These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In New Mexico For 2018

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

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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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:

  1. Corrales (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Rio Rancho (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Ruidoso (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Los Ranchos de Albuquerque (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Santa Fe (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Carlsbad (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Artesia (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Alamogordo (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Farmington (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Albuquerque (Photos | Homes For Sale)

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:

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 Place 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.

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.

Corrales, NM

Overall SnackAbility


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

The crime rate is much lower here than in the rest of New Mexico, as there were only 7 violent crimes in the city limits last year. The unemployment rate is the 6th lowest in New Mexico (6.1%), and the public schools are ranked 3rd in the state in terms of spending per student.

Additionally, homes are the 1st most expensive in Corrales ($433,100), meaning a lot of people want to live there.

Plus, the residents earn a really great salary: $80,664 a year.

Rio Rancho, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


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 consistently ranks as one of the best places to live. There aren’t any surprises here. Which probably adds credibility to our data, right?

Let’s see why Rio Rancho ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Rio Rancho are the 7th most expensive in the state of New Mexico, with the average home worth a whopping $173,100. We’re not elitists, nor are we saying that big homes means a better place to live. But price reflects demand, and simply put, a lot of people want to live in Rio Rancho if they can afford it.

Other numbers that stand out: Rio Rancho residents have the 2nd highest income in the state, and the 4th lowest crime numbers in New Mexico.

Ruidoso, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


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 comes in 3rd in our best places to live in New Mexico analysis.

Ranking highly for its exceptionally low unemployment rate (7th overall) and crime rate (6th overall), Ruidoso is the exact kind of place you’d want to live with a family.

Several large companies call the surrounding area home which should keep Ruidoso in our lists for years to come.

Los Ranchos De Albuquerque, NM

Overall SnackAbility


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 has a long and illustrious history and its ranking in the top ten of our best places to live is just another notch in its belt.\n\Los Ranchos De Albuquerque had the 3rd highest household median income adjusted for cost of living at $61,841.

Not to mention that its residents have plenty to do on the weekends.

Santa Fe, NM

Overall SnackAbility


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

If you want to live in New Mexico, you can’t go wrong if you decide to make the Santa Fe area your home. However, everyone and their mother wants to live here.

Can you blame them? It’s a beautiful place with really low crime, where a majority of residents are wealthy (a $51,572 median income will do that).

Plus, the residents are really involved with helping to make Santa Fe as great as possible. You can’t get it much better than in Santa Fe.

Carlsbad, NM

Overall SnackAbility


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 a short drive from everything, but who would want to leave the 6th best place in New Mexico?

Homes are priced around $125,300 and residents have the 14th shortest commute in New Mexico.

Artesia, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


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

When you’re looking at the best places you could live in New Mexico, Artesia came in 7th. Let’s see why.

It has a low unemployment rate and high incomes.

Plus, Artesia has an impressive history for a place of just over 11,817 people. The median home costs a cool $145,400 and households make $49,516 which is good for 11th in New Mexico.

Alamogordo, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


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

The crime is the 11th lowest in the state in Alamogordo, and there were only 115 violent crimes in the entire city last year. We think it’s even safer here than the numbers indicate.

The schools are some of the best in New Mexico, and residents live in very expensive homes. They also earn more than most every other city in the state. Residents in Alamogordo earn $46,364 a year.

Farmington, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


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

Farmington has some of the most employed as well as the highest earning residents in the entire state of New Mexico. Factor in a very low crime rate, and this Farmington is a real gem.

With high incomes comes a high cost of living, which can been seen in the home prices. Additionally, the commute time for Farmington residents to work is significantly higher than average.

Albuquerque, NM

Overall SnackAbility


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 has a really low crime rate (28th lowest) and only 7.3% of the people are unemployed. Additionally, residents here have high paying jobs ($48,127). And that goes a long way.

The population is growing at a steady clip, and the cost of living is lower than it should be. So people have an extra incentive to live in Albuquerque.

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 2018.

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:

Detailed List Of 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
11 Lovington 11,559 9.3% $96,800
12 Tucumcari 5,091 4.3% $53,300
13 Las Cruces 101,459 9.9% $149,200
14 Bloomfield 7,565 9.3% $132,800
15 Aztec 6,354 7.8% $155,400
16 Raton 6,348 10.2% $80,700
17 Los Lunas 15,271 10.3% $152,800
18 Clovis 39,461 10.0% $127,000
19 Hobbs 36,863 6.0% $116,300
20 Taos 5,735 10.2% $274,000
21 Las Vegas 13,570 7.6% $114,900
22 Portales 12,275 13.1% $116,300
23 Roswell 48,407 7.7% $100,700
24 Truth Or Consequences 6,157 9.3% $77,600
25 Bernalillo 8,676 11.2% $147,400
26 Socorro 8,760 8.2% $114,700
27 Gallup 22,523 7.9% $132,000
28 Grants 9,263 11.9% $103,200
29 Sunland Park 15,588 12.9% $102,900
30 Anthony 9,459 10.2% $86,100
31 Deming 14,582 16.6% $84,300
32 Belen 7,184 11.9% $98,700

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