Editor's Note: This article has been update for 2019. This is our fifth time rankings the safest places to live in New Mexico.
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We all want the finer things in life. Love, comfort and safety are at the top of everyone's list.
For a lot of people who live in the fine state of New Mexico, safety isn't a problem, but we don't all get to live in the safest cities -- unless of course you live in Los Alamos.
The purpose of this post is to determine where the safest cities to live are in the Land of Enchantment. Those places where crime is usually something you hear about on Facebook, but not from your local paper.
In all, we analyzed 29 cities in New Mexico with a population of more than 5,000 using the latest FBI crime data.
Here are the 10 safest places to live in New Mexico for 2019:
Population: 18,204 Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 164 (3rd safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 510 (1st safest) More on Los Alamos:Photos | Search Homes 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.
Population: 8,625 Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 57 (1st safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 892 (3rd safest) More on Corrales:Photos | Search Homes 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.
Population: 97,444 Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 171 (4th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,042 (5th safest) More on Rio Rancho:Photos | Search Homes 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.
We moved here 2 1/2 yrs. ago. My wife loves it. I feel that living in NM is more like doing time. Why keep building more federal prisons when we have NM- Offenders could be sentenced to live here. And we live in Rio Rancho which is supposed to be one of the best places in the state. If that's the case, I shudder to imagine the worst...
Population: 5,949 Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 6) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 336 (7th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,739 (8th safest) More on Truth Or Consequences:Photos | Search Homes For Sale | Data
Truth or Consequences is a city and county seat in Sierra County, New Mexico, United States. In 2012, the population was 6,411. It is commonly known within New Mexico as T or C. It has frequently been noted on lists of unusual place names.
Population: 7,729 Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 336 (8th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,859 (9th safest) More on Ruidoso:Photos | Search Homes 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.
Population: 11,928 Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 5) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 201 (5th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,705 (13th safest) More on Portales:Photos | Search Homes 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.
Population: 31,386 Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change) Violent Crimes Per 100k: 360 (10th safest) Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,141 (10th safest) More on Alamogordo:Photos | Search Homes For Sale | Data
Alamogordo is the seat of Otero County, New Mexico, United States. A city in the Tularosa Basin of the Chihuahuan Desert, it is bordered on the east by the Sacramento Mountains and to the west by White Sands National Monument. It is the city nearest to Holloman Air Force Base. The population was 30,403 as of the 2010 census. Alamogordo is known for its connection with the Trinity test, the first explosion of an atomic bomb, and also for the Atari video game burial of 1983.
How we calculated the safest cities in New Mexico for 2019
While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in a state are the safest, we didn't want to rely on speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI's most recent report of crime (Sept 2018) in New Mexico.
Specifically, we analyzed the FBI's Uniform Crime Report which summarizes the number of property crimes and violent crimes in each city per year. We used two criteria:
Violent crimes per capita (murders, assaults, rapes, armed robberies)
Property crimes per capita (thefts, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts)
For example, there were a total of 123 crimes committed in Los Alamos which had a reported population of 18,204. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.0068 which translates into a 1 in 148 chance of being the victim of a crime.
We only looked at cities that have populations of more than 5,000 people reported to the FBI in 2017. This left us with a total of 29 of the biggest cities in New Mexico to rank.
We ranked each city for each criteria from 1 to 29 where 1 in any particular category is the safest.
Next, we averaged each places two criteria to create a Safety Index. We crowned the place with the lowest overall Safety Score "The Safest Place In New Mexico".
Note: This report is not an analysis of the effectiveness of local police departments, nor does it reflect the fact that people from out of town may come into a community and cause a crime. It simply looks at where crimes occurred most frequently, based on a city's population.
There You Have It - The Safest Cities In The Land of Enchantment
Looking at the data, you can tell that Los Alamos is as safe as they come, according to science and data.
But as most New Mexico residents would agree, almost every place here has its safe and not safe parts. So just make sure you're informed ahead of time.