New Hampshire is a state within the New England area of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is surrounded by Massachusetts to the south, the state of Vermont to the west, Atlantic Ocean and Maine to the east, and the Canadian province of Quebec towards the north. New Hampshire ranks 44th in land area, 46th in total area of the 50 states, and 42nd in population.
It became the very first post-colonial sovereign nation within the Americas when it broke off from Great Britain in the month of January the year 1776, and was amongst the original thirteen states that established the United States of America six months later. During June 1788, it became the ninth state to ratify the United States Constitution, bringing that document into effect. the state of New Hampshire was the first U.S. state to have its own state constitution.
"Live Free or Die" is the states motto and is carried on license plates. Another state nickname is "The Granite State," that is a reference to the states tradition of self-sufficiency and its geology.
New Hampshire's major recreational attractions include snowmobiling, skiing as well as various winter sports, hiking and mountaineering, summer cottages along the many lakes and the seacoast, motor sports at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, observing the fall foliage, and Motorcycle Week, a well-known motorcycle rally held in Weirs Beach near Laconia in the month of June. The White Mountain National Forest links the Vermont and Maine regions of the Appalachian Trail, and boasts the Mount Washington Auto Road, where tourists may drive to the top of 6,288-foot (1,917 m) Mount Washington.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that New Hampshire's total state product during the year 2008 was $60 billion, ranking 40th within the nation. Median household income during 2008 was $49,467, seventh highest in the US. Its agricultural outputs are nursery stock, dairy products, cattle, apples and eggs. Its industrial outputs are electric equipment, machinery, rubber and plastic products and tourism.
In the last century, the state of new Hampshire underwent a significant shift in its economic base. The economy was historically based on the traditional New England manufactures of textiles, small machining shops and shoe making. These businesses drew upon the low-wage labor from nearby small farms and those from north of the border within Quebec. At present, these sectors contribute only 9% for machining, 2% for textiles and 2% for leather goods of new Hampshire's total manufacturing dollar value. They experienced a sharp decline because of plants which are obsolete and the lure of cheaper wages in the South.
According to the Energy Information Administration, New Hampshire's energy consumption and per capita energy consumption are amongst the lowest in the US. The Seabrook Station Nuclear Power Plant, located near Portsmouth, is the biggest nuclear reactor within New England and provides roughly 30% of New Hampshire's electricity. Two natural gas-fired plants and some fossil-fuel powered plants, like the coal-fired Merrimack Station plant in Bow, provide most of the rest.