The 10 Worst Places To Live In New Mexico For 2021

We used science and data to determine which places in New Mexico are not enchanting.

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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 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the worst places to live in New Mexico.

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 5,900 people), we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in New Mexico:

The 10 Worst Places To Live In New Mexico For 2021

  1. Deming
  2. Belen
  3. Anthony
  4. Sunland Park
  5. Bernalillo
  6. Gallup
  7. Grants
  8. Clovis
  9. Los Lunas
  10. Portales

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 2021.

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

For more New Mexico reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Places To Live In New Mexico For 2021

Deming, NM

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,139
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $95,200 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.1% (worst)
More on Deming:  Data | Photos

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 12.1%. 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 $27,079. 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, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,403
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $106,500 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.5% (4th worst)
More on Belen:  Data | Photos

Belen's main issue is crime. It's the 2nd most dangerous place in the state of New Mexico. Is that a surprise?

If you live in Belen, you have a 1 in 19.9 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.

Anthony, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,310
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $103,800 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.1% (5th worst)
More on Anthony:  Data | Photos

One stat explains why Anthony makes this list: a poverty rate of 46.8%. When nearly half the residents live below the poverty line, little other explanation is necessary. But other factors compound the situation. For instance, housing in town is bad and the educational system is spotty.

Anthony does have its draws, though. Built along the state line with Texas in the southern part of New Mexico, the town sits about a half hour from both El Paso and the Mexican border. Meanwhile, residents can head to nearby parks along the Rio Grande.

Sunland Park, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 17,081
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $111,100 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (10th worst)
More on Sunland Park:  Data | Photos

Sunland Park sounds like a kind of carnival -- maybe some sort of desert-themed amusement park. Not quite. Sure, the town has its share of perks, like the Rio Grande River, which flows through town, or the local casino. But, generally speaking, life in the area is no thrill ride.

Sitting along the Mexican border in the southern part of the state, Sunland Park has serious economic problems. The median income hovers at $27,266, while the unemployment rate runs 7.6%. Almost 40% of its residents struggle with sub-poverty conditions. This comes with challenges related to housing, affordability and education.

Bernalillo, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,669
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $161,300 (22nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.1% (7th worst)
More on Bernalillo:  Data | Photos

Bernalillo represents a northern suburb of Albuquerque, located a quick 20-minute jaunt up I-25 from the city center. The town is noted for its wine. For more than a quarter century, it hosted the New Mexico Wine Festival -- though the event ended in 2014.

That's a shame. With day-to-day life this rough, locals would benefit from a few bottles of wine. Bernalillo has serious economic problems, from a 9.1% unemployment rate to a 18.3% poverty rate. These financial woes spill over into other aspects of life, leading to concerns related to safety and education. The crime rate runs nearly 25% above the national average.

Gallup, NM

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 21,854
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $132,000 (14th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.4% (12th worst)
More on Gallup:  Data | Photos

You don't get more Wild West than a town called Gallup. The community wasn't founded around horses, though. Instead, it originated as a railroad town in the late 19th century.

These days, Gallup has earned the title "Heart of Indian Country." It sits near the Navajo and Zuni reservations in the western part of the state, near the border with Arizona. It ranks as the 6th worst place to live in New Mexico for 2021.

Significant economic challenges hold the area back. More than a quarter of residents live below the poverty line and the unemployment rate sits at 7.4%. At the same time, crime represents a major problem. The crime rate tracks at more than triple the national average.

Grants, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,036
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 9)
Median Home Value: $101,900 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.5% (9th worst)
More on Grants:  Data | Photos

Grants ranks as the 7th worst place to live in New Mexico for 2021, let's take a look at why.

Grants stands along I-40 about an hour and a half west of Albuquerque. The region is known for its mining interests, especially of uranium. And if digging up radioactive material wasn't enough of a red flag, there are other reasons why Grants counts as the number 7 least attractive hometown in New Mexico.

Mainly, the problems are economic. The unemployment rate sits at 8.5% and about a quarter of the people toil below the poverty line. Elevated crime rates and mediocre education are issues as well.

Still, Grants does provide an important hub for the surrounding region. It offers attractions like the New Mexico Mining Museum and a series of nearby state and national parks.

Clovis, NM

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 38,891
Rank Last Year: 24 (Up 16)
Median Home Value: $125,600 (13th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.2% (14th worst)
More on Clovis:  Data | Photos

Clovis has a long history. Like, very long. Like, an entire set of prehistoric technologies have received the name "Clovis culture" because their artifacts were first discovered near town.

More recently, the modern community of Clovis sprung up in the early 20th century as part of a railroad boom. In the 1950s, it became a wellspring of popular culture because of the Norman Petty Recording Studio, where the likes of Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison came to record some of their hits.

Fast forwarding to the 21st century, the area suffers from acute economic difficulties. It sports a 7.2% and a 23.4% poverty rate.

Los Lunas, NM

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,589
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $161,000 (2worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (19th worst)
More on Los Lunas:  Data | Photos

Los Lunas is named after a rich family, one that led settlement in the area during its early days. Specifically, the title stems back to Don Adrian Luna Candelaria, who received a land grant from Spain in the early 1700s.

Well, the Lunas may have been rich at one time. But, these days, not many wealthy families call the area home. Los Lunas has a mediocre economy, with an unemployment rate of 6.5%. At the same time, crime in the area tops the national average by more than 110%.

To see the cultural history of the region, check out the Los Lunas Museum of Heritage and Arts. You can also take a quick half-hour drive north to get to all the amenities Albuquerque has to offer.

Portales, NM

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,854
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $116,200 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.5% (2nd worst)
More on Portales:  Data | Photos

Enjoy a PB&J with all-natural organic peanut butter? Well, you may have gotten the ingredients from Portales, an area known for its peanut production.

Unfortunately, organic peanut butter isn't exactly a booming industry. For proof, just look at the economic stats for Portales: unemployment rate of 11.5%, median income of $37,921, and a poverty rate of 27.8%.

Also, the town, located in the east-central part of the state, near the Texas border, struggles with high crime and inconsistent housing. At the same time, education poses a problem as well. Few schools in the region score better than a 6/10 on Great Schools.

How we determined the worst places to live in New Mexico for 2021

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

The data comes from the Census's most recent American Community Survey and from the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

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 2021.

If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in New Mexico:

  1. Raton (Pop. 6,047)
  2. Los Ranchos de Albuquerque (Pop. 6,114)
  3. Corrales (Pop. 8,588)

For more New Mexico reading, check out:

Where Are The Worst Places To Live In New Mexico?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Deming 14,139 12.1% $95,200
2 Belen 7,403 10.5% $106,500
3 Anthony 9,310 10.1% $103,800
4 Sunland Park 17,081 7.6% $111,100
5 Bernalillo 9,669 9.1% $161,300
6 Gallup 21,854 7.4% $132,000
7 Grants 9,036 8.5% $101,900
8 Clovis 38,891 7.2% $125,600
9 Los Lunas 15,589 6.5% $161,000
10 Portales 11,854 11.5% $116,200

How Is The Area In ?

51 thoughts on “The 10 Worst Places To Live In New Mexico For 2021

  1. I strongly agree with you that Deming is the worst place in New Mexico! People claim Texas is a RED NECK state but they can not HOLD A CANDLE TO REDNECK DEMING NEW MEXICO!
    If you were not born here or had relatives born and lived here all that move here are ignored and it is made hard to live in this RED NECK County of LUNA, It is not just Deming but the entire county of LUNA has this problem. Local Police wont enforce the law along with the Local States Attorney, if you need help for get both and consider the city and county the Old West of the 1800’S!!

  2. I wholeheartedly agree that Deming is a terrible place to live. Meth and opiates has wiped out the community, along with poor education (I’m actually holding off on having children so I don’t have to educate them here). There is no zoning, so you have trailer parks mixed in with nice houses. The real estate market is overly saturated with overpriced homes, and the town is an absolute joke for any sort of mainstream commerce. It’s a terrible place to live. I’ve lived in actual cities, economically prosperous places, so I have a pretty good perspective on what a decent community should look like. Deming is like a third-world country where drugs and functional illiteracy are the order of the day. Anyone with half a brain around here longs for the day they can leave.

  3. Read your list – some things that are almost impossible to quantify from
    on-line statistics – long term unemployment, drug use, gangs. T or C has
    unbelievably high long term unemployment – I’ve lived here for ten years
    and I would estimate it at 50%. Sierra County, where T or C is located –
    highest rate of prescription drug OD’s. A meaningless statistic, three
    deaths in one year catapults us to the front because the overall population
    of the county is so low. However, used hypodermic needles are common in
    the parks, along the roads – they throw them out of their cars after they
    use them. All medical facilities in T or C are under investigation by the
    DEA for overprescribing prescription meds. On the plus side: T or C does
    not have a gang problem. T or C is 45 minutes away from pristine national
    forest and is surrounded by desert wilderness – you can be in city limits
    and you would swear you are in a wilderness area. Like all small towns,
    there is a core of really interesting people that grew up here, made
    careers elsewhere and returned. Google “Delmas Howe”, “William Shofelt –
    Shoofly”. Ted Turner is investing some money here – my wife works at his
    hotel, the “Sierra Grande”.
    All these little towns are constantly trying to figure out ways to “lift
    themselves by their own bootstraps” (WWI expression?). Mostly they fail
    because they are enamored of the big prize instead of “baby steps”
    Thanks, Jim Jacobs

    1. I was born and raised here I like the small-town like the small living it’s just gotten bad about the drugs and meth is everywhere and it doesn’t stop and Albuquerque is number one on this list not what they put down okay dude I hate to bust your bubble but yes there is a huge gang member here in T or C and some of them are the MS-13 and a lot of them are from out of the LA so you better wake up and smell the coffee cuz you’re not looking

  4. I lived in Clovis and Cannon AFB for several years in the early to mid 90’s. We called this area, a quarter of an inch from hell.

  5. I grew up in the little colonia of Chaparral. Number 2 on your list. I had good solid friends, a big yard with a garden, and beautiful starry nights. There’s no substitute for the ability to live near nature, off fresh produce and chickens, and refreshing well water. We never had to lock our doors, either. Also, my education was just fine, thank you. I’ve been able to travel extensively and am working on my Masters. I loved growing up in Chaparral and I don’t appreciate your article.

    1. My Sweetie and I have lived in Chaparral since 2009, and we love it! We bought two acres with two 2500+ sq. ft. houses (one excellent and one fixer-upper) for the price of a house half the size of either of our houses on less than 1/8th of the land in El Paso. Our neighbors are much better than any El Paso neighbors I’ve ever had (I’m not saying that all El Paso neighbors are bad, just the ones who lived next to me). It’s nice and quiet out here, and we can actually see the stars.

  6. As you said, your list is an opinion based on data. However, some of your base assumptions are questionable. You rank population density as your first criteria, claiming that is an indicator of “things to do.” We live in T or C, and there is more to do here than in many larger towns, like Socorro. School rankings are also misleading. Our small school system has teams (Envirothon, 4-H, ROTC etc.) that consistently place high in state competitions. Envirothon team is currently competing at the National level.
    Anyone can pull data off the Internet and make lists of best or worst places. But without actually visiting these places and getting to know the areas, these lists are nothing more than quasi-scientific opinions.

    1. I live in Socorro and we really enjoy going to TorC to soak in the waters or to go antiquing. It’s a quirky, yet charming little place. I was surprised Socorro did not make this list. Our drug problem is just awful. It’s not a very pretty town. Our city council bows to the mayor who is just setting up his own life for when he retires. There’s not a whole lot of pride going on here; no pride in mothers and fathers caring for their kids, no pride in homes, no pride in school life… God bless the people that try out here. There’s more scuzzy people that ruin it for everyone else than there are quality people that try to make Socorro nice.

      1. This is the part that I don’t get…
        Socorro is full of “skuzzy” residents so let’s blame the mayor?….
        Ahh, NOOO, let’s not..
        And have you actually ever attended a city council meeting? My guess is NOOO… cause if you did, you would know council members do not “bow down” to the mayor… In fact, it’s quite the opposite…
        So here’s my favorite part and what compelled me to respond to this –
        “The mayor who is just setting up his own life for when he retires” ….
        Um tell us again how this is a bad thing and something Socorro residents should not all strive to achieve.?
        I will admit that Socorro is not the best place to live and I am not active in any political scenes but blaming someone or anything for not being content with a town you so freely reside/resided in, is 100% wrong. In fact I give this man much do credit for taking on such a community and it’s “scuzzy” residents and perhaps if more residents were to follow in this mans lead they too would have stronger working skills, exceptional dedication, quality leadership abilities and still find time to raise lawyers, teachers, famous music producers and so on.
        One can only wish of achieving such accomplishments so before labeling all residents of Socorro “skuzzy”, I’ll remind you that you too live(d) there..

  7. I lived in Chaparral and raised my children in this tight knit community. You’re comments about Chaparral are completely off. My kids are all adults and doing well. They grew up with horses, gardens and close friends. El Paso Is a wonderful place with MANY things to do. We had the best of both worlds a small town feel with a large city only minutes away.

  8. I was a little shocked that Clovis was not on the list, until I saw the criteria used to rank communities. The criteria are primarily economic and there is no attempt at evaluating the local natural environment (nor the local cultural environment). Given the flat dusty hellscape without a hill or river in sight that is the Clovis area, along with its nasty conservative Christian streak, there are several communities on this list I would choose over Clovis. Let me out.

  9. While I have lived in T or C for over 20 years and have purchased a fair amount of property, I have to say…… the climate is pretty nice, the people also. But the place has a sizeable dose of dispair. Poverty and unemployment and low expectations. Drugs are real. I guess it depends on what’s important to you. We have some nice school buildings but like most of NM their results are very disappointing. Most of our young people are voting with their feet.

  10. UMMMM Deming has LOTS to do. We have Starmaxx that is a movie theater, bowlling alley, arcade, and indoor glow in the dark putt putt golf. We also have Rockhound state park and the Florida mountians to explore. This small town also usuall has an event several weekend’s a month for the community to enjoy.

  11. Everything ebbs and flows. A city that was bad one year could be on the best list the next year. New Mexico is beautiful and very unique. The weather cannot be beat by a long shot. The culture is incredible. I have lived here my entire life and have never -knock on wood- been the victim of a crime. Just don’t have thugs for friends or hang out with questionable people. I do encourage my kid to get the best education possible in case he wants to leave here, that is his choice. Like anything else in life, you get out what you put into it, so if you put your all into your schooling you will do just fine.

  12. Wheres roswell its my home town yet. Theres lots crime shootings alot. Belen isnt a bad town.If i had stayed in roswell my kids wouldve been proably in trouble alot. Peer pressure alot there. My kids have there own families and doing great. We lived in belen 12 years great place.

  13. Belen is not a bad place. Try roswell my hometown where lots of crime and shootings. Example a kid shooting in a school? Glad i moved to belen for sake of my kids.

  14. While visiting Albuquerque from Seattle for a wedding many years ago, I mentioned that I had lived in Deming for four years when I was younger. The reply was, “That’s not living, that’s serving time.”

    There are really, really good people there though, and that’s the important thing.

  15. REALLY?!!? That’s all you have to say about Tucumcari?? And we are the worse place to live??
    If you’re going to put down our town, you could at least share the positive too.
    I Moved from Hawaii to Tucumcari. Been here for about 8 years. Crime is waaayyy less and less dangerous than most places I’ve been. Especially abq, I would never want to live there.
    Small town living is awesome. Less traffic and less stress.
    AND You won’t ever see a Mass Shooting here, now that’s a fact.

  16. I Personally think Aztec, NM is one of the Worst town’s in New Mexico. The town its self is a strict white zone only, so no diversity and I say about 93 percent of the town are no good racist red necks. There has been many reports of kkk clans and gangs in the town, and a lot of kids are put threw abuse in the town. Many of the young adults in the town have been know to believe in the devil and at the high school has also been know to take place in many different satanic rituals. It also has the one of highest rates for teen suicides throughout the whole state. Growing up in Farmington, NM the biggest city in the San Jusn County. Having Aztec in Farmington’s metro range was ok. Farmington, NM is a great city, it has so many things to offer everyone, being one of the leading shopping hubs in New Mexico and being the leading shopping hub to the four corners ( 350,000 people ). It is also the fastest growing city in Construction rates and one of the fastest Population growing cities in New Mexico. The neighborhood I grew up in was located in the North East side of Farmington, the neighborhood was a safe and gated community. I attended Piedra Vista High School, one of the best high schools in New Mexico with a student count of 1,672, I loved it there the school has an amazing tennis team and owns a golf course with the collage, the median household income in the 87402 zip code community is 173,000 dollars, and average household income is 92,000 dollars a year. Now I have my own house in the country club and have an amazing job as an architect.

  17. Who the hell is this racist woman talkin about NDNs? Trump’s wife? I suggest you, Ms Vanessa, try to make a suggestion to an NDN’s face the next time you’re passing judgement.

    1. NOONES racist idiot so calm down and don’t bring politics into this but since you have , you most likely are a Hillary blind sheep supporter that will always keep your shitty state down so be it ! Lmfao the natives in your state are pathetic and have proven to be . Self serving lazy lowlives etc…so chill out psycho

  18. I have lived in NM for many years, (mostly in the NW area) and I find NM very beautiful and the people are very pleasant and helpful (I’m originally from Northern IL). I have traveled extensively through NM from Las Cruces to Pie Town to Socorro to Roswell, to Hobbs to Taos, to Albuquerque to Pinehill, to Ramah to Tucumcari to Raton to Gallup to Zuni. People have always been nice and helpful. I realize that there are issues in NM as there are everywhere, in every state. But that doesn’t give somebody the right to call out a whole race of people and say that they are ” ghetto” and “lazy” as a woman did at the beginning of this comment section. Those types of remarks displays HER IGNORANCE. Thank you.

  19. Most places have their positive and their negatives, but it usually boils down to the do re me. No doe, no me. Really, when poverty flies in the window, romance flies out the window.

  20. Me and my husband live in be leaving en ,we love it here ,we have been here only two months every one that we have meant is friendly and helpful I ts a beautiful little town i see no problem with racism

  21. How can I trust a website that has Anthony NM on both their “best” and “worst” cities list? Morons.

  22. I’ve been an Albuquerque resident for just one year. It’s been a very big disappointment.

    A lot of crime (and not enough police to fix it), dangerous and rude drivers on the road, we’re #1 in the USA for auto thefts, and for the past 2 months I’ve noticed gunshots being fired in my neighborhood at night (east end of Menaul area). That’s why I’m checking this website.

    I plan to move somewhere safer – maybe Rio Rancho.

    Thanks for the data on New Mexico. It’s very helpful.

  23. We moved here 2 1/2 yrs. ago. My wife loves it. I feel that “living” in NM is more like doing time. Why keep building more federal prisons when we have NM? Offenders could
    be sentenced to live here. And we live in Rio Rancho which is supposed to be one of the best places in the state. If that’s the case, I shudder to imagine the worst……..

    I know, if I don’t like it…blah, blah, blah.

  24. Welcome to Clovis, NM (88101) where peaceful farming community meets sleepy border town. Don’t be fooled by the propaganda; it’s all smoke and mirrors!
    This town is horrible! Public utilities are overly expensive, and unreliable. Power fluctuations and winter outages are a familiar occurrence. Internet service often slows to a crawl. Medical care is appalling! Stated again for emphasis; medical care is appalling! One more time; medical care is appalling! Fearful, wise, and experienced residents routinely drive for hours to seek treatment elsewhere. Quality shopping and entertainment are a fantasy. Good luck finding a descent radio station that plays something other than Country music. Dining is a boring monotony of Mexican food. Housing is grossly overpriced, and poorly built; corners seem to be cut at every opportunity. Building codes are weak, and unconvincingly enforced. Businesses are unfairly opportunistic, and prey upon the population. Slums and slumlords abound. Public and private lands are laden with trash and debris. Animal control is a laughable. City roads seem to be willfully neglected, and filled with potholes. Many intersections are insufficiently marked, or completely uncontrolled. Local media seems biased and agenda driven. There’s no need to mention the “honesty and integrity” of the local politicians, city officials, law enforcement, or lawyers; I’m sure you can probably imagine.
    The community is horrible! Most of the townspeople are rude, thoughtless, self-consumed, and flippantly ignore the concepts of courteous coexistence and safe driving. It’s hard to say what’s worse, the self-importance of the Christians, or the overwhelming poverty of the “un-documented” workforce. The pretentious white collar workers are the committed puppets of the wealthy property and business owners. Blue collar workers are noticeably undereducated, and poorly trained. Skilled labor is virtually non-existent. Pride in workmanship is a completely foreign concept. Substance abuse is excessive. The public schools seem to breed a disproportionate number of thugs and dropouts. Teen pregnancy is commonplace. The crime and drug problem almost seem to be purposely undisclosed, and concealed from the public eye. Nevertheless, stories of violent home invasion, rape, armed robbery, burglary, auto theft, and vandalism abound amongst the townsfolk. Meth labs and gangbangers saturate the community, and sex offenders sadly seem to be everywhere. Many businesses post disclaimers stating no responsibility for valuables left in parked vehicles, while at the same time allowing “sales-people” to attach advertisements to vehicles in their parking lot (even though attaching such advertisements to vehicles is against city code). Ladies, NEVER let go of your purse when you go shopping!
    The environment is horrible! Dirt, dust, and tumbleweeds driven by 50+ MPH winds are the norm. Any meaningful rainfall is normally accompanied by destructive winds or damaging hail. The town’s water supply is drying up. Extreme water hardness ruins appliances and plumbing fixtures. The fluoride concentration in the city’s drinking water exceeds the healthy level recommended by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; however the fluoride concentration in the city’s drinking water is conveniently below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s enforceable limit. Can you say dental & skeletal fluorosis? Prairie dogs infest both business and residential areas. Flies from the nearby dairies and cattle yards are a disgusting nuisance. One last thing, let’s not forget the nauseating repulsive stench of sunbaked cow manure that consumes every breath in the summer which eventually culminates in a fine layer of dried-up cow manure dust that coats nostrils, lungs, and every surface in the home. Welcome to seasonal allergies! On the lighter side, many people who grew up in Clovis, NM love the place, and mindlessly think its paradise. Go figure…
    In conclusion, perhaps the preceding comments should be deemed nothing more than a point of view. However, consider that reports the 2011 statistics for forcible rape and burglary in Clovis, NM at 200% above the national average! can also provide a list of registered sex offenders. If you have any doubts I strongly urge you to do research, or simply ignore what you’ve just read, move to Clovis, NM, and join the herd. If you are not part of the pack, you are the prey. You have been warned!

    1. Sounds like a great way to save the taxpayers the cost of more prisons, just sentence them
      to live in Clovis.

  25. I just turned down a 6 figure job in ABQ. I lived there (ABQ) in the early 2000s and pretty much liked it. Now that Im older with a family, ABQ is a harder sell. If housing in ABQ was a little lower to match the economy there, then it would be attractive. However the crime is what stopped me. When I was living there in early mid 2000s my boss had a violent break in where the burglars held a knife to his wife. We have visited several times just recently to get a feel for it again. What I noticed is the amount of speeding on the interstate. Its pretty dangerous. Ive read articles about how the police have no resources for traffic calls.

    What it came down to was I dont feel safe anywhere east of the rio grande (NE heights) and the drive to work from rio rancho or cedar crest would be too far.

    So I turned down a six figure job in ABQ. (I could do it because I already have a six figure job where Im at, which currently has eveything on this websites list as a good place to live… Top schools, low crime, good jobs, low poverty.)

    I can always visit NM and spend some money there and help out the tourism, but I feel safer where I currently live.

    1. And you still live there? Move to Farmington. A great community. I have lived here for 60 years and love it.

    2. I’ve lived in Abq since the 70’s and still like it though my kids will move away. The only violent break-in we had was from the Albuquerque Police who busted down our door, put a gun to the head of my 17 year old B+ Sandia high school daughter, 18 year old H.S. son, John – a nursing teacher at a local college for 2 and a half hours handcuffed, faced down – they had a warrant because one of the kids’ friends said there were pills at this property when he was being arrested and got off with this lie. No pills or drugs were found, of course. One big cop found $2,000 in my sock drawer and said, “yeah there’s drugs being dealt here.’ So Not True – I had sold my 1967 Anniversary Gretsch guitar so I could put in a floor in the den that was old linoleum from 1956. The money was not on the list of confiscated items. A little marijuana was so I was scared to make a fuss with the police.
      The police here are on my list of what I do not like about albuquerque.

  26. People over do it I was born and raised in Albuquerque NM and never had a problem with gangs or thief’s I love my city and who ever don’t like it hear could get the hell out of my city you cry baby haters 505 burque city come down and visit don’t believe all this drama queens about what they say about Albuquerque there full of shit and scared little fruit cakes

    1. People in ‘Burque are exceptionally bright and articulate, too, the result of our excellent and well funded public school system.

  27. As a criminologist, and a two time resident of New Mexico, soon to be third, this is some of the most distorted information I have ever seen. You missed some towns, by the way. All towns have good and bad places and areas. Those that party or live the loose life are the ones that get mugged, robbed, or die. Those that live in gated communities do the same, and never get busted. Small places and rate changes in crime are meaningless. You should visit these places before degrading them. I, for one, would NEVER live in the deep south again.

    1. @Dave…I plan to move to Belen, with my wife and two sons. I found a nice 4 acre home. Semi close to the airport. I am a Veteran house with weapons. How Deep South were you referring to? Am I moving into a bad area as this article states? Sometimes articles tend to get old facts.

  28. Face it, the whole state is a dump. Second poorest in the nation overall. If you’re rich and can live in Taos or Santa Fe, have at it, otherwise. Prepare for the “Land of Entrapment”.

    1. Santa Fe is turning into a crap hole. It is being over run by homeless people who are there in droves due to the leftist policies of our Democrat Mayor. Crime has gotten so bad that the police department can’t keep up. At one time SF was a nice place to live, not anymore.

  29. What kind of Churches are in these communities? Our Nation has turn so soft on one hand and so hard on the other. The truth of the Gospel is not getting preached. We are soft on sin and hard on the poor and less fortunate. Americans are so greedy for wealth the one thing the poor and less fortunate need is a roof over their heads. Lower cost for housing. Food stamps are used for sugar atticks they by pop, candy, cakes, rolls, sugarly snacks. The food stamps should be used for the bases Fruit, Vegetables, Diary, Meat, and grains.

  30. A very small percent of students who go to private schools (Sandia Academy etc.) or schools in high-priced neighborhoods (La Cueva HS etc) are bright and articulate. The vast majority of students (if they graduated) wouldn’t have made it past 8th grade anywhere else (except the deep south).
    Bright and articulate is not an adjective that comes to mind when describing products of Albuquerque school system or NM school system in general.
    Haters gonna hate me for saying this…I’ve lived here 20 plus years, love the climate and terrain and culture….but there’s alot that needs to be fixed here. If you love your state, why not work on addressing some of the problems (high school drop-out rate, illiteracy rate, teen-age pregnancy, drunk driving, drug overdose, high crime rate etc.) instead of getting your panties bunched up when someone points out the problems? Otherwise, look the other way and say everything is fine, and nothing will change.
    I’ll tell you one thing, New Mexico will never be first in anything that’s coveted to be first in.

  31. Thank you for ranking Taos in the top 10 worst places to live in NM. Like most of the rest of the list, have all been run by Democrats for decades. Notice none of the top 10 conservative places in NM are on the worst places list. Taos is #3 in liberalism and #10 in worst place to live. Direct correlation?

  32. Just dropping by to share a bit of information about Gallup. I was born there in 1988 and lived there until 2009. I went to public school and lived in the east part of town comprised of sprawling trailer parks and public housing. I graduated in 2007.

    Anyway, my perspective may be skewed because I grew up super poor to a single mom who was raised by a single mom. I grew up thinking that I had a great childhood and that everyone had to watch out for drunks and people high on drugs. My mom lives in the same trailer park to this day with the same neighbors for the past 15 years in Red Hills Mobile Home Park. Therefore, it’s a safe pocket in a crazy corner. This is an important attribute when looking for a place to live in New Mexico because a lot of the neighborhoods are poor. Lots of people are poor. There are not a lot of economic opportunities available- and I have a college education.

    The only way to get a good public school education here is to have your child sign up for AP/Honors courses. It is the difference between learning to write essays vs. worksheets with inattentive/unqualified teachers/substitute teachers. Good elementary schools are in richer neighborhoods (Roosevelt, Red Rock, Turpen).

    Gallup has the most millionaires. You will see $500,000 homes in secluded enclaves. They send their children to private school (Gallup Catholic/Rehoboth Christian). This is actually a really good education.

    Just remember the rule: don’t look anybody high on drugs in the eye for more than a second. They will approach you lol. This goes for Gallup, ABQ, Española, anywhere.

    I moved to the worst of ABQ for college after living in Gallup and it was a joy to actually live in the city.

    My relatives lived in Aztec & were like the 5% Hispanic people and they seemed to have been forced to assimilate lol. Aztec is a scary place rife with white supremacy. A lot of the oil job towns are. This includes Eastern NM towns.

    Now I live in Albuquerque and let’s just say the craziest of ABQ and Gallup are about the same. The homeless population around the country is getting bigger and bigger and so keep in mind, either stay away or be kind. 🙂

    I always choose to be kind, only been carjacked once. LOL. However, part of it was my own doing for developing a stupid ass crush on one of those stupid gang members- he sent his buddy while he looked off in the distance.

  33. We moved to NM and bought a home in Rio Communities, 3 years ago. We are from an island way up in the NW. We were happy there but the cost of living keeps rising throughout the West side of Washington State and since we retired, we thought best to leave. We actually were just driving through NM when we decided to stay a few days. We decided to stay for good. We feel safe here and that’s saying something, as crime on our island was basically nonexistent, (too far for criminals to go). We are an interacial couple and found people accepting, friendly and helpful. I miss the forests and water but the reality is, you have to live within your means abd we have no regrets living here!

  34. I have lived in Cincinnati for 24 years.Lived in Houston 15 years previously. It appears to me that these small towns in NM are a microcosm of what goes on in a big city. I will say I feel safer in Cincinnati then I would in Santa Fe or Albuquerque. Crime is pretty much restricted to certain areas where as in Albuquerque and Santa Fe its is spread all over.

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