The 10 Best Places To Live In New Mexico For 2019


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

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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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Where are the best places in the state of New Mexico?

To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Land of Enchantment where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.

However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in New Mexico.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.

After analyzing 32 places in New Mexico, we came up with this list of the best places.

Well, it looks like you should check out Corrales if you’re thinking of moving to New Mexico — it’s the best the Land of Enchantment has to offer according to the data.

Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in New Mexico.

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

Taking its place as the 1st best place in New Mexico is Corrales. Residents here earn a really high salary each year, and crime is fairly low, in comparison to the rest of New Mexico.

It’s considered a cultural community, as it boasts an arts scene, and many ethnic restaurants, too. Which means you can’t be bored here.

An unemployment rate of only 6.1% helps thing too.

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

Rio Rancho comes in at a close 2nd. They have the 10th lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 2nd highest median income as well, which means the people in Rio Rancho are working and getting paid well.

Additionally, the median home value is the 7th best 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

Ruidoso broke into the top ten best places to live in New Mexico on the back of a low unemployment and a quality schools system.

It placed 7th overall for its low unemployment rate and the 18th highest median income of any place in our analysis.

However, it only has the 13th shortest average commute time of any place in New Mexico.

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

Well, I guess technically 5.3% of Los Ranchos De Albuquerque residents who want to have a job can’t find one, so not everyone has a job, but it’s the 3rd 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, Los Ranchos De Albuquerque also ranked well for crime (29th) and median income ($61,841).

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 a short drive from everything, but who would want to leave the 5th best place in New Mexico?

Homes are priced around $259,700 and residents have the 19th shortest commute in New Mexico.

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 is by far one of the best places to live in New Mexico: the math proves it! This city has the 4th lowest unemployment rate and the 4th highest median income in all of New Mexico.

Plus, the median home values are the 17th highest in the state. And if all of that isn’t enough to convince you, then check this out: their crime rate is the 16th lowest in the state, making Carlsbad a safe and great place to live.

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

Perhaps what makes Artesia so amazing is the high emphasis they put on quality education: they have one of the highest rate of education at attainment for adults.

However, quality education isn’t all that makes Artesia great. They also have the 11th highest median income and the 7th shortest commute time.

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

Alamogordo had the 17th lowest unemployment of any place in our research (8.6%) and the 11th lowest crime rate. However, the relative lack of population density and long commute times held it back from being higher on our list.

Alamogordo is home to an exceptional Volunteer Fire Department that represents so much about what it’s like to live there.

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

It’s obvious why Farmington ranks 9th in the state for best places to live: they have the 12th lowest unemployment rate and the 6th highest home values.

Plus, they’re known for their quality education and relatively low crime, making Farmington a great place to live.

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

And rounding out the top 10 best places to live in New Mexico is Albuquerque.

Albuquerque followed a similar path to other cities the top 10 with its low unemployment, however it also stood out for its crime rates, which place in the top 10% of the state.

Another universally recognized great place to live, Albuquerque has consistently appeared as one of the best places to live in New Mexico over the years.

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 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

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