Living in New Hampshire is more expensive than it is on average across the U.S. as a whole. According to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, goods and services in the state cost 6.0% more than they do on average nationwide. Compared with all other states, New Hampshire has the ninth highest overall cost of living.
In general, living in dense, urban metro areas is more expensive than living in more rural areas. New Hampshire is home to just one metropolitan area. In the Manchester-Nashua metro area, the cost of goods and services is 7.9% higher than the national average and 1.9% higher than the statewide average.
New Hampshire Housing Costs
Housing is one of the largest components of cost of living. In New Hampshire, the typical home is worth $252,800, $47,900 more than the national median home value of $204,900. Across the state, the median price of a home built in 1939 or earlier is $224,700, while the median value of a home built in 2014 or later is $372,600.
The typical renter in New Hampshire spends $1,077 a month on housing, $54 more than the $1,023 national median monthly rent. Monthly rent for a one-bedroom in the state is $858, while the typical rent for a unit with five or more bedrooms is $1,524.
Across the state, 29.0% of occupied homes are rented, less than the 36.2% national average and the seventh lowest renter rate of any state.
New Hampshire Transportation Costs
Transportation can also be a significant component of cost of living. In New Hampshire, 88.7% of commuters drive to work, compared to 85.5% of commuters nationwide. On average, the typical motorist in the state drives 10,136 miles a year. Taking into account average fuel economy and the average cost of gas -- regular fuel cost an average of $2.13 a gallon in New Hampshire in mid-2020 -- the average motorist in the state can expect to spend $891 on gas alone in one year.
Other transportation costs, like car insurance premiums, can vary by state. In New Hampshire, the average car insurance premium is $1,394, less than the $1,517 national average, according to data from Insure.com. And according to data from the EPI, the average single adult in the state spends $10,661 a year on transportation.
New Hampshire Health Care Costs
Out-of-pocket costs and insurance premiums for health care -- assuming at least a basic level of health insurance coverage -- are relatively low in New Hampshire. Average health care costs for a single adult in the state total $3,323 per year, compared to the national average of $4,266. For a family of four, average annual health care costs total $10,172 -- $2,778 less than the comparable national average of $12,950.
New Hampshire Food Costs
Food is another every day expense that has a significant impact on the overall cost of living in an area. Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that the cost of food varies from state to state.
In New Hampshire, a single adult spends an average of $3,452 on food annually, and a family of four spends $9,970 on average. For context, the nationwide average annual food expenditure is $3,240 for a single adult and $9,354 for a family of four. These estimates are calculated for a nutritionally adequate diet of food purchased at a grocery store for at home preparation.
New Hampshire Child Care Costs
For families, child care adds thousands of dollars to overall annual spending. The average annual cost of child care for a 4 year old child in New Hampshire is $9,914, well above the national average of $8,903. However, it costs an average of $15,156 to care for a 4 year old child and an 8 year old child per year in New Hampshire compared to the national average of $15,853.
New Hampshire Taxes
Few expenses vary as much from state to state as taxes. Accounting for state and federal income taxes, as well as Social Security contributions and Medicare payroll, the average adult working in New Hampshire pays $5,713 annually in taxes -- below the national average of $6,542. The state is one of only nine nationwide that does not levy a tax on wages, which partially explains lower than average tax payments.
Excluding federal taxes and incorporating state and local taxes such as property and sales taxes -- the state and local tax burden in New Hampshire is lower than the average across the U.S. as a whole. Per capita state tax collections in New Hampshire come out to $2,153 per year, compared to the $3,151 average across all states.
Cost of Living by County or County Equivalent
Just as cost of living varies from state to state, it also varies from place to place within states. In New Hampshire, Rockingham County, home to the unincorporated town of Derry, has the highest overall cost of living for a family of four at $85,876 per year, above the statewide average of $83,782 per year.
Meanwhile, Coos County is the least expensive place in New Hampshire. The average annual cost of living for a family of four in the area is just $71,237, $12,545 less than it is across the state as a whole. Berlin is the most populous community in Coos County.
Note that monetary figures are rounded to the nearest dollar and calculated differences may not always add up perfectly to the nearest dollar.
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