull in respectable salaries and manage to do it, on average, within 23.8 minutes of their home. They can use all that extra time saved from a long commute to indulge in hobbies they’re passionate about.

8. Concord

Concord, NH

Population: 43,040
Earners Over $75k: 42.4%
Average Commute: 22
Marriage Rate: 17.0%

Concord residents are highly educated with good incomes, decent marriage rates, and reasonable commutes. What’s not to be happy about?

9. Pinardville

Pinardville, NH

Population: 5,390
Earners Over $75k: 45.5%
Average Commute: 24
Marriage Rate: 23.0%

The 9th happiest city in all of New Hampshire is Pinardville. The average commute in Pinardville is only 24.9 minutes. That means they are only 24.9 minutes away from the loving spouse 23.0% of them have.

10. Hooksett

Population: 5,082
Earners Over $75k: 46.1%
Average Commute: 26
Marriage Rate: 23.0%

In 10th place is Hooksett, New Hampshire. What makes Hooksett so great? Affordable housing, reasonable commutes, and healthy incomes. If happiness is contagious, moving here might be worth a try.

And that’s our list of the happiest cities in New Hampshire

There you have it, happiness is a place.

While we can’t guarantee everyone living and working in the top 10 cities is happy, they have a better chance the most.

If you are looking to improve your own happiness, check out how you can help improve your personal factors: housing costs, job satisfaction, income, and education.

If your city didn’t make the top 10, check out the list below to see whether it missed the cut by a hair or if folks there are struggling to escape despair.

Detailed List Of The Happiest Cities In

Rank City High Earners Average Commute Marriage Rate
1 South Hooksett 58.0% 23 23.0%
2 Hanover 60.6% 13 2.0%
3 Hampton 59.8% 25 14.0%
4 Portsmouth 51.2% 21 10.0%
5 Londonderry 59.2% 29 10.0%
6 Lebanon 43.8% 17 13.0%
7 Dover 47.3% 23 12.0%
8 Concord 42.4% 22 17.0%
9 Pinardville 45.5% 24 23.0%
10 Hooksett 46.1% 26 23.0%
11 Durham 38.4% 20 2.0%
12 Nashua 48.8% 26 9.0%
13 Somersworth 39.9% 24 21.0%
14 Hudson 48.0% 27 11.0%
15 Exeter 43.6% 21 11.0%
16 Suncook 42.7% 29 33.0%
17 Manchester 37.0% 23 15.0%
18 Keene 34.4% 16 11.0%
19 Milford 44.7% 27 9.0%
20 Newmarket 46.4% 31 12.0%
21 Newport 30.1% 20 22.0%
22 Berlin 18.9% 17 26.0%
23 Laconia 37.7% 20 19.0%
24 Rochester 39.3% 26 23.0%
25 Claremont 30.5% 20 20.0%
26 Derry 39.6% 32 8.0%
27 Franklin 32.3% 25 23.0%

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Kathy Morris

Kathy is the head of content at Zippia with a knack for engaging audiences. Prior to joining Zippia, Kathy worked at Gateway Blend growing audiences across diverse brands. She graduated from Troy University with a degree in Social Science Education.

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