New Hampshire’s population expanded by about 61,000 people between the 2010 and 2020 Census periods, which equates to a growth rate of just over four percent. While that’s well below the average growth rate and New Hampshire’s slowest rate since the 1920 Census, it’s clear that by attracting thousands of new residents, the state remains an attractive place to live.

Whether they’re relocating from another state or searching for a new community in New Hampshire, the good news for those investing in the state is that it’s got one of the lowest rates of property crimes.

Violent crimes understandably get all of the press attention, but for the average person, property crime is a much more likely threat, so understanding how serious the risk level is in a given state is a good way of making sure it’s worth your investment of time and money.

At A Glance:

    • With #1 being the best, New Hampshire is ranked #2 for property crime out of 50 states + Washington, D.C.
    • You have a 1.21% chance of being a property crime victim in New Hampshire in the next 12 months.
    • New Hampshire’s property crime rate is 43% lower than the average crime rate in the United States.
    • Newington has the highest property crime rate in New Hampshire (139.5 incidents per 1,000 people).

 

  • Newington is a small coastal town of about 1,700 people. In addition to having a small permanent population, which often leads to high population-adjusted crime rates, Newington is an attractive tourist spot thanks to its position on the Atlantic coast. Across the country, many of the towns and cities with the highest property crime rates are major tourist destinations, and the influx of people is believed to be a reason for high property crime rates.

 

Only one state (Massachusetts) has a lower crime rate than New Hampshire, and the Granite State is not far behind. Less than a tenth of a point separates the two states.

New Hampshire’s Most Current Property Crime Rates (2019)

  • Rate of Property Crime
    • New Hampshire average:: 12.1 crimes per 1,000 people
    • National average: 21.1 crimes per 1,000 people

Like most other states, property crime has declined in New Hampshire over the past decade. Only Alaska and North Dakota saw property crime go up in that time, while New Hampshire’s 46 percent drop was the third-largest, behind Massachusetts and Maine. 

New Hampshire’s Overall Property Crime Trends (2010 – 2019)

    • Average Rate of Property Crime:
      • New Hampshire 10-year average: 18.49 crimes per 1,000 people
      • National 10-year average: 25.61 crimes per 1,000 people
    • -46% Has property crime increased or decreased during this time?
      • There was a 46% decrease in property crime in  New Hampshire from 2010 as compared to 2019.
    • 2011 Which year had the highest rate of property crime in New Hampshire?:
      • The highest rate of property crime in New Hampshire was 2011 (24.9 crimes per 1,000 people)
    • 2019 Which year had the lowest rate of property crime in New Hampshire?:
      • The lowest rate of property crime in New Hampshire was 2019 (12.1 crimes per 1,000 people)

What incidents fall under the umbrella of property crime? Burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson are the four major property crime categories reported by the FBI. In every case, if the incident involves violence or threats of violence, it no longer is a property crime and is classified as a violent crime.

New Hampshire’s Property Crime Category Trends (2010 – 2019)

      • Which type of property crime occurred the most in New Hampshire over the past decade?
        • Larceny occurred more than any other property crime at a rate of 14.8 crimes per 1,000 people.
        • Average property crime rate by category
          • Average burglary rate: 3.0 crimes per 1,000 people
          • Average larceny rate: 14.8 crimes per 1,000 people
          • Average vehicle crime rate: 0.71 crimes per 1,000 people
          • Average arson rate: 0.16 crimes per 1,000 people
        • Note: There were no FBI estimates for arson rates, so we used all available data that was reported by individual cities in New Hampshire.
      • +13% Which types of property crime have increased during this time period?
        • All four types of property crime have declined in New Hampshire since 2010, but vehicle theft fell at the slowest rate, 13%.
      • -69% Which types of property crime have decreased during this time period?
        • Burglary crime has decreased the most, dropping 69%.

 

What factors may be contributing to low property crime rates in New Hampshire? While crime is a complex issue, many researchers have linked high rates of poverty, unemployment, and urbanization to high property crime rates.

 

So, where does New Hampshire stand on those fronts? In all three cases, New Hampshire has considerably lower rates than the U.S. as a whole, which may lend credence to the notion that poverty, unemployment, and urbanization are tied to property crime.

 

Let’s take a closer look:

  • Poverty: Just over seven percent of New Hampshire residents live below the poverty line, which is the lowest rate in the country. The national rate is about 12 percent.
  • Unemployment: New Hampshire’s most recent unemployment rate of 2.8 percent is tied for the lowest and well below the national rate of about six percent.
  • Urbanization: About 81 percent of Americans live in urban areas, but in New Hampshire that rate is closer to 60 percent.

 

One reason why it’s notoriously difficult to pinpoint all the reasons why one state has lower or higher crime rates than another is that crime is an intensely local issue. Even nearby communities can have vastly different crime rates.

 

This is particularly true in a geographically small state like New Hampshire. Newington, with the state’s highest property crime rate (139.5 incidents per 1,000 people), is just 20 minutes from New Castle, with the state’s fourth-lowest rate (1 per 1,000).

 


Top 5: Best Property Crime Rates (based on 2019 data)*:

  • Alstead, New Hampshire (Cheshire County)
  • Effingham, New Hampshire (Carroll County)
  • Bath, New Hampshire (Grafton County)
  • New Castle, New Hampshire (Rockingham County)
  • Madbury, New Hampshire (Strafford County)

Bottom 5: Worst Property Crime Rates (based on 2019 data):

  • Newington, New Hampshire (Rockingham County)
  • Tilton, New Hampshire (Belknap County)
  • Waterville Valley, New Hampshire (Grafton County)
  • Laconia, New Hampshire (Belknap County)
  • Rochester, New Hampshire (Strafford County)

* Excludes cities with zero property crime reported