These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In New Mexico For 2018


Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in New Mexico have the most for people looking to make the move to New Mexico.

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Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is New Mexico a good place?

The answer is unequivocally yes… if you know where to locate the best places to live in New Mexico.

Lucky for you, we’re here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Land Of Enchantment based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn’t our first rodeo — we’ve been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best pat of New Mexico, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 28 counties in the state.

After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Land Of Enchantment for 2018:

  1. Los Alamos County (Photos)
  2. Quay County (Photos)
  3. Grant County (Photos)
  4. Guadalupe County (Photos)
  5. Santa Fe County (Photos)
  6. Union County (Photos)
  7. Sandoval County (Photos)
  8. Eddy County (Photos)
  9. Sierra County (Photos)
  10. Lincoln County (Photos)

Los Alamos County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in New Mexico. And you might want to avoid Mckinley County if you can — at least according to the data.

So if you’re thinking of making the move New Mexico, we’ve got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in New Mexico and the best places to raise a family in New Mexico.

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How do you determine which New Mexico county is the best?

To give you the best county in New Mexico, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what’s a ‘best county’ and what isn’t. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you’d make at a bar using facts, don’t take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.

We paid particular attention to:

  • Violent Crime Rates
  • Property Crime Rates
  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Adult Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We then ranked each county in New Mexico across each of the criteria from one to 28, with one being the best.

Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the ‘Best County To Live In New Mexico’.

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Land Of Enchantment.

Read on to see why Los Alamos County is the best county, while Mckinley County is probably in contention for being the worst county in New Mexico.

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1. Los Alamos County

Los Alamos, NM

Biggest Place: Los Alamos
Population: 17,895
Median Income: $105,902 (1st best)
Median Home Price: $274,200 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.6% (2nd best)
More on Los Alamos County: PhotosData

2. Quay County

Tucumcari, NM

Biggest Place: Tucumcari
Population: 8,555
Median Income: $28,159 (25th best)
Median Home Price: $72,600 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.7% (3rd best)
More on Quay County: PhotosData

3. Grant County

Silver City, NM

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Silver City
Population: 28,879
Median Income: $38,890 (13th best)
Median Home Price: $135,000 (17th best)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (15th best)
More on Grant County: PhotosData

4. Guadalupe County

Santa Rosa, NM

Biggest Place: Santa Rosa
Population: 4,469
Median Income: $26,692 (28th best)
Median Home Price: $84,200 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 0.3% (1st best)
More on Guadalupe County: PhotosData

5. Santa Fe County

Chimayo, NM

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Santa Fe
Population: 147,320
Median Income: $55,370 (5th best)
Median Home Price: $274,800 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (9th best)
More on Santa Fe County: PhotosData

6. Union County

Clayton, NM

Biggest Place: Clayton
Population: 4,292
Median Income: $36,420 (15th best)
Median Home Price: $87,600 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.1% (4th best)
More on Union County: PhotosData

7. Sandoval County

Bernalillo, NM

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Rio Rancho
Population: 138,117
Median Income: $60,158 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $176,700 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 8.5% (13th best)
More on Sandoval County: PhotosData

8. Eddy County

Artesia, NM

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Carlsbad
Population: 56,369
Median Income: $59,625 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $134,100 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (6th best)
More on Eddy County: PhotosData

9. Sierra County

Truth Or Consequences, NM

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Truth or Consequences
Population: 11,442
Median Income: $29,679 (23rd best)
Median Home Price: $89,900 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 10.0% (19th best)
More on Sierra County: PhotosData

10. Lincoln County

Ruidoso Downs, NM

Source: Wikipedia

Biggest Place: Ruidoso
Population: 19,726
Median Income: $40,065 (12th best)
Median Home Price: $170,400 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (9th best)
More on Lincoln County: PhotosData

There You Have It – The Best Counties In New Mexico To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in New Mexico can vary from one part of the state to the next — who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that’s why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here’s a look at the worst counties in New Mexico according to the data:

  1. Mckinley County
  2. Luna County
  3. Valencia County

For more New Mexico reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In New Mexico

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Los Alamos County 1 17,895 $105,902 $274,200
Quay County 2 8,555 $28,159 $72,600
Grant County 3 28,879 $38,890 $135,000
Guadalupe County 4 4,469 $26,692 $84,200
Santa Fe County 5 147,320 $55,370 $274,800
Union County 6 4,292 $36,420 $87,600
Sandoval County 7 138,117 $60,158 $176,700
Eddy County 8 56,369 $59,625 $134,100
Sierra County 9 11,442 $29,679 $89,900
Lincoln County 10 19,726 $40,065 $170,400
Bernalillo County 11 674,777 $48,994 $186,500
San Juan County 12 122,537 $48,624 $142,500
Otero County 13 65,333 $41,502 $105,000
Curry County 14 50,544 $42,170 $125,900
Hidalgo County 15 4,531 $34,528 $77,800
Lea County 16 68,930 $58,152 $111,400
Torrance County 17 15,599 $32,067 $108,800
Colfax County 18 12,716 $32,693 $110,600
Taos County 19 32,961 $35,323 $213,800
Cibola County 20 27,373 $36,160 $86,900
Chaves County 21 65,610 $41,356 $102,400
Doña Ana County 22 213,825 $38,636 $137,300
Roosevelt County 23 19,618 $34,933 $116,400
San Miguel County 24 28,350 $27,000 $123,100
Socorro County 25 17,324 $34,542 $120,200
Valencia County 26 75,993 $41,788 $133,100
Luna County 27 24,627 $27,326 $85,300
Mckinley County 28 74,346 $29,272 $68,000

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