New Hampshire is in the New England region and borders Canada. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. New Hampshire ranks 44th in land area, 46th in total area of the 50 states, and 42nd in population.
New Hampshire became the first post-colonial sovereign nation in the Americas when it broke off from Great Britain in January 1776, and was one of the original thirteen states that founded the United States of America six months later. In June 1788, it became the ninth state to ratify the United States Constitution, bringing that document into effect. New Hampshire was the first U.S. state to have its own state constitution.
It is known nationally for the New Hampshire primary, the first primary in the U.S. presidential election cycle. It has no general sales tax, nor is personal income (other than interest and dividends) taxed at either the state or local level.
Its license plates carry the state motto: "Live Free or Die". The state's nickname, "The Granite State", refers to its geology and its tradition of self-sufficiency.
New Hampshire's major recreational attractions include skiing, snowmobiling and other winter sports, hiking and mountaineering, observing the fall foliage, summer cottages along many lakes and the seacoast. The White Mountain National Forest links the Vermont and Maine portions of the Appalachian Trail.