10 Best Places To Raise A Family In New Mexico For 2018

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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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.

These are the best cities to raise a family in the Land Of Enchantment:

  1. Los Alamos (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Grants (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Sunland Park (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Ruidoso (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Corrales (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Portales (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Los Lunas (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Lovington (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Santa Fe (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Bloomfield (Photos | Homes For Sale)

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 the best places to live in New Mexico and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in New Mexico.

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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 30 cities.

Read on to see why Los Alamos is where all the families are headed, while Truth Or Consequences is probably a place made for singles.

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1. Los Alamos

Los Alamos, NM

Population: 11,733
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 69
Closest Major City: Albuquerque
Households with kids: 27.8%
More on Los Alamos: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Los Alamos (Spanish: Los Álamos, meaning ‘The Cottonwoods’ or ‘The Poplars’) 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 (CDPs); the other is White Rock.

2. Grants

Grants, NM

Source: Public domain

Population: 9,263
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 53
Closest Major City: Albuquerque
Households with kids: 40.8%
More on Grants: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Grants is a city in Cibola County, New Mexico, United States. It is located about 78 miles (126 km) west of Albuquerque. The population was 9,182 at the 2010 Census. It is the county seat of Cibola County.

3. Sunland Park

Sunland Park, NM

Source: Public domain

Population: 15,588
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 55
Closest Major City: El Paso
Households with kids: 54.4%
More on Sunland Park: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Sunland Park is a city in southern Doña Ana County, New Mexico, United States, on the borders of Texas and the Mexican state of Chihuahua, with Ciudad Juárez adjoining it on the south and El Paso, Texas on the east. The community of Santa Teresa adjoins it on the northwest. The population of Sunland Park was 14,106 at the 2010 census and was estimated at 15,400 by the United States Census Bureau in 2014. Though it lies adjacent to El Paso, being in Doña Ana County makes it a part of the Las Cruces metropolitan statistical area. Las Cruces is 42 miles (68 km) to the north.

4. Ruidoso

Ruidoso, NM

Source: Public domain

Population: 7,833
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 44
Closest Major City: El Paso
Households with kids: 17.9%
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.

5. Corrales

Corrales, NM

Population: 8,474
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 61
Closest Major City: Albuquerque
Households with kids: 21.6%
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.

6. Portales

Portales, NM

Population: 12,275
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 47
Closest Major City: Lubbock
Households with kids: 33.1%
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.

7. Los Lunas

Los Lunas, NM

Source: Public domain

Population: 15,271
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 54
Closest Major City: Albuquerque
Households with kids: 37.8%
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 (Huning Ranch). It is the county seat of Valencia County.

8. Lovington

Lovington, NM

Source: Public domain

Population: 11,559
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 43
Closest Major City: Lubbock
Households with kids: 43.5%
More on Lovington: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

9. Santa Fe

Santa Fe, NM

Population: 82,927
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 100
Closest Major City: Albuquerque
Households with kids: 24.2%
More on Santa Fe: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Santa Fe (/sæntfe/ or /sæntfe/; Tewa: Ogha Po’oge, Navajo: Yootó) 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.

10. Bloomfield

Bloomfield, NM

Source: Public domain

Population: 7,565
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 49
Closest Major City: Albuquerque
Households with kids: 38.4%
More on Bloomfield: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Bloomfield (Navajo: Naabiání) is a city in San Juan County, New Mexico, United States. It is part of the Farmington Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 8,112 at the 2010 census.

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. Artesia
  3. Clovis

For more New Mexico reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places For Families In New Mexico

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Los Alamos 11,733 56
2 Grants 9,263 43
3 Sunland Park 15,588 47
4 Ruidoso 7,833 42
5 Corrales 8,474 41
6 Portales 12,275 43
7 Los Lunas 15,271 41
8 Lovington 11,559 43
9 Santa Fe 82,927 100
10 Bloomfield 7,565 49
11 Rio Rancho 92,966 41
12 Las Vegas 13,570 41
13 Socorro 8,760 37
14 Raton 6,348 58
15 Alamogordo 31,201 50
16 Aztec 6,354 33
17 Belen 7,184 42
18 Las Cruces 101,459 74
19 Hobbs 36,863 49
20 Bernalillo 8,676 55
21 Carlsbad 28,079 40
22 Taos 5,735 76
23 Farmington 44,067 62
24 Gallup 22,523 62
25 Roswell 48,407 58
26 Deming 14,582 53
27 Albuquerque 556,859 100
28 Clovis 39,461 50
29 Artesia 11,817 60
30 Truth Or Consequences 6,157 55

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