These Are The 20 Best Small Towns In New Mexico For 2018


We used science and data to determine which small towns in New Mexico are the best of the best..

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Data updated for 2018.

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You’ve seen these lists before: Best places to live in New Mexico, Most Beautiful Downtowns, etc., etc. But all of them focus on major cities and towns in the Land Of Enchantment and no one pays attention to the little guy.

Well, that’s all about to change as we put together a list of the best small towns in New Mexico based on numbers–not opinions or hearsay.

We’ll dive right into our methodology in the next section; but first, we thought you might just want to know which places in New Mexico ranked the based–you know, based on science.

Before we get to the top 20, here’s a look at the 10 Best Small Towns To Live in New Mexico for 2018:

  1. Sandia Heights (Homes For Sale)
  2. La Huerta (Homes For Sale)
  3. San Antonito CDP (Bernalillo County) (Homes For Sale)
  4. Sandia Knolls (Homes For Sale)
  5. Ranchos de Taos (Homes For Sale)
  6. San Ysidro (Homes For Sale)
  7. Bosque Farms (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Placitas CDP (Sandoval County) (Homes For Sale)
  9. El Rancho (Homes For Sale)
  10. Arenas Valley (Homes For Sale)

If you live in one of these small towns like Sandia Heights, chances are, you’re not surprised. After all, you know how great you have it.

But for the rest of you–keep reading and we’ll get to just why these small towns made our list.

For more reading on the Land Of Enchantment check out:

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How We Determined The Coolest Towns In New Mexico

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent data from the Census’s 2012-2016 American Community Survey and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (Higher is better)
  • Lowest Unemployment Rates
  • Housing costs (Higher is better. More demand.)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Higher is better)
  • Highly Educated Adults (Higher is better)
  • Insurance Rates (Higher is better)
  • Commute Times (Lower is better)

We looked at places with populations lower than 5,000 people and greater than 1,000, of which, there were a lot – 91 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 91, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in New Mexico. Top of that list — Sandia Heights.

Keep reading to find out more about our top 20 best small towns in New Mexico.

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1. Sandia Heights


Population: 3,319
Median Income: $100,694 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $413,900 (1st Best)
More on Sandia Heights: Data| Homes For Sale

2. La Huerta


Population: 1,332
Median Income: $82,344 (3rd Best)
Median Home Value: $272,700 (3rd Best)
More on La Huerta: Data| Homes For Sale

3. San Antonito Cdp (Bernalillo County)

Source: Public Domain

Population: 1,186
Median Income: $98,750 (2nd Best)
Median Home Value: $255,000 (4th Best)
More on San Antonito Cdp (Bernalillo County): Data| Homes For Sale

4. Sandia Knolls


Population: 1,475
Median Income: $78,977 (4th Best)
Median Home Value: $198,900 (12th Best)
More on Sandia Knolls: Data| Homes For Sale

5. Ranchos De Taos


Population: 2,197
Median Income: $36,659 (44th Best)
Median Home Value: $227,400 (10th Best)
More on Ranchos De Taos: Data| Homes For Sale

6. San Ysidro


Population: 2,055
Median Income: $50,521 (22nd Best)
Median Home Value: $171,200 (22nd Best)
More on San Ysidro: Data| Homes For Sale

7. Bosque Farms

Bosque Farms, NM

Population: 3,863
Median Income: $51,583 (20th Best)
Median Home Value: $178,800 (19th Best)
More on Bosque Farms: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

8. Placitas Cdp (Sandoval County)

Source: Public Domain

Population: 4,853
Median Income: $75,625 (5th Best)
Median Home Value: $316,400 (2nd Best)
More on Placitas Cdp (Sandoval County): Data| Homes For Sale

9. El Rancho


Population: 1,185
Median Income: $65,000 (8th Best)
Median Home Value: $223,800 (11th Best)
More on El Rancho: Data| Homes For Sale

10. Arenas Valley


Population: 1,480
Median Income: $41,250 (33rd Best)
Median Home Value: $155,400 (28th Best)
More on Arenas Valley: Data| Homes For Sale

11. Ponderosa Pine


Population: 1,382
Median Income: $64,444 (9th Best)
Median Home Value: $251,600 (6th Best)
More on Ponderosa Pine: Data| Homes For Sale

12. La Mesilla


Population: 2,165
Median Income: $53,750 (16th Best)
Median Home Value: $238,800 (9th Best)
More on La Mesilla: Data| Homes For Sale

13. Mesilla

Mesilla, NM

Source: Public domain

Population: 2,486
Median Income: $50,833 (21st Best)
Median Home Value: $252,500 (5th Best)
More on Mesilla: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

14. Hurley


Population: 1,330
Median Income: $35,667 (52nd Best)
Median Home Value: $83,700 (58th Best)
More on Hurley: Data| Homes For Sale

15. Las Maravillas


Population: 2,000
Median Income: $52,448 (18th Best)
Median Home Value: $134,400 (33rd Best)
More on Las Maravillas: Data| Homes For Sale

16. Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa, NM

Population: 3,043
Median Income: $25,636 (79th Best)
Median Home Value: $89,400 (53rd Best)
More on Santa Rosa: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

17. Carnuel


Population: 1,839
Median Income: $45,950 (29th Best)
Median Home Value: $189,900 (17th Best)
More on Carnuel: Data| Homes For Sale

18. Elephant Butte


Population: 1,515
Median Income: $36,207 (47th Best)
Median Home Value: $122,800 (36th Best)
More on Elephant Butte: Data| Homes For Sale

19. La Cienega


Population: 3,130
Median Income: $54,904 (15th Best)
Median Home Value: $243,100 (7th Best)
More on La Cienega: Data| Homes For Sale

20. El Cerro


Population: 2,740
Median Income: $55,147 (14th Best)
Median Home Value: $195,300 (14th Best)
More on El Cerro: Data| Homes For Sale

Science Can Tackle Any Issue, Even Small Ones

We said it once and we’ll say it again — this list: it’s just science. We did the research, we crunched the numbers, and it turns out, these 20 small towns in New Mexico are the best, in which to live.

And who can argue with that?

If you’re curious, here are the worst small towns in New Mexico:

  1. Mescalero
  2. Monterey Park
  3. Thoreau

For more New Mexico reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Small Towns In New Mexico

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Value
1 Sandia Heights 3,319 $100,694 $413,900
2 La Huerta 1,332 $82,344 $272,700
3 San Antonito Cdp (Bernalillo County) 1,186 $98,750 $255,000
4 Sandia Knolls 1,475 $78,977 $198,900
5 Ranchos De Taos 2,197 $36,659 $227,400
6 San Ysidro 2,055 $50,521 $171,200
7 Bosque Farms 3,863 $51,583 $178,800
8 Placitas Cdp (Sandoval County) 4,853 $75,625 $316,400
9 El Rancho 1,185 $65,000 $223,800
10 Arenas Valley 1,480 $41,250 $155,400
11 Ponderosa Pine 1,382 $64,444 $251,600
12 La Mesilla 2,165 $53,750 $238,800
13 Mesilla 2,486 $50,833 $252,500
14 Hurley 1,330 $35,667 $83,700
15 Las Maravillas 2,000 $52,448 $134,400
16 Santa Rosa 3,043 $25,636 $89,400
17 Carnuel 1,839 $45,950 $189,900
18 Elephant Butte 1,515 $36,207 $122,800
19 La Cienega 3,130 $54,904 $243,100
20 El Cerro 2,740 $55,147 $195,300
21 Edgewood 3,775 $65,362 $193,100
22 Peralta 3,601 $47,565 $188,900
23 Tome 2,202 $40,388 $143,300
24 Cimarron 1,044 $30,987 $87,800
25 Flora Vista 1,919 $56,689 $172,800
26 Eunice 3,064 $62,778 $88,400
27 Santa Teresa 4,388 $40,563 $160,800
28 Pojoaque 2,149 $49,583 $123,600
29 Agua Fria 2,887 $31,875 $195,500
30 Waterflow 2,058 $72,750 $167,600
31 Jal 2,105 $52,885 $70,900
32 Tularosa 2,907 $35,625 $87,600
33 Nambe 1,902 $44,671 $241,700
34 West Hammond 2,832 $55,313 $138,700
35 Mountainair 1,073 $26,016 $76,200
36 Bayard 2,488 $32,583 $85,900
37 Dexter 1,254 $35,750 $83,300
38 Jarales 2,036 $37,969 $107,900
39 Questa 1,968 $31,620 $111,400
40 Boles Acres 1,975 $45,263 $96,200
41 Radium Springs 1,547 $47,528 $109,600
42 Doña Ana 1,325 $30,500 $91,500
43 Spencerville 1,568 $49,452 $129,800
44 Valencia 1,973 $33,279 $157,600
45 Sausal 1,386 $36,729 $121,000
46 La Luz 1,727 $39,766 $78,800
47 La Puebla 1,095 $19,619 $177,300
48 Texico 1,262 $35,577 $76,100
49 Loving 1,426 $36,897 $78,800
50 Santa Clara 1,507 $22,350 $83,300
51 El Valle De Arroyo Seco 1,447 $44,615 $166,600
52 Clayton 2,900 $31,842 $76,500
53 San Rafael 1,391 $62,537 $104,000
54 Jemez Pueblo 2,002 $47,500 $93,200
55 Ruidoso Downs 2,629 $26,434 $115,300
56 Moriarty 1,978 $28,854 $96,500
57 San Miguel 1,221 $36,888 $91,000
58 Capitan 1,548 $35,707 $114,400
59 El Rito 1,179 $32,025 $155,000
60 Milan 3,227 $35,877 $79,400
61 El Cerro Mission 4,606 $36,250 $80,100
62 Pecos 1,511 $24,135 $160,500
63 Dixon 1,037 $29,875 $111,600
64 La Union 1,378 $38,611 $66,700
65 Dulce 2,745 $33,625 $76,400
66 Ohkay Owingeh 1,452 $33,500 $191,700
67 Vado 1,921 $28,519 $79,400
68 Midway 1,047 $29,271 $73,900
69 Lordsburg 2,673 $32,131 $71,000
70 Taos Pueblo 1,373 $27,875 $140,900
71 Fort Sumner 1,243 $25,000 $38,500
72 Hatch 1,789 $28,088 $71,800
73 Crownpoint 2,416 $37,396 $59,200
74 Laguna 1,371 $37,283 $73,600
75 Church Rock 1,064 $36,250 $55,000
76 Black Rock 1,620 $24,125 $64,400
77 Upper Fruitland 1,612 $46,771 $54,500
78 Estancia 1,550 $19,726 $113,700
79 San Felipe Pueblo 2,858 $51,641 $93,500
80 Santo Domingo Pueblo 2,737 $33,929 $64,700
81 Keeler Farm 1,840 $30,675 $53,900
82 Columbus 1,244 $15,288 $49,300
83 Chimayo 2,144 $26,851 $71,800
84 Skyline-Ganipa 1,255 $36,042 $64,400
85 Indian Hills 1,265 $33,295 $107,500
86 Navajo 1,866 $17,438 $37,500
87 Berino 1,824 $23,662 $60,300
88 Meadow Lake 4,483 $24,980 $62,400
89 Thoreau 1,642 $19,055 $47,500
90 Monterey Park 1,771 $15,996 $42,700
91 Mescalero 1,371 $30,938 $47,900

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