FILE - Portsmouth, NH

Pedestrians stroll through downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

The Legatum Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, has ranked New Hampshire as the fourth-most prosperous state in the Union for 2019, with the best living conditions.

Unlike other agencies that measure prosperity purely in commercial terms, such as gross state product, profitable businesses, employment rates, average incomes, average home values and the like, the institute says on its website that prosperity “reaches beyond the financial into the political, the judicial, the wellbeing and character of a nation – it is about creating an environment where people are able to reach their full potential. A nation is prosperous when it has an open economy, an inclusive society with strong institutions, and empowered people who are healthy, educated and safe.”

In its United States Prosperity Index 2019, Legatum places the Granite State behind only Massachusetts, Connecticut and Minnesota in terms of overall prosperity. That is one move up from 2018, when it was in fifth place.

For the very first time, this Index enables us to construct a thoroughly comprehensive picture of prosperity, across its economic, institutional and social dimensions, for all the different regions and states of the U.S., the Institute says.

“The overall picture of strongest and weakest state performers, as presented in this report, masks a myriad of further insights and opportunities at the regional and state level. These can be further explored through the state profiles available via the United States Prosperity Index website, which also makes available the underlying data for further analysis.”

Collecting detailed data that was then compiled into overall categories, New Hampshire was rated on business environment (third), market access and infrastructure (29th), economic quality (34th), safety and security (second), personal freedom (17th), governance (31st), social capital (eighth), living conditions (first), education (fourth), health (13th) and the natural environment (fifth).

Rated on a scale of 1 to 100, New Hampshire’s business environment scored 71.2 over last years 69.2.

When measuring what it categorized as “Empowered People,” the institute gave New Hampshire high marks for living conditions (80.4, the highest in the Northeast) and scores of above 60 for education, health and the condition of the natural environment.