10 Best Places To Raise A Family In New Mexico For 2019

We used science and data to determine which cities in New Mexico have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our second time ranking the best cities for families in New Mexico.

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If you’re like the rest of us, you’re looking for the perfect place for your family. But you have a strict criteria; the city has to be safe, affordable, and stimulating. Basically, the place you move – or even visit – has to be outright perfect.

Is that attainable? Perhaps not, but we’ll get you as close as we can.


According to the United States Census, the number of American families who move is trending downwards Why is that? Perhaps it has to do with the ‘safety net’ factor: We get comfortable where we live, and we’re afraid to try a new move. What if the schools are bad? What if it’s dangerous?

Well, we can pretty much guarantee that if you choose the cities we’re mentioning below, you won’t lose any sleep whatsoever.

So, where are the best cities for families in New Mexico? We’ve got the answers here.

If you’re thinking of making a move to New Mexico, and want a family-friendly place, we’ve got you covered. And if you already have kids, we’re surprised you made it this far into the article and hope your little ones give you a couple of more minutes of free time.

Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out some more reading about New Mexico and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In New Mexico For 2019

Los Alamos, NM

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Population: 12,035
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 67
Closest Major City: Albuquerque
Households with kids: 25.7%
More on Los Alamos: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Los Alamos is a town in Los Alamos County, New Mexico, United States that is recognized as the birthplace of the atomic bomb–the primary objective of the Manhattan Project by Los Alamos National Laboratory during World War II. The town is located on four mesas of the Pajarito Plateau, and has a population of 12,019. It is the county seat and one of two population centers in the county known as census-designated places ; the other is White Rock.

Grants, NM

Source: Public domain
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Population: 9,094
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 46
Closest Major City: Albuquerque
Households with kids: 35.9%
More on Grants: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Grants is a city in Cibola County, New Mexico, United States. It is located about 78 miles west of Albuquerque. The population was 9,182 at the 2010 Census. It is the county seat of Cibola County.

Corrales, NM

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Population: 8,463
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 63
Closest Major City: Albuquerque
Households with kids: 20.9%
More on Corrales: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Corrales is a village in Sandoval County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 8,329 at the 2010 Census. With proximity to the Rio Grande, the village was founded for agricultural purposes. The Rio Grande Bosque on the eastern edge of the village provides refuge for native animals and plants. The village fights hard to maintain its rural character in light of being surrounded by the rapidly expanding cities of Rio Rancho and Albuquerque.

Anthony, NM

Source: Public domain
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Population: 9,397
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 57
Closest Major City: El Paso
Households with kids: 48.6%
More on Anthony: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Portales, NM

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Population: 12,123
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 37
Closest Major City: Lubbock
Households with kids: 29.6%
More on Portales: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Portales is a city in and the county seat of Roosevelt County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 12,280 at the 2010 census. Portales is located near the larger city of Clovis as well as Cannon Air Force Base, a major contributor to the economy of the region.

Ruidoso, NM

Source: Public domain
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Population: 7,740
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 41
Closest Major City: El Paso
Households with kids: 15.5%
More on Ruidoso: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Ruidoso is a village in Lincoln County, New Mexico, United States, adjacent to the Lincoln National Forest. The population was 8,029 at the 2010 census. The city of Ruidoso Downs and the unincorporated area of Alto are suburbs of Ruidoso, and contribute to the Ruidoso Micropolitan Statistical Area’s population of 21,223.

Las Vegas, NM

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Population: 13,445
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 39
Closest Major City: Albuquerque
Households with kids: 23.8%
More on Las Vegas: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Las Vegas is a city in and the county seat of San Miguel County, New Mexico, United States. Once two separate municipalities both named Las Vegas, west Las Vegas and east Las Vegas, separated by the Gallinas River, retain distinct characters and separate, rival school districts. The population was 14,565 at the 2000 census. Las Vegas, NM is located 110 miles south of Raton, New Mexico, 65 miles east of Santa Fe, New Mexico, 122 miles northeast of Albuquerque, New Mexico, 257 miles south of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and 326 miles south of Denver, Colorado.

Santa Fe, NM

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Population: 82,980
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 114
Closest Major City: Albuquerque
Households with kids: 22.0%
More on Santa Fe: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Santa Fe is the capital of the state of New Mexico. It is the fourth-largest city in the state and the seat of Santa Fe County.

Rio Rancho, NM

Source: Public domain
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Population: 93,317
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 60
Closest Major City: Albuquerque
Households with kids: 32.9%
More on Rio Rancho: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Rio Rancho is the largest city and economic hub of Sandoval County in the U.S. state of New Mexico. A small portion of the city extends into northern Bernalillo County. It is the third-largest and also one of the fastest expanding cities in New Mexico. As of the 2010 census, Rio Rancho had a population of 93,820.

Review Of Rio Rancho by HomeSnacks User

It’s not the worst place you could live but it is NO where close to the best. I moved here a year ago and I already want to leave. Of course we are in New Mexico. So we are the best of the worst-! The hype and advertising of the city worked on us. But after being here a few months we saw the true side of this town. The government is a joke. Everyone talks about “community” and that the crime is low….false advertising! The crime is still ridiculous. People here are very rude. There are more “bad” areas of the city than good. Even the neighborhood I live in, that is deemed a “nicer” community, is still riddled with trash. No standards are present. The intelligence level of the majority is lacking to say the least. The list goes on but I am sure you know what direction we are now going.

Nothing stands out. It’s a poor town full of people that are either too blind to see the squaller and idiocy they live in or they are in denial. On the only positive note, the view of the mountains are beautiful.

Los Lunas, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,258
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 42
Closest Major City: Albuquerque
Households with kids: 31.8%
More on Los Lunas: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Los Lunas is a village in Valencia County, New Mexico, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the village population is 14,835 inside the village limits due to the new housing developments at El Cerro de Los Lunas. It is the county seat of Valencia County.

How do you determine which place is best for families in New Mexico anyways?

To give you the places in New Mexico which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what’s family-friendly and what isn’t.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Land Of Enchantment

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of New Mexico, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 5,000 people. For New Mexico, that meant a total of 28 cities.

There You Have It – The Best Places To Raise A Family In New Mexico

If you’re looking for a breakdown of cities in New Mexico ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here’s a look at the best cities for singles New Mexico according to the data:

  1. Truth Or Consequences
  2. Farmington
  3. Albuquerque

For more New Mexico reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In New Mexico?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Los Alamos, NM 12,035 48
2 Grants, NM 9,094 40
3 Corrales, NM 8,463 61
4 Anthony, NM 9,397 41
5 Portales, NM 12,123 65
6 Ruidoso, NM 7,740 59
7 Las Vegas, NM 13,445 47
8 Santa Fe, NM 82,980 100
9 Rio Rancho, NM 93,317 58
10 Los Lunas, NM 15,258 39

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