10 Best Places To Live In New Mexico For 2019


These are the most enchanting places to live in the Land Of Enchantment.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the best places to live in New Mexico.

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There’s more to New Mexico than aliens, amazing sunsets, and the Animas River. This Southwestern state actually has plenty of great places to call home.

Heck there’s a reason two million people call it home; and lucky for you, HomeSnacks is here to uncover where the best places to live in New Mexico for Corrales are located. We think there must be something magical about New Mexico’s best places to live. Notables like Julia Roberts, Gene Hackman, and Game of Thrones’ author George R.R. Martin wouldn’t just live anywhere. They love New Mexico’s great people and good ‘ol desert livin’.

Whether you’re a fan of UFOs, the University of New Mexico Lobos, or catching a rodeo in Ruidoso, the people in New Mexico’s best places are waiting to show you why living in their corner of the Land of Enchantment deserves a second look.

What does it take to live in New Mexico’s best of the best places? We suggest a good job. And the jobs that are keeping median incomes high and New Mexico’s best places to live safe and enjoyable are in the medical field, architecture, and engineering.

However, to find out the top ten best places to live in New Mexico, you’re going to have to keep reading.

New Mexico has so many great cities, that you could literally throw a dart at the state and live happily wherever it landed. So, you can understand how difficult it was to narrow down a list of the top ten best places.

What's the best place to live in New Mexico? After analyzing 32 places in New Mexico, Corrales is New Mexico’s number one best place to live for 2019.

We invite you to grab yourself a green chili cheeseburger, find a remote spot to watch the sunset, and read on to see what other places made the top ten. And if you don’t see your favorite New Mexico place there, head to the bottom.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more New Mexico reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In New Mexico For 2019

Corrales, NM

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 8,474
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $433,100 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (6th best)
More on Corrales: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Corrales has it made. In fact, according to science, it's one of the best places to live in the state of New Mexico.

The unemployment rate is the 6th lowest in the state at 6.1%, and residents make a pretty penny. Median incomes are $80,664, and the average cost of a home is $433,100. Which is an indication that lots of people want to live here.

We wouldn't be surprised if more and more publications call Corrales one of America's gems.

Rio Rancho, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 92,966
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $173,100 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.4% (10th best)
More on Rio Rancho: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The Town of Rio Rancho might be a bit of a surprise to some in terms of how well it ranks according to science.

The crime rate in Rio Rancho isn't amazing, but it's far below the state average. The homes are valued at $173,100 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in New Mexico.

If Rio Rancho can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (7.4% is the 10th highest in the state.

Review Of Rio Rancho by HomeSnacks User

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...

I know, if I don't like it...blah, blah, blah."

Ruidoso, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,833
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $167,600 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (7th best)
More on Ruidoso: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Let's take a look at why Ruidoso is a great place to call home for 2019.

There's low crime in Ruidoso, and the residents here are gainfully employed (6.2% unemployment rate).

You can make Ruidoso your home for only $167,600 which won't be too hard on a $40,032 household salary.

Los Ranchos De Albuquerque, NM

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 6,069
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $346,300 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (3rd best)
More on Los Ranchos De Albuquerque: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Los Ranchos De Albuquerque's unemployment rates are some of the lowest in the state and the median income is the 3rd highest, making Los Ranchos De Albuquerque a great place to work and settle down if you're look for a stable job with a stable income.

Additionally, Los Ranchos De Albuquerque has above average education and low crime, making this place a safe place to live.

Santa Fe, NM

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 82,927
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $259,700 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (8th best)
More on Santa Fe: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Santa Fe is another great city in New Mexico with a low unemployment rate and where residents earn high salaries.

Said one reviewer on City-Data.com: " We feel incredibly safe in Santa Fe. The houses and neighborhoods are beautiful, the people are friendly, and it's wonderful to have such good neighbors. People watch out for each other here, they teach their children to be respectful of others and things."

Enough said.

Carlsbad, NM

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 28,079
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $125,300 (17th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (4th best)
More on Carlsbad: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Carlsbad comes in at a close 6th. They have the 4th lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 4th highest median income as well, which means the people in Carlsbad are working and getting paid well.

Additionally, the median home value is the 17th best in the state.

Artesia, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 11,817
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $145,400 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (2nd best)
More on Artesia: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Well, I guess technically 5.1% of Artesia residents who want to have a job can't find one, so not everyone has a job, but it's the 2nd closest of any city in New Mexico.

You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.

In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, Artesia also ranked well for crime (22nd) and median income ($49,516).

Alamogordo, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 31,201
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $113,200 (22nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 8.6% (17th best)
More on Alamogordo: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there's A LOT of demand to live in Alamogordo.

Alamogordo ranked impressively high for its crime rate (11th overall) and its short commute times (12th).

We think that's worth the price of admission.

Farmington, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 44,067
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $174,900 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (12th best)
More on Farmington: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Things can't get much better than in the town of Farmington. The crime is the 18th lowest in the entire state, and the residents who live in Farmington make huge salaries, and almost all of them have great jobs.

The median home costs a cool $174,900 and households make $52,598 which is good for 7th in New Mexico.

Albuquerque, NM

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 556,859
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $185,400 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (9th best)
More on Albuquerque: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Albuquerque is feeling the love as it ranks as the 10th best city to live in New Mexico for 2019.

It ranked highly because of its high incomes (12th overall) and low crime (28th overall and one of the best in the top ten).

We think the city should probably change its motto at this point to something like "The Place To Be In New Mexico".

Review Of Albuquerque by HomeSnacks User

There is a lot of outdoor stuff to do, including hiking, biking, walking, ballooning, etc. Schools are not as good as other areas of the country, but the food and the weather cannot be beat. The cost of living is lower in Albuquerque than in other areas of the country.

The weather is incredible. I miss the Albuquerque skies.

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in New Mexico

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Santa Fe with a population of 82,927 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn't fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities -- Populations over 5,000
  • Towns -- Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns -- Populations below 1,000

This left us with 32 cities, 91 towns, and 145 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be 'the best'.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In New Mexico

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in New Mexico across a number of criteria from one to 32, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best Place To Live In New Mexico".

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in New Mexico? That would be Corrales.

If your city or town isn't among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in New Mexico.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Corrales at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In New Mexico

If you're looking at areas in New Mexico with the best economic situations, where there's lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Corrales made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in New Mexico for 2019.

Best Towns To Live In New Mexico

  1. Sandia Heights (Pop. 3,319)
  2. La Huerta (Pop. 1,332)
  3. San Antonito CDP (Bernalillo (Pop. 1,186)
  4. Sandia Knolls (Pop. 1,475)
  5. Bosque Farms (Pop. 3,863)
  6. El Rancho (Pop. 1,185)
  7. Placitas CDP (Sandoval (Pop. 4,853)
  8. Arenas Valley (Pop. 1,480)
  9. Ponderosa Pine (Pop. 1,382)
  10. La Mesilla (Pop. 2,165)

Best Small Towns To Live In New Mexico

  1. Veguita (Pop. 290)
  2. Pleasanton (Pop. 152)
  3. Twin Forks (Pop. 254)
  4. Luis Lopez (Pop. 239)
  5. San Pedro (Pop. 136)
  6. Galisteo (Pop. 290)
  7. Las Palomas (Pop. 412)
  8. Tijeras (Pop. 547)
  9. Jaconita (Pop. 421)
  10. San Jose CDP (San Miguel (Pop. 165)

If you're curious enough, here are the worst places to live in New Mexico according to the data:

  1. Anthony (Pop. 9,459)
  2. Deming (Pop. 14,582)
  3. Belen (Pop. 7,184)

For more New Mexico reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In New Mexico?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Corrales 8,474 6.1% $433,100
2 Rio Rancho 92,966 7.4% $173,100
3 Ruidoso 7,833 6.2% $167,600
4 Los Ranchos De Albuquerque 6,069 5.3% $346,300
5 Santa Fe 82,927 6.9% $259,700
6 Carlsbad 28,079 5.4% $125,300
7 Artesia 11,817 5.1% $145,400
8 Alamogordo 31,201 8.6% $113,200
9 Farmington 44,067 7.7% $174,900
10 Albuquerque 556,859 7.3% $185,400

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

One thought on “10 Best Places To Live In New Mexico For 2019

  1. Well hello, ABQ would be the lowest ranking of the 10 with way more population. Lived in ABQ for seven years now and besides for the crime it is way better then the other top 9 places in my opinion and love it here. If one likes more of the country life with limited access to services, entertainment, restaurants, etc. and likes to smell animal doo doo, oil, weather difference, etc. then the other places are right for them. It’s all a pick and choose your struggles. People need to make a physical visit for awhile before they make the plunge to move. Internet makes all the towns look good. The last I heard about a month ago the crime is going down in ABQ.

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