When we think about the wealthiest states in the United States, probably it would be California or New York. Did you know that the 5th smallest state (by land area) in U.S, situated in the northeastern part, could also be one of the most prosperous?

New Hampshire is bordered by Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine and Canadian Quebec, and has only 1,330,608 citizens.


What might be so special about small state, with no “Cali” weather, and low population then? Well, income levels, tax burden, regulatory efficiency, gun rights, crime levels, fiscal responsibility, etc. 

Known as “conservative paradise”, it’s a pure red state. NH hosts a lot of libertarian/pro-liberty organizations. Despite the fact that NH is described as a conservative state, same-sex marriage regardless of gender is legal.

NH (as one of the few states) doesn’t collect sales (CA = 8,44%, NY = 8,48%) and income taxes. However, income from dividends and interests is taxed at a rate of 5%. The cigarette tax is only 1,78$ per pack, 0,3$ per gallon of beer, taxes on wine, cigars, machinery and inventory are abolished. Overall, NH has a second lowest tax burden nation-wide (first is Alaska). Bureaucracy isn’t state’s motto (actually “Live Free or Die” is) since NH has one of the lowest ones. An economy is fairly diversified and contains a lot of free trade zones (local less prosperous areas with fewer regulations ).

What is also very surprising, New Hampshire leads the rank when it comes to median household income (that includes income of the householder and all other people aged 15 years and older in the household, whether they are, or not related to householder).


(Source: kff.org, 2015 data)

Every year, Mercatus Center creates a ranking of all U.S. states by the fiscal condition. In 2016, latest released annual data ranked New Hampshire (sadly) on 20th position. Mercatus Center analyzed each state by 5 categories: cash solvency, budget solvency, long-run solvency, service-level solvency and trust fund solvency. I think we all may agree that there is a space for progress. Even though, there are still a lot (tens) of states, which stay miles behind. Interestingly, states like New York, California, New Jersey or Hawaii – each one of them has massive debt obligations, no sign of reforming the system of unfunded liabilities (pensions, healthcare benefits) and very high deficits.


(Source: Mercatus Center, screenshot from FB page Unbiased America)

Like every other state, New Hampshire does have flaws. But, comparing that little state to other states in the US, it’s good to see how NH is able to keep its taxes and regulations at a low level, the fiscal situation under control and provide one of the highest standards of living.