Costs of Living Estimates Vary Substantially by County in New Hampshire

While the cost of living is different for each household based on its specific characteristics and needs, estimates of typical costs based on the prices of key expenses, such as food, housing, and transportation, provide insights into the financial well-being of individuals and families. Two organizations, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), both updated their independent estimates of living costs in early 2024. MIT’s Living Wage Calculator and EPI’s Family Budget Calculator provide estimates for each county. Among New Hampshire’s ten counties, annual costs for a household with two working adults and two children range from a low estimate of $87,528 in EPI’s estimate for Coos County to $131,157 in MIT’s estimate for Rockingham County. Both of these estimates are substantially higher than the federal 2023 poverty threshold for a two-adult, two-child household of $30,900.

For more information and analysis regarding poverty and living costs in New Hampshire, see NHFPI’s Issue Brief Poverty and Food Insecurity in New Hampshire During and Following the COVID-19 Crisis.