THE 10 BEST Places To Live In New Mexico For 2020


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

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best places to live in New Mexico.

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 good 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 2020.

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 2020

Corrales, NM

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 8,544
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $430,500 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (5th best)
More on Corrales: Real Estate | Data | Photos

There's two types of people who live in Corrales. Either the old hold outs who have lived there forever and are watching their home values skyrocket, or those d who can afford to buy a $430,500 home there.

Either way, you're set. Your kids go to great schools, there's a ton of things to do, and you earn a great salary. Corrales is exactly what you hoped for when you played that board game, LIFE as a kid.

Edgewood, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,067
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $195,900 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (7th best)
More on Edgewood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

We wouldn't be surprised to see CNN call Edgewood one of the best places to live in the United States. Not only do the residents all make great livings, there's essentially no crime in the entire city. And the residents are very involved in the community.

They can't build homes fast enough here as it seems everyone wants a piece of Edgewood.

Rio Rancho, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 94,765
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $184,600 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.0% (16th best)
More on Rio Rancho: Real Estate | Data | Photos

By far the largest city at the top of our rankings, Rio Rancho has a well deserved spot on this list. Let's look at why.

It is a solid place to live due to the relatively low crime for a city its size and the fact that residents are employed at a high rate.

Plus, obviously, there's a boat load of things to do every day of the week.

Los Ranchos De Albuquerque, NM

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 6,131
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $420,600 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.0% (1st best)
More on Los Ranchos De Albuquerque: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Let's take a look at why Los Ranchos De Albuquerque is a great place to call home for 2020.

There's low crime in Los Ranchos De Albuquerque, and the residents here are gainfully employed (3.0% unemployment rate).

You can make Los Ranchos De Albuquerque your home for only $420,600 which won't be too hard on a $62,214 household salary.

Ruidoso, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,757
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $214,400 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (8th best)
More on Ruidoso: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Looks like little Ruidoso might be a hidden gem in New Mexico. The population is shrinking a bit, despite the fact that home values are still rising ($214,400) and crime is really low (13th lowest in the state).

Perhaps the cat's now out of the bag -- quick better move in before prices go up more.

Artesia, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 12,202
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $168,100 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (12th best)
More on Artesia: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The crime rate is much lower here than in the rest of New Mexico, as there were only 0 violent crimes in the city limits last year. The unemployment rate is the 12th lowest in New Mexico (6.0%), and the public schools are ranked 3rd in the state in terms of spending per student.

Additionally, homes are the 10th most expensive in Artesia ($168,100), meaning a lot of people want to live there.

Plus, the residents earn a really great salary: $51,219 a year.

Santa Fe, NM

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 83,847
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $270,700 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (6th best)
More on Santa Fe: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Things can't get much better than in the town of Santa Fe. The crime is the 2lowest in the entire state, and the residents who live in Santa Fe make huge salaries, and almost all of them have great jobs.

The median home costs a cool $270,700 and households make $56,262 which is good for 9th in New Mexico.

Alamogordo, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 31,230
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $110,800 (24th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (10th best)
More on Alamogordo: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Alamogordo is a short drive from everything, but who would want to leave the 8th best place in New Mexico?

Homes are priced around $110,800 and residents have the 7th shortest commute in New Mexico.

Carlsbad, NM

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 28,838
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $137,000 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (4th best)
More on Carlsbad: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Carlsbad makes a case for being one of the best places to live in New Mexico mainly because of a low crime rate and a higher than average household income level.

And when school spending is higher than the national average and only 4.0% of folks are jobless, you can bet Carlsbad residents are glad to live where they do.

Farmington, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 45,582
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $187,900 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (9th best)
More on Farmington: Real Estate | Data | Photos

In Farmington, everyone loves to call Farmington home! The median home value is the 8th highest in New Mexico.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 9th lowest in the state and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Land of Enchantment.

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 83,847 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 cities to live in New Mexico 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. You can download the data here.

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 2020.

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. Sunland Park (Pop. 16,602)
  2. Anthony (Pop. 9,368)
  3. Deming (Pop. 14,292)

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 8,544 4.6% $430,500
2 Edgewood 6,067 5.1% $195,900
3 Rio Rancho 94,765 7.0% $184,600
4 Los Ranchos De Albuquerque 6,131 3.0% $420,600
5 Ruidoso 7,757 5.7% $214,400
6 Artesia 12,202 6.0% $168,100
7 Santa Fe 83,847 5.0% $270,700
8 Alamogordo 31,230 5.8% $110,800
9 Carlsbad 28,838 4.0% $137,000
10 Farmington 45,582 5.7% $187,900

How Is Your Town In ?

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.

3 thoughts on “THE 10 BEST Places To Live In New Mexico For 2020

  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.

  2. I am an African American woman. From your perspective which town in New Mexico is more culturally diverse and accepting of Divine Black Women? From a white mans point of view of course.

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