These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In New Mexico For 2019


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 2019. This is our fourth 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.

We were left with this set of the ten poorest places in the Land Of Enchantment for 2019:

  1. Anthony (Photos)
  2. Deming (Photos)
  3. Sunland Park (Photos)
  4. Belen (Photos)
  5. Portales (Photos)
  6. Truth or Consequences (Photos)
  7. Las Vegas (Photos)
  8. Grants (Photos)
  9. Silver City (Photos)
  10. Raton (Photos)

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.

And according to the facts, Anthony is the poorest place in New Mexico for 2019.

Rich people not 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:

How We Determined The Poorest Places In New Mexico for 2019

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 2013-2017 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 2019”.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 33 places.

Anthony, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 9,397
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Income: $24,398 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.8% (8th highest)
Poverty Rate: 48.6% (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 9,397 people averages the 2nd 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: 14,339
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Income: $25,428 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.7% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 34.3% (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 4th lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 4th highest in the Land of Enchantment.

Sunland Park, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 16,051
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $28,231 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.0% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 38.0% (2nd highest)
More on Sunland Park:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Sunland Park’s median income ranks as the 7th 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 38.0% 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.

Belen, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 7,125
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $29,705 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.2% (1st highest)
Poverty Rate: 30.8% (8th highest)
More on Belen:  Data | Photos

Belen ranks as the fourth poorest place in New Mexico.

The town ranks as having the 8th lowest median household income and the 8th 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.

Portales, NM

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 12,123
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $32,065 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.6% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 30.9% (7th highest)
More on Portales:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in New Mexico is Portales.

The city ranks as having the 10th 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 7th highest in New Mexico.

Still not the best news for Portales.

Truth Or Consequences, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 6,029
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Income: $27,350 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.0% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 26.3% (12th highest)
More on Truth Or Consequences:  Data | Photos

Truth or Consequences ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Land of Enchantment.

It ranks as having the 12th highest incidence of poverty and the 5th highest unemployment rate.

Las Vegas, NM

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 13,445
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Income: $24,890 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (20th highest)
Poverty Rate: 36.3% (3rd highest)
More on Las Vegas:  Data | Photos

Las Vegas places as the seventh poorest city in New Mexico.

The city of over 13,445 ranks as having the 3rd highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

Grants, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 9,094
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Income: $35,671 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.1% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 26.7% (11th highest)
More on Grants:  Data | Photos

Grants ranks as the eighth poorest city in New Mexico.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 3rd highest in the state.

Silver City, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 9,882
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Income: $35,247 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.0% (16th highest)
Poverty Rate: 31.9% (6th highest)
More on Silver City:  Data | Photos

Silver City 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, Silver City ranks as having the 6th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in New Mexico.

Raton, NM

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 6,249
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Income: $27,902 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.4% (13th highest)
Poverty Rate: 23.5% (16th highest)
More on Raton:  Data | Photos

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

The city of 6,249 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Land of Enchantment.

There You Have It – The Poorest Places In New Mexico For 2019

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 9,397 48.6%
2 Deming 14,339 34.3%
3 Sunland Park 16,051 38.0%
4 Belen 7,125 30.8%
5 Portales 12,123 30.9%
6 Truth Or Consequences 6,029 26.3%
7 Las Vegas 13,445 36.3%
8 Grants 9,094 26.7%
9 Silver City 9,882 31.9%
10 Raton 6,249 23.5%
11 Taos 5,687 24.5%
12 Tucumcari 5,004 27.5%
13 Gallup 22,063 29.9%
14 Clovis 39,255 24.2%
15 Las Cruces 101,014 24.4%
16 Bernalillo 8,991 19.0%
17 Socorro 8,608 32.2%
18 Bloomfield 8,039 19.6%
19 Roswell 48,163 21.0%
20 Lovington 11,558 15.3%
21 Alamogordo 30,963 17.3%
22 Artesia 11,842 19.8%
23 Ruidoso 7,740 15.0%
24 Albuquerque 556,718 18.2%
25 Los Lunas 15,258 13.4%
26 Farmington 45,857 16.8%
27 Hobbs 37,427 19.7%
28 Aztec 6,635 12.5%
29 Santa Fe 82,980 15.1%
30 Rio Rancho 93,317 12.3%
31 Carlsbad 28,393 15.0%
32 Los Ranchos De Albuquerque 6,097 13.8%
33 Corrales 8,463 6.6%

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