Our City

"Keene represents a truly distinctive slice of America"Central Square

The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Keene to its list of "America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations" due to the city's well-managed growth, commitment to historic preservation, attractive architecture, cultural diversity, activities for families with children, economic base of locally-owned small businesses, and walkability for residents and visitors.

The National Trust calls Keene a "Currier & Ives landscape come to life, where pristine local landmarks, Revolutionary War reenactments and bucolic rolling hills provide a perfect spot for family fun". In a press release dated April 29, 2003, the National Trust states, "Although its population is small, Keene, N.H. (population 22,563) is a giant when it comes to history...Because so many of the town's earliest structures have remained unchanged for more than two centuries, it's easy to get lost in time." In this press release, National Trust President Richard Moe states, "It is encouraging to see communities so committed to the preservation of their historic landmarks, the revitalization of their downtown areas, and the protection of their unique heritage...Keene represents a truly distinctive slice of America. That makes it an exciting alternative to the homogenization of many other vacation spots. It is my hope that more American cities and towns will follow Keene's lead in preserving their own spirit of place."

Central Square Snow StormKeene NH is a GREAT place to live...

Parenting Magazine's Tenth Anniversary May 1997 issue highlighted an article entitled "10 Great Places to Raise a Family", by William Green. The City of Keene, New Hampshire was chosen as one of those ten. Cities were chosen because parents felt they could create "a healthy lifestyle for their kids." Quoting from the article:

"This town of about 22,000 offered a "less stressful lifestyle...But the real bonus...is living in a smaller community where you can make more intimate connections to people...Keene is the type of place where people come together to do things for the community."

Pumpkin TowerKeene is also profiled in a book called The New Rating Guide to Life in America's Small Citiesby Kevin Heubusch (Prometheus Books, 1997) That book rated small cities on many different criteria, including climate, diversions, economics, education, health care, housing, safety, and transportation. Keene was given a national rank of 57, out of 193 cities. Keene's strong points were listed as: "Crime rates are low in Keene and juvenile crime is not a problem. The arts, shopping, and sports of Boston are within a two-hour drive." Its highest ratings are for urban proximity, public safety, climate/environment, and community assets. Keene also tied with Cortland, N.Y. as tenth best small city in the East!

Prometheus Books also published The Rating Guide to Life in America's Fifty States in 1994. In that guide, New Hampshire made the national top five best states, and was also rated number four in the East and rated number three among small states. Its best scores were in the sections "Children and Families" ("NH is the best place in America to raise a family"), "Resource Conservation", and "Business" ("no state economy grew faster during the 1980s than NH's").

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23,419 (2013 estimate) 

Land Area 

37.3 Square Miles 


Mayor, 15 member City Council, City Manager 


Cheshire, Keene is the seat 

Total Parcels 

7,949 (2014)

Total Taxable Property Value 

1,846,896,575 (2013)

Equalized Ratio 

105.9% (2013)

Housing Stock 

9,628 total units 

Income: Per Capita 

$26,641 (2013) 

Income: Median 4-person Family

$72,055 (2013)

Income: Household 

$50,148 (2013)

Resident Labor Force 

12,093 (2013)

Average Total Employment

18,912 (2009)

Major Employers 

Markem Imaje Corporation, Timken Super Precision, National Grange Mutual Insurance, Liberty Mutual/Peerless Insurance, Smiths Medical, Keene State College, Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock - Keene, SAU#29 School District, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Janos Technology, City of Keene

Highway Access 

Routes 9, 10, 12, 101 

Local Transportation 

Vermont Transit Bus Line, Thomas Transportation 

Educational Institutions 

Five elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, Monadnock Waldorf School, St. Joseph's Regional School, Keene State College, Antioch New England Graduate School, Franklin Pierce (extension) 


Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock - Keene

Maple Row