Poorest Cities In New Mexico For 2020


We used science and data to determine which places in New Mexico are basically dead broke.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the poorest places in New Mexico.

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New Mexico brings to mind images of Santa Fe, beautiful landscapes, and some of the best people you'll find in the good ole US of A.

However, like all states, New Mexico has certain places that are going on hard times. These places have an above average percent of people that are living in poverty, out of work, or not making as much as they should be.

With all the talk about income inequality going on around the country, we thought it prudent to take a look at the places in each state that are struggling to make it even as the economy continues to improve. So we set our sites on bringing attention to the places in New Mexico that could use a helping hand.

To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 33 places in New Mexico with more than 5,000 people.

Again, this isn't a commentary on the people that live there or the vibrant culture and traditions of these places. Instead, it's just a look at the facts.

What's the poorst city in New Mexico? According to the facts, Anthony is the poorest place in New Mexico for 2020.

Rich people more your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the richest places in New Mexico or the most dangerous.

For more on how we calculated the top ten, and for more information about these places, read on.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the poorest states in America or the poorest cities in America.

For more New Mexico reading, check out:

The 10 Poorest Cities In New Mexico For 2020

Anthony, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 9,368
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $23,378 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.0% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 45.5% (1st highest)
More on Anthony:  Data | Photos

Anthony, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in New Mexico thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.

The city of 9,368 people averages the 1st lowest median household income in New Mexico and the 1st highest poverty rate. At the very least, the cost of living ranks in the bottom 15% of place in the state, so things like housing are relatively affordable.

Deming, NM

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 14,292
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $23,633 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.8% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 34.6% (4th highest)
More on Deming:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in New Mexico is Deming.

The city ranks as having the 4th highest incidence of poverty and 2nd lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate 'only' ranks as the 3rd highest in the Land of Enchantment.

Truth Or Consequences, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 5,968
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 3)
Median Income: $27,511 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.0% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 30.7% (7th highest)
More on Truth Or Consequences:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Truth or Consequences's median income ranks as the 4th lowest.

And that's a sign that there's a relatively substantial jump in the quality of the economy from second to third place on our list. The poverty rate is 30.657708628005658% and ranks near the bottom of places in the state.

But what makes up for the relatively low incomes of the city is its low cost of living. The income you do make here goes further than in most parts of the Land of Enchantment.

Sunland Park, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 16,602
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Income: $27,442 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.2% (10th highest)
Poverty Rate: 38.8% (2nd highest)
More on Sunland Park:  Data | Photos

Sunland Park ranks as the fourth poorest place in New Mexico.

The town ranks as having the 3rd lowest median household income and the 2nd highest incidence of poverty in the state.

That being said, there's still a ton of cultural diversity in the city as it hosts many events throughout the year.

Las Vegas, NM

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 13,341
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Income: $27,790 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.3% (9th highest)
Poverty Rate: 35.0% (3rd highest)
More on Las Vegas:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in New Mexico is Las Vegas.

The city ranks as having the 5th lowest median income in the state. However, an extremely low cost of living prevents a good number of folks from living in poverty as the poverty rate only ranks as the 3rd highest in New Mexico.

Still not the best news for Las Vegas.

Grants, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 9,063
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Income: $35,142 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.1% (1st highest)
Poverty Rate: 27.0% (10th highest)
More on Grants:  Data | Photos

Grants ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Land of Enchantment.

It ranks as having the 10th highest incidence of poverty and the 1st highest unemployment rate.

Belen, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 7,106
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Median Income: $33,553 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.0% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 24.4% (14th highest)
More on Belen:  Data | Photos

Belen places as the seventh poorest city in New Mexico.

The city of over 7,106 ranks as having the 14th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

Portales, NM

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 11,974
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 3)
Median Income: $36,788 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.9% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 30.3% (8th highest)
More on Portales:  Data | Photos

Portales ranks as the eighth poorest city in New Mexico.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 6th highest in the state.

Raton, NM

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 6,145
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Income: $28,608 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (13th highest)
Poverty Rate: 26.1% (12th highest)
More on Raton:  Data | Photos

Raton couldn't stay out of the top ten poorest places in New Mexico; it ranks number 9.

While the median income is the 6th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Raton ranks as having the 12th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in New Mexico.

Silver City, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 9,783
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Income: $34,431 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (17th highest)
Poverty Rate: 30.9% (6th highest)
More on Silver City:  Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in New Mexico is Silver City.

The city of 9,783 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Land of Enchantment.

How We Determined The Poorest Places In New Mexico for 2020

The first thing that comes to most people's minds when they think about determining the poorest places is to simply the poverty rate. That is, the number of people living below a federally established level of income for a household of a certain size.

However, we don't think that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the "poorest places". So we looked at this set of criteria from the newly released 2014-2018 American Community Survey:

  • Poverty Level
  • Median Household Income adjusted for the cost of living
  • Unemployment Rate

The "median household income adjusted for the cost of living" attempts to gauge how expensive it is to live in a place and how that impacts the quality of life. For example, a town might have fewer people living below the official poverty line, but the cost of living is so high they'd still feel poor.

The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for improvement in the city or town. If more people are employed, the brighter the future looks and vice versa.

After we collected the data for all 33 places with more than 5,000 people in New Mexico, we ranked each place from 1 to 33 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the poorest.

We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a "Poor Score" with the place having the lowest overall Poor Score, Anthony, crowned the "Poorest Place In New Mexico For 2020". You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Poorest Places In New Mexico For 2020

Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the poorest places in New Mexico, we weren't sure what we'd encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in New Mexico.

When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very bottom of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.

If you're curious enough, here are the richest cities in New Mexico, according to data:

    Richest: Corrales
    2nd Richest: Los Ranchos De Albuquerque
    3rd Richest: Carlsbad

For more New Mexico reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In New Mexico

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 Anthony 9,368 45.5%
2 Deming 14,292 34.6%
3 Truth Or Consequences 5,968 30.7%
4 Sunland Park 16,602 38.8%
5 Las Vegas 13,341 35.0%
6 Grants 9,063 27.0%
7 Belen 7,106 24.4%
8 Portales 11,974 30.3%
9 Raton 6,145 26.1%
10 Silver City 9,783 30.9%
11 Las Cruces 101,742 24.5%
12 Bernalillo 9,315 20.4%
13 Gallup 22,105 29.2%
14 Taos 6,021 26.2%
15 Socorro 8,554 32.2%
16 Clovis 39,239 22.3%
17 Roswell 48,186 21.0%
18 Lovington 11,575 16.9%
19 Artesia 12,202 21.7%
20 Bloomfield 7,996 19.6%
21 Albuquerque 559,202 17.6%
22 Alamogordo 31,230 17.2%
23 Hobbs 38,052 19.2%
24 Ruidoso 7,757 12.5%
25 Aztec 6,567 19.4%
26 Farmington 45,582 17.6%
27 Los Lunas 15,428 11.2%
28 Rio Rancho 94,765 10.8%
29 Santa Fe 83,847 13.5%
30 Edgewood 6,067 11.4%
31 Carlsbad 28,838 14.9%
32 Los Ranchos De Albuquerque 6,131 14.1%
33 Corrales 8,544 5.7%

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