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If you've ever been to New Mexico, you know it's a beautiful place. The desert landscapes are some of the prettiest places in the country, and the mountain areas have some of the best outdoor activities in the entire southwest.
But is it all enchanting in the Land Of Enchantment? Of course not. Just like every other state, New Mexico has its trouble spots. The purpose of this post is to use science and data to determine which cities in New Mexico are the least desirable to live in.
Of course, you'll most likely disagree if you see your town atop this list. But nonetheless, according to science, these cities are the worst places you could possibly live if you make New Mexico your home. These places need a big hug right about now.
After analyzing 32 of the state's most populous cities (over 6,000 people), we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in New Mexico:
What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we're picking on small town America, that's not the case.
We understand there's a lot of good in every place.
However, according to data (which doesn't measure things like beauty and 'friendly people'), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. And the worst place to live in New Mexico? That would be Deming.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2020.
For more New Mexico reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In New Mexico
- Cheapest Places To Live In New Mexico
- Most Dangerous Cities In New Mexico
The 10 Worst Places To Live In New Mexico For 2020
When you're looking at science and data, Deming is the worst place you can live in New Mexico. Let's see why.
The unemployment rate here is 11.8%. That's out of this world high. Located about 30 miles north of the Mexico border, there's a good chance that many of the out-of-work residents are recent immigrants.
The average income for a household here is $23,633. According to the U.S. Census, the poverty level for a family of four is $24,600. So the people in Deming are barely making ends meet.
Crime, while not sky high, is still above average for the state, and there were two murders in this small city two years ago. And the public education system is rated very low in terms of the number of dollars spent per student.
Plus, what do you do for entertainment in Deming? It's an hour west from Las Cruces on I-10. All there is to do for fun is shop at Walmart and eat Mexican food. Oh wait, there's an annual duck contest in town every year!
Here's what one person said about Deming on City-Data: "Lots of vacant and/or underutilized commercial property and storefronts, businesses closing, some fairly grim housing, it just seems to lose a little more air every time I'm through there."
Belen's main issue is crime. It's the 5th most dangerous place in the state of New Mexico. Is that a surprise?
If you live in Belen, you have a 1 in 19.6 chance that you'll be the victim of a property crime. That's really high, especially for a city of its size. That's a lot of stolen lawn mowers, cell phones and cameras. Perhaps it's because the folks here live in far nicer homes than some of the other cities to top this list. They're targets.
The public schools are underfunded and the unemployment rate is far higher than the state average.
Belen is a half hour south of Albuquerque on I-25.
If you're looking to live in New Mexico, Sunland Park might not be the best choice as it places 3rd in our ranking of the worst places to live for 2020.
The unemployment rate here is 8.2%, and households bring in a combined $27,442 a year in income. That's not too far from the poverty line, even though money goes a lot further in the boonies of New Mexico.
Crime is the 16th highest in the state in Sunland Park as well. Just not a very desirable place at all to make home.
Anthony is way down by El Paso, where people earn about $23,378 a year. The homes are a lot more expensive ($98,700). Meaning it's even harder to live in Anthony at the poverty level.
Bernalillo takes the 5th worst place spot on this list for a number of reasons -- below average education, income, unemployment, and student expenditure statistics.
But what gives Bernalillo its main thrust toward the top of this shameful list is its crime index -- the 14th worst in the whole state.
Sure, it's in a beautiful area, and there's lots of culture, especially in terms of music. But, if you're measuring desirability, it's the 6th worst in New Mexico.
Gallup residents had a 1 in 14.6 chance of being the victim of a property crime. Meaning lots of stolen laptops, cell phones and sports jerseys.
The unemployment rate in Gallup is through the roof, as more than 8.1% of the population can't get a job. At least their mortgages aren't too high; at $127,700, Gallup has the 15th-lowest home prices in the state of New Mexico.
When you're looking at science and data, Truth Or Consequences is the worst place you can live in New Mexico. Let's see why.
The unemployment rate here is 11.0%. The schools are underfunded, and property values are well below the state average. A home costs $79,700, which is a sure sign of lack of demand.
You have a 1 in 41.4 chance of being the victim of some type of property crime here every year. That's not fun, either.
Truth Or Consequences is a far drive south from Louisville.
This may or may not be a surprise to you, but Roswell is the 10th most dangerous city in New Mexico. For such a small city, there are an astounding number of property crimes. Residents here have a 1 in 24.0 chance of being the victim of some sort of robbery when within city limits every year. That's lots of stolen cell phones, guns, snowmobiles and lobster traps.
Besides the crime, there are a few other factors why Roswell might be one of the worst places to live. The home values here are pretty cheap. Why is that not a good thing? Because the salaries of people working in Roswell are really low. People here earn about $43,481 a year per household.
Additionally, the public schools in Roswell are some of the lowest funded in the state.
When all is said and done, you could find much more desirable places to live in New Mexico than in Roswell.
you're looking to live in New Mexico, Hobbs might not be the best choice as it places 9th in our ranking of the worst places to live for 2020.
Hobbs doesn't have the worst crime in the state, but it's sure up there. And when you factor in one of the lowest household incomes in the state and a sky high unemployment rate, Hobbs may not be your first choice for a vacation.
Say what you want about how beautiful Taos might be. The fact is that the economy here is one of the worst in the state.
The unemployment rate rankss 20th highest in the state at 6.1%. Homes are the 29th lowest priced ($254,200), and the median income per household is just a tad over $30,893.
The fact is most of the people who live here are having a hard time making ends meet, when you consider their earned incomes and lack of jobs.
How we determined the worst places to live in New Mexico for 2020
To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.
We don't think it's a stretch to assume that people like the following things:
- Good education
- Lots of jobs
- Low crime
- Low poverty
- Nice homes
- High incomes
- High population density (Lots of things to do)
- Short work commutes
- Health insurance
We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight -- if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.
Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered -- leaving 32 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 32 for all the criteria with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.
Next, we averaged the rankings into one "Worst Place To Live Score".
Finally, we ranked every city on the "Worst Place To Live Score" with the lowest score being the worst city in New Mexico -- Deming. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in New Mexico. You can download the data here.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
Wrapping Up The Worst In New Mexico
If you're looking at areas in New Mexico with the worst economic situations, where there's higher than average crime, and not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
And in the end, Deming ranks as the worst city to live in New Mexico for 2020.
If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in New Mexico:
- Alamogordo (Pop. 31,230)
- Artesia (Pop. 12,202)
- Corrales (Pop. 8,544)
For more New Mexico reading, check out:
- Best Places To Retire In New Mexico
- Richest Cities In New Mexico
- Safest Places In New Mexico
- Best Cities For Singles In New Mexico
Where Are The Worst Places To Live In New Mexico?
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