The 10 Worst Places To Live In New Hampshire For 2023

The worst places to live in New Hampshire are Newport and Berlin for 2023 based on Friday Night Science.

New Hampshire is one of those states that you don’t hear a lot about. Tucked away somewhere in New England, it’s the wealthy, quiet kid in the corner with the plaid shirt and who has all the good grades.

At least that’s the stereotype. That’s not such a bad way to be viewed is it?

It’s not an easy life for most of the year up there. But if you ask people who live there, they are fiercely protective of their state. They stick together up there, and would probably rather you stay out. Unless you’re on vacation.

But is it all great in the Granite State? Of course not. Just like every other state, New Hampshire has its trouble spots. The purpose of this post is to use science and data to determine which cities in New Hampshire are the least desirable to live in.

Of course, many of the cities on this list would rank highly if they were in other states. But nonetheless, according to science, these cities are the worst places you could possibly live if you make New Hampshire your home.

After analyzing 26 of the state’s most populous cities (over 5,000 people), we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in New Hampshire:

The 10 Worst Places To Live In New Hampshire For 2023

  1. Newport
  2. Berlin
  3. Manchester
  4. Hudson
  5. Franklin
  6. Rochester
  7. Laconia
  8. Claremont
  9. Derry
  10. Suncook

Where are these places, you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we’re picking on small towns in New Hampshire, that’s not the case.

We understand there’s a lot of good in every place. For example, the best place to live in New Hampshire is Hanover.

However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty and ‘friendly people’), the state has far better options for making a place home. And the worst place to live in New Hampshire? The worst place to live in New Hampshire is Newport.

Read below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your city fared in 2023.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

For more New Hampshire reading, check out:

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

The 10 Worst Places To Live In New Hampshire For 2023

Newport, NH

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,333
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $146,800
Unemployment Rate: 4.9%
More on Newport:  Data | Photos

Want a ski vacation? Head to Newport, situated a short drive from several ski resorts. Need something to do in the summer? Well, Newport still has you covered. You can spend a pleasant day along Lake Sunapee at the Mt Sunapee State Park.

Great vacation spot. Not an ideal place to live, however. The tourist trade helps boost the economy, but isolation leads to weak diversity. The distance from a major urban center, combined with its small size, also means a lack of normal amenities. The town can also get expensive, which leaves 21.1% of its residents below the poverty line.

Berlin, NH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,710
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $79,100
Unemployment Rate: 5.8%
More on Berlin:  Data | Photos

When you’re looking at the worst places you could live in New Hampshire, Berlin came in 2nd. Let’s see why.

When you’re comparing the unemployment rate to the rest of the nation, New Hampshire residents are very hard workers. But when comparing the unemployment rate among cities in New Hampshire, you can see some really big differences. In Berlin, the number of people out of work is 5.8%

In New Hampshire, that’s the 2nd highest in the state.

The residents in Berlin have the lowest incomes in the state. Folks in Berlin average $39,479 a year. Which isn’t too shabby in comparison to the other ‘lowest’ income cities in most other states.

Additionally, the homes are valued at $79,100 on average. That’s the lowest in the state. The population has dropped about 15% in the last 15 years. Perhaps these numbers are part of the reason for the Berlin flight.

As one commenter said in City-Data: “Berlin is as run down looking as it gets after a WW-2 vintage bombing attack.”

Maybe there’s a reason they opened a prison there.

Berlin is on Route 16 on the northern side of Mount Washington.

Manchester, NH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 114,730
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $258,100
Unemployment Rate: 4.7%
More on Manchester:  Data | Photos

The largest city in New Hampshire is also one of its most dangerous. No surprises there. But that still isn’t an excuse. In looking at the latest FBI data, Manchester is the third-most dangerous place in the state.

Manchester saw four murders two years ago, and you have a 1 in 25 chance of having something stolen from you here.

Additionally, the schools spend the least amount of money per student than anywhere else in the state. But the ratio per student ($12,761) is still on par with the national average. That says a lot about how great the public schools are in New Hampshire.

The unemployment rates and income levels are also far below average in comparison to the rest of the state.

Hudson, NH

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,756
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $266,400
Unemployment Rate: 2.3%
More on Hudson:  Data

Franklin, NH

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,766
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $205,300
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
More on Franklin:  Data | Photos

Now we can get to some actual cities that might have some normal numbers. In this case, Franklin ranks high mainly due to the low economic numbers. Homes are the 5th cheapest in the state here at $205,300. Say what you want about low cost of living. What the data says is that cheaper homes means less demand. And there isn’t a lot of demand to live in Franklin.

The median income levels here are the 3rd lowest in the state of New Hampshire, at $61,664. Crime is above average, but not horrible like some of the cities we’ll talk about in a minute. And the unemployment rate, while far lower than the national average, is high for New Hampshire. Almost 3.3% of people in Franklin were without jobs according to the latest numbers.

Franklin is right off of I-93 north of Concord.

Rochester, NH

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 32,317
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $208,500
Unemployment Rate: 3.8%
More on Rochester:  Data | Photos

Most of the rest of the cities on this list deserve to be on here due to their high crime numbers. Rochester is the 5th most dangerous city in New Hampshire, according to the FBI. Residents had a 1 in 37.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That’s really high for New Hampshire, but not even the highest in the state.

Home values are the 6th cheapest in the state, and income levels are almost as low as you can get. Households in Rochester bring in just under $70,582 a year annually.

Rochester is also on Route 16 just north of Portsmouth.

Laconia, NH

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 16,786
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $214,800
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
More on Laconia:  Data | Photos

Little Laconia, New Hampshire could use a big hug right now. Sure, it’s a beautiful place, sandwiched between Lakes Winnisquam and Winnipesaukee. But the crime here is horrible. In fact, Laconia is the most dangerous place you can live in New Hampshire.

Chatter on forums indicate Laconia hasn’t recovered from a mini economic collapse to the area, and that Laconia is a ‘little run down’. And while crime might be centered around some of the many cultural events that happen in this vacation spot, the fact remains it’s just not safe, overall.

There were two murders here in 2023, and residents had a 1 in 41.1 chance of being the victim of a property crime.

Additionally, employment numbers (3.3% unemployment rate) and income levels are far below the state average ($63,711).

Claremont, NH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,955
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $136,600
Unemployment Rate: 2.0%
More on Claremont:  Data | Photos

Built along the Connecticut River, on the border with Vermont, Claremont has a lot going for it. It has a decent economy, good housing, strong schools, and easy access to the Green Mountain Trail. It even has its own opera house.

So how does it end up as one of the worst places to live in the state? Diversity in town is almost nonexistent. Meanwhile, the cost of living is relatively high. The median home price of $136,600 compared to a median income of $46,414. This contributes to a poverty rate of 16.7% and an overall ranking of the 8th worst place to live in New Hampshire for 2023.

Derry, NH

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 23,571
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $272,200
Unemployment Rate: 6.3%
More on Derry:  Data | Photos

10. Suncook

Suncook, NH

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,008
Rank Last Year:
Median Home Value: $219,600
Unemployment Rate: 1.0%
More on Suncook:  | Photos

Methodology: How we determined the worst places to live in New Hampshire for 2023

To figure out the worst places to live in New Hampshire, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.

We don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that people like the following things:

  • Good education
  • Lots of jobs
  • Low crime
  • Low poverty
  • Nice homes
  • High incomes
  • High population density (Lots of things to do)
  • Short work commutes
  • Health insurance

The data comes from the Census’s most recent American Community Survey and the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a more significant weight. If you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are typically 7x more common and bias that ranking.

Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered — leaving 26 cities.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 26 for all the criteria, with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the rankings into one “Worst Place To Live Score.”

Finally, we ranked every city on the “Worst Place To Live Score,” with the lowest score being the worst city in New Hampshire — Newport. Read on for a detailed look at the ten worst cities in New Hampshire.

Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts meant as infotainment. We updated this article for 2023. This is our tenth time ranking the worst places to live in New Hampshire.

Summary: Wrapping Up The Worst In New Hampshire

If you’re looking at areas in New Hampshire with the worst economic situations, where there’s higher than average crime and little to do, this is an accurate list.

And in the end, Newport ranks as the worst city to live in New Hampshire for 2023.

If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in New Hampshire:

  1. Dover (Pop. 32,599)
  2. Durham (Pop. 11,616)
  3. Hanover (Pop. 8,813)

For more New Hampshire reading, check out:

Worst Places To Live In New Hampshire?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Newport 5,333 4.9% $146,800
2 Berlin 9,710 5.8% $79,100
3 Manchester 114,730 4.7% $258,100
4 Hudson 6,756 2.3% $266,400
5 Franklin 8,766 3.3% $205,300
6 Rochester 32,317 3.8% $208,500
7 Laconia 16,786 3.3% $214,800
8 Claremont 12,955 2.0% $136,600
9 Derry 23,571 6.3% $272,200
10 Suncook 5,008 1.0% $219,600
11 Milford 8,437 4.6% $256,000
12 South Hooksett 5,906 4.8% $289,500
13 Somersworth 11,964 3.5% $226,600
14 Hooksett 5,669 4.6% $227,200
15 Concord 43,552 4.8% $245,800
16 Nashua 90,659 5.0% $298,100
17 Londonderry 11,955 5.0% $349,100
18 Hampton 9,900 2.0% $400,200
19 Keene 22,969 3.4% $193,400
20 Lebanon 14,316 0.8% $274,400
21 Newmarket 5,621 1.6% $300,900
22 Exeter 9,908 2.5% $241,000
23 Portsmouth 21,897 2.4% $487,900
24 Dover 32,599 3.7% $310,500
25 Durham 11,616 5.6% $396,200
26 Hanover 8,813 4.2% $610,900

About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends.

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.