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New Hampshire
New Hampshire
Taxes: No personal income tax on wages and salaries, but tax on dividends and interest, plus gross receipts tax for businesses
Best Places to Live and Launch: Manchester (No. 13)

New Hampshire is one of the fastest-growing states when it comes to new business development. An abundant pool of educated workers feeds New Hampshire's high-tech companies: The state is home to 26 colleges, including the University of New Hampshire and Dartmouth College. Despite the increasing labor force, unemployment is lower than the national rate.

The state's largest city, Manchester, is leading the way in establishing telecom and computer software industries. Other rapidly growing sectors include health care, retail, and hospitality. Although property taxes can be as high as 3.3% in some municipalities (Manchester's is 1.7%), there's no state sales tax. Housing prices and the cost of living are reasonably low - the median value of a home in New Hampshire is $253,200, compared to $370,400 in nearby Massachusetts.

NEXT: Tennessee

Last updated March 27 2008: 10:09 AM ET