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

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


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 2nd in our best places to live in New Mexico analysis.

Ranking highly for its exceptionally low unemployment rate (10th overall) and crime rate (4th overall), Rio Rancho 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 Rio Rancho in our lists for years to come.

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

Crime is something that doesn’t happen very often in Ruidoso. Statistically the 6th safest place in the state, there were only 21 violent crimes in the entire city last year.

It’s really beautiful in Ruidoso, and new homes continue to replace older homes. Resident earn $40,032 a year, and homes are valued at more than $167,600.

What else could you possibly want if you’re someone who likes the good things in life?

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

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 Los Ranchos De Albuquerque.

Los Ranchos De Albuquerque ranked impressively high for its crime rate (29th overall) and its short commute times (21st).

We think that’s worth the price of admission.

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

Santa Fe is feeling the love as it ranks as the 5th best city to live in New Mexico for 2016.

It ranked highly because of its high incomes (8th overall) and low crime (15th 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”.

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 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 4th overall for its low unemployment rate and the 4th highest median income of any place in our analysis.

However, it only has the 14th shortest average commute time of any place 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

Artesia takes 7th place on our list of best places in New Mexico for 2018 thanks to a strong showing in unemployment rate (2nd overall) and things to do.

Artesia is no stranger to top ten lists, being named one of the best places to live in the country by multiple outlets over the past ten years. And that tends to happen when home prices hit $145,400 at the median.

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

You might be surprised to see the Town of Alamogordo so high on the list. Unless you live in Alamogordo.

The unemployment rate here is really low, and at 8.6%, Alamogordo residents are some of the hardest working in the state of New Mexico. When you factor in high home prices, high incomes and low crime, Alamogordo is doing quite well.

Let’s be honest — Alamogordo is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.

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

In Farmington, everyone loves to call Farmington home! The median home value is the 6th highest in New Mexico.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 12th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Land of Enchantment.

Farmington should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.

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

There’s two types of people who live in Albuquerque. 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 $185,400 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. Albuquerque is exactly what you hoped for when you played that board game, LIFE as a kid.

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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