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Most Americans have never been to New Mexico. However, as the people who live there know, New Mexico is an awesome state.
But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, New Mexico has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Land Of Enchantment. Don't shoot the messenger, this is all using data.
After analyzing more than 94 of New Mexico's smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in New Mexico where you'd never want to live:
So what is the worst small town to call home in New Mexico for 2022? According to the most recent census data, Twin Lakes is the worst small town to live in New Mexico.
Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since New Mexico has its stuff figured out.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.
The 10 Worst Small Towns In New Mexico For 2022
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $54,300 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.5% (11th worst)
More on Twin Lakes: Data
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $55,700 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 19.4% (8th worst)
More on Thoreau: Data
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $78,800 (18th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.4% (29th worst)
More on Upper Fruitland: Data
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $1,000 (1000th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (48th worst)
More on Mescalero: Data
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $65,000 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.2% (20th worst)
More on Columbus: Data
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $106,000 (34th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.0% (15th worst)
More on Monterey Park: Data
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 9)
Median Home Value: $69,700 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.6% (28th worst)
More on El Cerro Mission: Data
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $45,000 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.5% (9th worst)
More on Navajo: Data
Rank Last Year: 19 (Up 9)
Median Home Value: $74,700 (15th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 52.7% (worst)
More on La Luz: Data
How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?
In order to rank the worst small towns to live in New Mexico, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn't a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.
So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.
How we determined the worst small towns to live in New Mexico for 2022
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census's 2016-2020 American Community Survey, this is the criteria we used:
- Population Density (The lower the worse)
- Highest Unemployment Rates
- Low housing costs (meaning there's no demand)
- Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
- Education (Number of high school dropouts)
- High Crime
We looked at cities with populations between 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which, there were a lot - 94 to be exact.
Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
There You Have It - The Worst Small Towns In New Mexico
If you're analyzing teeny places in the Land Of Enchantment with the worst economic situations, where there's high crime and there's not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
If you're curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in New Mexico, according to science:
- White Sands (Pop. 1,368)
- La Huerta (Pop. 1,489)
- Sandia Heights (Pop. 3,111)
For more New Mexico reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In New Mexico
|7||San Felipe Pueblo||1,767|
|8||El Cerro Mission||4,808|
|35||Santo Domingo Pueblo||2,281|
|53||Ranchos De Taos||2,086|
|61||El Valle De Arroyo Seco||1,807|
|87||Placitas Cdp (Sandoval County)||4,506|