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 New Mexico 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 poorest places in New Mexico.
To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 34 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 2023.
To see how we calculated the top ten, and for more information about these places, read on.
For more New Mexico reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In New Mexico
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- The poorest states in the US
- The poorest cities in the US
The 10 Poorest Cities In New Mexico For 2023
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 8,748 people averages the lowest median household income in New Mexico and the 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.
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $26,558 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.9% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 38.1% (highest)
More on Anthony:
The second poorest city in New Mexico is Silver City.
The city ranks as having the 7th highest incidence of poverty and 5th lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the highest in the Land of Enchantment.
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $31,451 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.3% (highest)
Poverty Rate: 28.3% (7th highest)
More on Silver City:
Placing as the third poorest city, Truth or Consequences’s median income ranks as the 2nd 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 30.40013857613026% 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.
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $28,837 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (8th highest)
Poverty Rate: 30.4% (3rd highest)
More on Truth Or Consequences:
Deming ranks as the fourth poorest place in New Mexico.
The town ranks as having the 3rd lowest median household income and the 9th 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.
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $30,491 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.6% (7th highest)
Poverty Rate: 27.9% (9th highest)
More on Deming:
The fifth poorest city in New Mexico is Las Vegas.
The city ranks as having the 7th 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 4th highest in New Mexico.
Still not the best news for Las Vegas.
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Income: $34,335 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (15th highest)
Poverty Rate: 30.3% (4th highest)
More on Las Vegas:
Portales ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Land of Enchantment.
It ranks as having the 13th highest incidence of poverty and the 5th highest unemployment rate.
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Income: $44,101 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.0% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 23.4% (13th highest)
More on Portales:
Belen places as the seventh poorest city in New Mexico.
The city of over 7,374 ranks as having the 18th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Income: $36,954 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.2% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 20.6% (18th highest)
More on Belen:
Taos ranks as the eighth poorest city in New Mexico.
The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 2nd highest in the state.
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Income: $37,083 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.2% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 15.4% (27th highest)
More on Taos:
Grants couldn’t stay out of the top ten poorest places in New Mexico; it ranks number 9.
While the median income is the 12th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Grants ranks as having the 2nd most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in New Mexico.
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Income: $44,782 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (26th highest)
Poverty Rate: 31.6% (2nd highest)
More on Grants:
And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in New Mexico is Tucumcari.
The city of 5,221 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Land of Enchantment.
Rank Last Year: –
Median Income: $30,679 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (27th highest)
Poverty Rate: 27.8% (10th highest)
More on Tucumcari:
Methodology: How We Determined The Poorest Places In New Mexico for 2023
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 2017-2021 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 34 places with more than 5,000 people in New Mexico, we ranked each place from 1 to 34 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 2023”.
This report has been updated for 2023, which is our tenth time ranking the poorest places in New Mexico.
Summary: The Poorest Places In New Mexico For 2023
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: Los Ranchos De Albuquerque
2nd Richest: Corrales
3rd Richest: Carlsbad
For more New Mexico reading, check out:
- Richest Cities In New Mexico
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- Most Expensive Places To Live In New Mexico
Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In New Mexico
|3||Truth Or Consequences||6,078|
|34||Los Ranchos De Albuquerque||5,904|