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New Hampshire Metros Ranked Near the Best in the US for Economic Strength

June 30, 2012

Ranking of the NH micropolitian areas out of the 576 micropolitian areas in the US:
#1 Concord, NH
#8 Lebanon, NH/VT
#15 Laconia, NH
#45 Claremont, NH
#51 Keene, NH
#274 Berlin NH/VT

Ranking of the NH metropolitan areas out of the 366 metropolitan areas in the US:
#38 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA/NH
#40 Manchester-Nashua, NH

According to the PoliCom’s 2012 Economic Strength Rankings report, a Metropolitan Statistical Areas has “at least one urbanized area with a population of at least 50,000, plus adjacent territory (counties) which have a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured by commuting ties.” The report defines a Micropolitan Statistical Area as “an urbanized area (city) with a population of at least 10,000 but fewer than 50,000.” It must be at least 1 county.


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  1. Understand that a large part of NH’s “economic success” has to with the fact that NH has the fourth-oldest population in terms of median age, and younger people (like myself) tend to be the most negatively affected by economic downturns. There’s also the fact that NH has a few federally-funded highways running through it which give its center of population easy access to Boston-area markets. In other words, NH is NOT successful because it’s libertarian; it’s libertarian *because* it’s successful.

  2. wordpressandstuff permalink

    I agree with you Julia. A lot of productive middle aged people move to NH and a lot of unproductive 20somethings leave NH. Some of that is due to the freedom culture of NH.

    I agree that NH doesn’t have much federally funded highways and that might hurt the economy. However, I don’t think we need a lot of those and it is OK if NH is lacking those compared to many other states.

    I agree that part of NH is in the great Boston/RI/NH MSA. Some NH is much more free than RI or MA, it definitely helps NH. It is amazing looking at the MA/NH border and seeing a ton of companies on the NH side and just a few companies on the MA side.

    NH used to be a lot more libertarian than it is now. However, NH has gotten worse at a much slower rate than ME/MA/RI and that is a large part of the success that is NH. NH didn’t used to be as economically prosperous. However, since MA went down the tubes, lots of companies and hard working people relocated in NH. Heck, NH did really see a turn towards freedom (recently, anyway) until last year when the state budget was cut by 10%.

  3. No, I was pointing out that the federally-funded highways are part of the reason NH is successful. Access to the Boston area makes a huge difference in the state’s economy. If NH’s libertarianism was the main reason behind its economic success, why is the southeast the most prosperous part of the state while the northern counties have poor infrastructure and high poverty?

  4. Buna Amorim permalink

    thank you for sharing.

  5. thanks for posting your articles so often, every day i access your website and check for updates.

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