The New Hampshire Advantage
#1 for Child Well-Being
#3 for Raising a Family
#4 for Quality of Life
#5 for Safety
#8 for Health
#10 for Happiness
An Incredible Quality of Life
New Hampshire boasts a gorgeous landscape with four distinct seasons. It features cities and small towns near rivers, lakes, mountains and the sea. Ranked #2 for Pre-K-12 education, the state has some of the best schools in the country, with active homeschool networks. It is one of the most religiously tolerant states - and also the least religious. New Hampshire is a hiker's dream, with 48 high peaks and access to the Appalachian Trail. There are plenty of opportunities for fun and adventure, including the largest arcade in the world.
"This state... it is so beautiful. We're surrounded by so many great people and places, so much history. I honestly feel more free here."
- Carol, mover from Wisconsin
A Thriving Economy
Residents are flourishing in the Granite State, where job growth is strong and the poverty rate is low. There is no income tax, no general sales tax, no capital gains tax, and only a 5% tax on certain interest and dividends. New Hampshire is the only state that does not mandate automobile liability insurance or charge a fee for being uninsured.
"It's easy to see just how much better off we are. We're enjoying lower taxes and a higher standard of living, with more freedom to live the life we want."
- Justin and Sarah, Movers from Western New York
#1 for Financial Literacy
#1 Crypto Use per Capita
Consistently Top 5 Lowest Unemployment
#2 Lowest Tax Burden
#7 Household Income
#7 Business Tax Climate
There's even more to the New Hampshire Advantage!
Need more information? You'll find it here! These facts have been a part of the Free State Project's story since they were first compiled in 2002 by Michelle Dumas, a New Hampshire native. Many were used in the 101 Reasons Documentary and have been updated on this page.
Quality of Life --- Community, Education, Health, Hobbies
In just one visit, it’s easy to envision building a community, starting a business, or raising a family here. The state’s four distinct seasons are perfect for making a lifetime of memories, from spring wildflower walks to summer swimming, from fall apple picking to winter ice skating.
In New Hampshire, you will find an incredibly diverse mix of communities. Whether you are interested in living in a city, in the suburbs, on a farm, by the beach, in the mountains, or on a lake, you can find your dream home here.
Towns create their own budgets and regulations, affording the opportunity to live in low-tax towns and towns with no zoning. New Hampshire law prohibits the use of eminent domain for private use or private development.
The state is home to many non-government schools and active homeschool communities, along with several trade schools and 23 accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities.
A hiker’s dream (and a photographer’s dream too!), New Hampshire boasts 48 mountains with peaks higher than 4,000 feet, access to the Appalachian Trail, and a variety of trails throughout the state. These include the most-hiked mountain in the Western Hemisphere, Mt. Monadnock, and the tallest mountain in the Northeast, Mt. Washington, affording 100-mile views of three states and Canada.
New Hampshire is the 8th healthiest state in the nation, and its health system ranks 4th overall. It is the least religious state, and also one of the most religiously tolerant, with 79% of the population believing that other religions can lead to eternal life. Marriage between two adults, regardless of gender, is legal. New Hampshire was the first state to adopt same-sex union legislation without a challenge to existing law.
Music fans will appreciate The Dover Brickhouse, the SNHU Arena, and the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook – named one of America’s Top 10 Music Venues by USA Today. Fun seekers can enjoy a variety of comedy clubs, amusement parks, water parks, indoor rock climbing, indoor surfing, indoor skydiving, NASCAR, and Funspot – the largest arcade in the world. Technology lovers will be relieved to discover that New Hampshire has an extensive wireless infrastructure and ranks highest in percentage of households that have access to broadband internet.
A plethora of gun clubs and private shooting ranges are located in New Hampshire. Hunting opportunities abound, with black bear, coyote, moose, white-tailed deer, turkey, waterfowl, and small-game hunting as well as deep-sea, river, lake and even ice fishing. The state offers abundant water resources, with little threat of water shortages. The state is considered at very low risk for natural disasters, including hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, and forest fires.
Politics --- Legislature, Spending, Access, Revolution
New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary provides significant leverage in the national debate. Its culture is reflected in the state motto, “Live Free or Die.”
Legislators are paid a salary of $100 per year, helping ensure the existence of a citizen legislature committed to public service. Officials in both the legislative and executive branches (including the governor) are elected every two years, giving voters the opportunity to clean house more often than in other states.
Reflecting New Hampshire’s relationship and openness to the public, the state capitol building has no metal detectors (and, built in 1819, is “the oldest state house in the nation in which the legislature still occupies its original chambers”). New Hampshire’s unique Executive Council provides a check on the power of the Governor. Support of the elected, five-member council is required for all state contracts over $10,000, high-level agency appointments, and pardons.
State officials, from town clerks to the governor, are accessible to the public, and most have a “walk-right-in” office policy.
New Hampshire’s constitution expressly protects citizens’ right to revolution and does not specifically prohibit secession.
Legislative --- Advances for Liberty
EDUCATION: The liberty community has advocated for several educational advances for New Hampshire families. Children’s Scholarship Fund New Hampshire helps low- and middle-income parents send their children to the schools of their choice by offering tax credits to corporations that make donations to this nonprofit scholarship program. In 2017, Town Tuitioning was rolled back to the pre-1950 practice that allows towns without district schools at a student’s grade level to use public dollars for students to attend any public or approved private, non-religious school. The state’s growing homeschooling community is large and politically active. Since 2012, homeschooling parents are required to inform the state just once of their intent to homeschool and are not required to submit annual evaluations.
GUNS & KNIVES: New Hampshire offers some of the least restrictive gun laws in the nation: no license is required to carry open or concealed — the latter was passed in 2017. It is the only state with no laws restricting knife ownership, except for convicted felons. New Hampshire is also the 3rd safest state and has the lowest homicide rate in the country.
MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION & THERAPEUTIC CANNABIS: A 2017 law eliminates criminal penalties for the possession of up to 3/4 of an ounce of cannabis and/or up to five grams of hashish for those age 18 and older. A therapeutic cannabis program was signed into law in 2013. New Hampshire was the first state to pass a medical marijuana law by legislation and not referendum.
ADDITIONAL PROGRESS IN 2017 ALONE:
- Cryptocurrency deregulation
- Banned warrantless use of cellphone trackers (Stingrays)
- Overdose immunity
- Home poker legalized
- Hair braiding exempt from licensing
- Firecracker legalization
- Legalized needle exchange
- Allowing brewpubs to make cider
- 1600 (mostly obsolete) regulations eliminated
- Business Profits Tax cut 3.5% in 2016, another 3.5% in 2018
- Business Enterprise Tax cut 4% in 2016, another 6.25% 2018
Economy --- Jobs, Income & Taxes, Transportation, More
New Hampshire’s robust economy consistently boasts one of the top 5 lowest unemployment rates in the country. Job growth is strong in construction, healthcare and social assistance, accommodation and food service, and retail. Retailers benefit from proximity to several states (ME, VT, MA, and CT), with shoppers spending in New Hampshire to benefit from the lack of sales tax. The state ranks #7 in the State Business Tax Climate Index for 2017, with no tax on machinery, equipment, or inventory.
The combination of a high median household income (ranked #7) and low individual tax burden creates conditions for residents to thrive, with the lowest percentage of residents and children living in poverty. There is no income tax, no general sales tax, no capital gains tax, and only a 5% tax on certain interest and dividends.
New Hampshire is the least expensive state in which to own a vehicle, with no sales tax and low costs for maintenance and insurance. It is the only state that does not mandate automobile liability insurance or charge a related fee for being uninsured. Compared to national averages, New Hampshire has more insured drivers and lower insurance premiums. It is also the only state with no mandatory seat belt law for adults and is one of only three states that places no helmet restrictions on motorcyclists.
New Hampshire residents rank #1 in financial literacy. The state boasts the highest per-capita Bitcoin usage, with an active cryptocurrency economy and the longest running crypto meeting in the world. A 2017 law exempts digital currency traders from the state’s money transmission regulations.
New Hampshire has a deep-water port on the Atlantic Ocean and shares an international border with Canada, facilitating international trade and travel. Air transportation to and from New Hampshire is facilitated by 118 registered airports, 64 registered heliports, and 6 registered seaplane bases.
The state’s active agricultural sector ranges from livestock and dairy products to apples and flowers (ranking #5 in Stroll’s Locavore Index). The state receives the 3rd lowest farm subsidy dollars from the Federal Government – less than 0.1% of the total subsidy dollars handed out. New Hampshire is one of the few states with very little regulation on raw milk sales.
New Hampshire is the only state in the nation to recognize and codify nanobreweries as separate from larger breweries. Small breweries can manufacture up to 2,000 barrels of beer or specialty beer per year for an annual license fee of only $240.