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 5,000 people), we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in New Mexico:
- Belen (Photos | Foreclosures For Sale)
- Deming (Photos | Foreclosures For Sale)
- Sunland Park (Photos | Foreclosures For Sale)
- Bernalillo (Photos | Foreclosures For Sale)
- Gallup (Photos | Foreclosures For Sale)
- Anthony (Photos | Foreclosures For Sale)
- Lovington (Photos | Foreclosures For Sale)
- Bloomfield (Photos | Foreclosures For Sale)
- Grants (Photos | Foreclosures For Sale)
- Taos (Photos | Foreclosures For Sale)
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 Belen.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2019.
For more New Mexico reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In New Mexico
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In New Mexico
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In New Mexico
How we determined the worst places to live in New Mexico for 2019
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 — Belen. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in New Mexico.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
Belen’s main issue is crime. It’s the 1st most dangerous place in the state of New Mexico. Is that a surprise?
If you live in Belen, you have a 1 in 12.4 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.
When you’re looking at science and data, Deming is the 2nd worst place you can live in New Mexico. Let’s see why.
The unemployment rate here is 11.7%. 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 $25,428. 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.”
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 2017.
Sunland Park 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, Sunland Park may not be your first choice for a vacation.
Bernalillo seems to be the have’s and have not’s. While the annual average income levels here are respectful ($41,219), about 1 in 9.6 people here are without jobs. Homes are valued at only $155,800.
But the biggest eye opener is the sheer crime here. It seems as if just about everyone in town without a job is pillaging the community. Bernalillo has the 9th highest crime rate in New Mexico, where 1 in 113 people has a statistic chance of being attacked, raped or murdered each year.
Plus, 1 in 21.1 people are robbed.
If you’re headed past Bernalillo and stop for gas, make sure you lock your doors.
The unemployment rate in Gallup is a sky high 9.2%, which is the 10th highest in the state. Ouch.
The median income in Gallup is $43,598. That means 29.9% of the population is living below the poverty line. Crime isn’t horrible here, but you have a 1 in 14.8 chance of being the victim of a property crime when you’re within city limits every year.
Anthony is way down by El Paso, where people earn about $24,398 a year. The homes are a lot more expensive ($84,300). Meaning it’s even harder to live in Anthony at the poverty level.
Lovington places 7th in our ranking of the worst places to live in New Mexico. Here, 29.8% of the adult population lack’s even a high school degree. That makes Lovington have the 4th highest adult drop out rate in New Mexico.
Income levels are also near the poverty line, and home prices are around $103,500 each — the 8th lowest in New Mexico.
As you can imagine, there’s not a lot of demand to live here.
Bloomfield needs some tough love as it ranks as the 8th worst city to live in New Mexico for 2017.
Crime in Bloomfield is the 22nd highest in the state, where 1 in 46.7 people have a chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the latest FBI numbers.
. Additionally, the income is almost dead last in New Mexico.
If commute time is important, Bloomfield residents have the 3rd longest commute of any residents on our list.
If, by some reason, you were driving through Grants, after stopping to ask for directions, you may have noticed that things aren’t so peachy keen here.
It’s tough out there for people to stay afloat when their income levels are so low ($35,671) and they can’t get good jobs (12.1% unemployment rate).
Grants ranks as the 9th wost place in New Mexico.
Taos doesn’t have it much better, in terms of overall economic outlook. The unemployment rate is at 8.3%, and people average less than $29,849 a year in combined household incomes. Homes stand at $281,500, which is very low, and crime in the worst 10% in New Mexico.
And again, in terms of the overall ‘enjoyment’ factor, it’s not easy to find fun on a Friday night.
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, Belen ranks as the worst city to live in New Mexico for 2019.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in New Mexico:
- Alamogordo (Pop. 30,963)
- Rio Rancho (Pop. 93,317)
- Corrales (Pop. 8,463)
For more New Mexico reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In New Mexico
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In New Mexico
- 10 Safest Places In New Mexico
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In New Mexico
Detailed List Of The Worst Places To Live In New Mexico
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