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Monday, February 8, 2016

10 Things To Know About New Hampshire

Dublin, New Hampshire. (Allegra Boverman/NHPR)

Dublin, New Hampshire. (Allegra Boverman/NHPR)

Every four years, national presidential candidates descend upon the Granite State, with the national media in tow. While much of the focus is on the primary race tomorrow, we decided to do a little digging about what sets this state apart from the other 49.

Here are the 10 things you should know about New Hampshire:

1. The state owns the liquor stores: As a state with no income or sales tax, New Hampshire relies heavily on other sources of income to keep the state running. Part of that money comes from the state liquor stores — and the lottery, which New Hampshire can boast is the oldest legal lottery in the U.S.

N.H. Liquor and Wine Outlet in Lebanon, New Hampshire. (Mary Dooe/Here & Now)

N.H. Liquor and Wine Outlet in Lebanon, New Hampshire. (Mary Dooe/Here & Now)

2. It’s a pretty secular state: In fact, it consistently ranks as one of the least religious states in the country. That’s partly because it has historically had a mix of different religions, says Jere Daniell, retired Dartmouth history professor.

3. New Hampshire is one of the healthiest states: That starts from a young age, says Marcella Bobinsky of the Department of Health and Human Services. They have really high vaccination rates for children, for starters.

4. “Live Free or Die” — it’s more than just a license plate slogan: Traffic laws here aren’t very stringent: It’s one of a number of states with no helmet law for motorcyclists over 18, and it’s the only state in the nation with no primary or secondary seat belt laws for adults.

5. People love the outdoors — especially skiing, the state sport: Ski resorts are a big contributor to the tourism industry in the state.

Here & Now host Jeremy Hobson skiing at Loon Mountain Resort in Lincoln, New Hampshire. (Mary Dooe/Here & Now)

Here & Now host Jeremy Hobson skiing at Loon Mountain Resort in Lincoln, New Hampshire. (Mary Dooe/Here & Now)

6. Their most famous tourist attraction doesn’t even exist anymore: The Old Man in the Mountain collapsed back in 2003, but thousands of visitors still go to its former site each year.

7. Smart manufacturing is a big part of the economy: These aren’t the dirty, old-fashioned factories you might be picturing — they’re high tech, like Hypertherm in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

8. People are funny here: Just ask Sarah Silverman, Adam Sandler and Seth Meyers, who all hail from the Granite State.

9. Politicians take “The Pledge”: That’s an agreement to not create a state income or sales tax, and it’s really hard to win without taking it. The last governor to win who didn’t take the pledge was now-Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (listen to our interview with her about this year’s primary).

10. New Hampshire residents are politically active — and not just during primary season: They’re politically engaged in their towns as well, according to historian Jere Daniell.

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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