About the State of New Hampshire
Looking at the state’s statistics regarding crime and safety, our research team identified New Hampshire as the #6 Safest Place to Live in the United States.
We looked at the different towns and communities in New Hampshire to identify where the safest places to live are in the Granite State.
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New Hampshire’s Safest Cities
Atkinson, New Hampshire’s Safest City
The town of Atkinson is located in Rockingham County and has a long history which dates back to the American Revolution. Named after Colonel Theodore Atkinson, it was incorporated in 1767 and contains the second oldest co-ed school in the country, the Atkinson Academy.
The town of Grantham is located in Sullivan County and is the fastest growing town in the county based on the most recent census data. It was incorporated in 1761 and is named after Thomas Robinson who was Secretary of State for the Southern Department.
Located in Rockingham County, the town of Danville was originally a parish of Kingston until it was chartered in 1760 as Hawke a name chosen after Admiral Sir Edward Hawke. In 1836 it was renamed by early settlers, many of whom shared the name Daniel.
Also found in Rockingham County, the town of Chester is considered to be one of the oldest towns in the state of New Hampshire. It once included Candia which was later set apart in 1763. It is believed that Chester may have been one of the first settlement grants made by Massachusetts to deal with the expanding population by the coast.
Another town found in Rockingham, which quickly proved to be the safest county in the state of New Hampshire, Nottingham was incorporated in 1722 by Lieutenant Governor John Wentworth and was named for Daniel Finch who was the 2nd Earl of Nottingham.
Found in Hillsborough County, Weare is located in the southern part of New Hampshire near Manchester and Concord. It was given as a grant to veterans of the Canadian wars in 1735 by Governor Jonathan Belcher but the charter was ruled invalid. It was officially incorporated in 1764.
The town of New London is located in Merrimack County and began as land granted by the Masonian Proprietors of Portsmouth, New Hampshire as Heidelberg in 1753 though the township was never actually settled and the grant eventually lapsed into default.
Part of Rockingham County, Hamstead, which includes the East Hampstead village is home to part of the Rockingham Recreational Trail and was once part of Haverhill and Amesbury, Massachusetts. It was settled in 1640 and was formed as an independent town in 1739 during a boundary decision between Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Stratford is found in Coos County along the Connecticut River and includes the villages of North Stratford and Stratford Hollow. It was originally granted by the name Woodbury in 1762 and was later regranted as Stratford in 1773.
The town of New Boston is located in Hillsborough County. It was first granted in 1736 by then colonial governor of both Massachusetts and New Hampshire, Jonathan Belcher. It was originally granted to several Boston families who failed to fully claim their grant and years later the land would be regranted.
Another town located in Rockingham County, Sandown was once part of Kingston and was incorporated as its own town in 1756 and named for the town located on the Isle of Wight. Today, it is noted for the Sandown Meeting House, built in 1774 and a pristine example of early New England church architecture.
Part of Rockingham County, the town of Windham was initially land home to the Pawtucket Native Americans. It was first settled by Scottish immigrants who came to the area in 1719 and was known as Nutfield along with neighboring towns of Derry and Londonderry.
Located in Strattford County, the town of Durham was originally called the Oyster River Plantation and was settled in 1635 by pioneers traveling up the Piscataqua River. It is located beside the Great bay at the mouth of the Oyster River and is home to the University of New Hampshire.
A town in Sullivan County, Sunapee contains Lake Sunapee as well as the village of Georges Mills. The town has been known by many names before its incorporation in 1781 including Saville, Corey’s Town and Wendell. The name Sunapee comes from the Algonquian Indian words “suna” (goose) and “apee” (lake).
Found in Merrimack County, the town of Hopkinton is made up of three distinct communities, including: Hopkinton village, Contoocook and West Hopkinton. It was granted by Colonial Governor Jonathan Belcher in 1735 to settlers from Massachusetts.
The town of Merrimack is located in Hillsborough County and is considered the eighth largest municipality in the state and was named recently as the twenty-third best place to live in the country according to CNN Money Magazine (2013). It includes four different villages: Merrimack, Thorntons Ferry, Reeds Ferry and South Merrimack.
Located in Rockingham County, the town of Newton was the sixth town to be granted after the Masonian land purchase of 1746 and was originally part of Salisbury, Massachusetts. After being considered part of several other towns over time, the residents decided to request incorporation from then Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth as Newtown in 1749 which was granted.
The town of New Ipswich is located in Hillsborough County and is located in the southernmost part of the state along the border with Massachusetts. The town was granted to sixty inhabitants in 1735 from the Massachusetts town of the same name.
Found in Merrrimack County, the town of Warner is home to the Northeast Catholic College, Rollins State park and the State Forest of Mount Kearsarge. It was granted as Number One in 1735 by Massachusetts Governor Jonathan Belcher to petitioners from Amesbury, Massachusetts and was originally named New Amesbury.
Located in Hillsborough County, the town of Litchfield was originally referred to as Naticook until the name was changed to Brenton’s Farm in 1729 when William Brenton was granted the land. After his death in 1749 the land was granted to another group of settlers and was renamed to hone the Earl of Litchfield, George Henry Lee.
Home to New England College and the Pats Peak ski area, the town of Henniker is found in Merrimack County. It was first referred to as Number Six of the settlements that ran between the Merrimack and Connecticut rivers. It was named after Sir John Henniker, a merchant from London with interests in Boston and Portsmouth.
The town of Brentwood in Rockingham County and has been the county seat since 1997. It was originally home to the Pennacook Abenaki tribes before settlers arrived. It was named after Brentwood, Essex which was originally called “Burnt Wood”
The town of Charlestown is located in Sullivan County and is home to the Hubbard State Forest. It was first granted by colonial governor Jonathan Belcher in 1735 as “Plantation No. 4” as an established for and trading post along the Connecticut River. It is the northernmost township and became a strategic military site during the French and Indian Wars.
Located in Rockingham County, Kingston was the fifth town to be established in the state and was originally part of Hampton, New Hampshire. Its name was in honor of King William of England who granted the royal charter that established the town in 1694 at residents’ request.
The town of Gilmanton is located in Belknap County and includes the villages of Gilmanton Corners and Gilmanton Ironworks. It was made famous in the fifties when rumors circulated that it was the basis for the novel Peyton Place written by resident Grace Metalious.
Found in Grafton County, the town of Thornton was incorporated in 1763 and is named after original signer of the Declaration of Independence, Doctor Matthew Thornton. It is located along the eastern most edge of the county which runs along the state’s western border.
The town of Stratham is located in Rockingham County and is the headquarters of the Timberland Corporation. It was originally settled in 1631 and incorporated over seventy years later in 1716. It was the sixth town in the colony to be incorporated and was named in honor of Wriothesley Russell.
Found in Rockingham County, the town of Exeter is located where the Exeter River meets the tidal Squamscott River. The land was purchased by John Wheelwright in 1638 after he was exiled by the Massachusetts Bay Colony which was a puritan theocracy due to the religious views of his sister-in-law.
The town of Bow is located in Merrimack County. It was founded in 1727 after being granted to Jonathan Wiggin and several others. Originally, Massachusetts claimed authority of the land under the name of Pennacook until the boundary decision in 1741 which finalized the line between Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Found in Rockingham County, the town of Auburn was originally settled by Native Americans. During the French and Indian War, the settlement was destroyed and the nearby town of Chester claimed the land. In 1845 Auburn became an independent town. It takes its name from the Oliver Goldsmith poem, “The Deserted Village”.
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Don’t See Your City?
Your city or town may not have been included in our top thirty rankings of the safest places to live in New Hampshire or in our list below because the population may not have met our minimum requirement or we were unable to locate complete data in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report.
7. New London
10. New Boston
18. New Ipswich
45. North Hampton
71. New Durham