While the rest of the state is still dependent on tourists, textiles, apples and chickens, southern New Hampshire looks and sounds more like Massachusetts, especially suburban Boston. Nashua, New Hampshire exemplifies the border communities: Massachusetts is a ten-minute drive from downtown; 20 percent of Nashua's labor force commutes to jobs in Massachusetts (most to Lowell, Boston, the Route 128 industrial belt or Boston suburbs) ; another 20 percent commutes to Nashua jobs from homes in Massachusetts.
Nashua is the state's second largest city (population 63,000), and it is growing rapidly. A number of bedroom communities (Hudson, Amherst, Hollis, Merrimack and Milford) ring Nashua, swelling the population of the immediate area to over 100,000. With no state sales tax and no state income tax, New Hampshire attracts many transplants from "Taxachusetts." Once primarily a textile mill/shoe factory town, Nashua's largest employer is now an electronics firm, Sanders Associates. Sanders has been responsible in the last ten to fifteen years for bringing a number of "outsiders"—Midwesterners, Southerners, Westerners—into this New England melting pot. Dubbed "EthniCity" in a bicentennial promotion by the public library, Nashua's inhabitants include not only the more traditional British-extract Yankee, but French Canadian, Lithuanian, Greek and other nationalities as well.