How High Is the Cost of Living in New Hampshire?

The cost of living in New Hampshire is slightly higher than the national average, but you’ll have access to affordable healthcare, among other things.
Written by Talullah Blanco
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Due to the state’s competitive housing market and expensive utilities, the cost of living in
New Hampshire
is higher than the national average. A single adult needs to make at least $36,025 to live comfortably in New Hampshire.
From lively cities to quaint New England townships, the White Mountains, and pristine beaches, New Hampshire has something to offer everyone. Not to mention New Hampshire’s low crime rates, top-ranked schools, booming job market, and access to high-quality healthcare make it a hotspot for young families. 
If you’re looking to relocate to the Granite State, you’ve come to the right place. The
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home and car insurance
, is here to break down how much it really costs to live in New Hampshire. 
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How high is the cost of living in New Hampshire? 

New Hampshire has a cost of living index of 109.9, making it the fourteenth most expensive state to live in the United States. 
If you’re wondering what that number actually means, we’ll explain. The national average cost of living index is set at 100, meaning anything above 100 represents a higher cost of living than the national average. 
For comparison, the cost of living index in
is 151.7, while
New York
’s is 139.1 (and we all have an idea of how expensive it is to live in those states).
Now let’s break down the cost of living by real terms we’re all familiar with—food, transportation, housing, utilities, and more. Here’s how much the essentials cost in New Hampshire and how they compare to the national average.

Food: $325 to $1,161 per month

When it comes to meeting our basic needs, food is one of the non-negotiable elements. In this context, let’s look at your monthly grocery bill. This won’t include your weekly (or daily) Starbucks, Friday night wings, or other out-to-eat expenses.
The annual cost of food in New Hampshire ranges from $3,891 to $13,934 depending on your family size and composition, according to MIT’s
Living Wage Calculator
. In New Hampshire, a single adult can expect to spend around $325 on groceries per month, while a family of five can expect to spend closer to $1,161 each month. 
Compared to the US average monthly grocery bill of $411, the cost of groceries in New Hampshire may be more expensive, especially if you’re shopping for more than one.

Healthcare: $238 per month

Not only is New Hampshire home to some of the best hospitals in the nation, but all state residents are also required to have medical coverage, which benefits low-income individuals. 
It’s no wonder New Hampshire is the 13th best state for healthcare access to quality preventive medical and dental care. 
With an average annual healthcare cost of $2,738—or $238 per month—for a single adult, New Hampshire residents pay significantly less for healthcare than the national average of $477 per month. 
Keep in mind healthcare costs vary significantly from person to person depending on their medical needs. If you or a family member on your health plan have expensive medications or additional medical costs, you can expect higher monthly healthcare costs.

Housing: $921 to $1,963 per month

When determining the cost of living, housing is the greatest factor to consider. The median home sale price in New Hampshire is $440,000 as of March 2022. That’s up 20.5% from the previous year and still climbing!
How that breaks down in terms of monthly cost will depend on the type of home you live in and whether you rent. Let’s take a look at New Hampshire’s monthly cost of housing by type:
  • Median monthly mortgage payment: $1,963
  • Average studio rent: $921
  • Average one-bedroom rent: $1,011
  • Average two-bedroom rent: $1,310
  • Average three-bedroom rent: $1,679
  • Average four-bedroom rent: $1,946
These are just averages, and how much you actually pay for housing will vary by location. The average cost of rent for a one-bedroom apartment in
is $1,901, which is just under the state average for a four-bedroom! 
You’ll find more affordable housing in places like
, where a one-bedroom apartment costs $1,180 per month on average. 
Let’s get some perspective and see how New Hampshire housing costs compare to the national average. In the United States, the median home value is $337,560 and the average rent is $1,904 per month.

Transportation: $354 to $1,047 per month

There are a number of factors that can affect the cost of transportation in New Hampshire, including your family size, composition, and your daily commute. 
For instance, a childless adult working from home will pay significantly less for transportation than someone with children commuting to work every day.
New Hampshire residents pay between $354 and $1,047 per month for transportation, while the national average two-person household pays $818 per month. Here are some important figures to consider:
  • Average annual cost of car insurance in New Hampshire: $438 to $1,685 (
    only vs.
    comprehensive and collision
  • Nashua monthly bus pass: $40
  • Average commute time in New Hampshire: 27.3 minutes
  • Average cost of a gallon of gas, August 2022: $4.06

How much you need to live comfortably in New Hampshire: $36,025 to $80,572 per year

A single adult needs to make at least $36,025 per year (which breaks down to $17.32/hour) to live in New Hampshire. For a family of five, the living wage is $80,572 per year or $40.66/hour. 
Given that the state minimum wage is $15/hour, it can be difficult to live comfortably in New Hampshire. However, there is a difference between living on a budget and living comfortably. We’ve got the typical non-essential expenses compared to the national average listed below: 
  • Average cost of a date: $184.60 (US average: $116) 
  • Average cost of a movie theater ticker: $12.09 (US average: $9.16) 
  • Average cost of a Big Mac: $4.83 (US average: $3.99) 
  • Ski lift tickets: $73+ per person (US average ski lift ticket price: $65)
  • Alcohol sales tax: $0.30 per gallon(US average: $0.21 per gallon)
What it takes to live comfortably varies from person to person, and you may be able to live life to the fullest in New Hampshire for less than $36,025. However, that’s the minimum income needed for many. 

The New Hampshire cities with the lowest cost of living

If the cost of living in New Hampshire is starting to feel unattainable, don’t fret! There are multiple places in the Granite State where you can live on a budget. Here are the places with the lowest cost of living index (COLI) in New Hampshire:
  1. Berlin (COLI: 72.9): The northernmost town in New Hampshire, Berlin is nestled on the Androscoggin River on the rim of the White Mountains.
  2. Claremont
    (COLI: 81.7): Surrounded by green pastures and wooded forests, this small city is a New England classic with many of the old Colonial structures still standing. 
  3. Laconia
    (COLI: 92.5): Nestled between Lake Winnipesaukee and Lake Winnisquam, Laconia is a small sleepy town with no shortage of outdoor activities.
  4. Rochester
    (COLI: 93.5): The fourth largest city in New Hampshire is also the gateway to the Lakes Region, White Mountains, and seacoast, making Rochester the perfect place for young families. 
  5. Conway
    (COLI: 102.9): This small town boasts views of the White Mountains which you can see from the Conway Scenic Railroad’s vintage trains that depart from a Victorian station daily.
Whether you’re starting a family or you’re looking to relocate to New Hampshire on a budget, you’ll want to keep these small towns and cities in mind. 

How to easily find home and car insurance in New Hampshire

The cost of living in New Hampshire is higher than the national average, but surprisingly, residents often pay less than average for home and
car insurance
. Even so, you can always do with a little extra change in your pockets. 
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A single person needs about $3,002 per month to live comfortably in New Hampshire.
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