Worst Small Towns In New Mexico For 2020


Using science and data, we can tell you which teeny specks in New Mexico are the pits.

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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 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the worst small places to live in New Mexico.

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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 70 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:

These are the worst small towns in New Mexico for 2020:

  1. Thoreau
  2. Mescalero
  3. Twin Lakes
  4. Meadow Lake
  5. Navajo
  6. Columbus
  7. Hatch
  8. Black Rock
  9. Crownpoint
  10. Keeler Farm

So what is the worst small town to call home in new mexico for 2020? According to the most recent census data, Thoreau 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.

And if you already know about the small towns, check out the best places to live in New Mexico or the worst places to live in New Mexico.

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

The 10 Worst Small Towns In New Mexico For 2020

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,666
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $50,700 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 27.9% (2nd worst)
More on Thoreau:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,361
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $43,300 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.7% (15th worst)
More on Mescalero:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 1,008
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $37,500 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.5% (19th worst)
More on Twin Lakes:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 4,253
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $67,800 (14th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.6% (13th worst)
More on Meadow Lake:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 1,498
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $47,300 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 19.8% (9th worst)
More on Navajo:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,165
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $65,400 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.6% (25th worst)
More on Columbus:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 1,489
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $78,800 (22nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 21.7% (5th worst)
More on Hatch:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,684
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $65,500 (11th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 25.3% (3rd worst)
More on Black Rock:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,500
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $63,400 (9th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 21.2% (6th worst)
More on Crownpoint:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,804
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $74,400 (19th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.8% (27th worst)
More on Keeler Farm:  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 2020

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 2014-2018 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 - 70 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:

  1. Placitas CDP (Sandoval County) (Pop. 4,441)
  2. Sandia Knolls (Pop. 1,566)
  3. Sandia Heights (Pop. 3,366)

For more New Mexico reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In New Mexico

Rank Town Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Thoreau 1,666 27.9% $50,700
2 Mescalero 1,361 16.7% $43,300
3 Twin Lakes 1,008 15.5% $37,500
4 Meadow Lake 4,253 17.6% $67,800
5 Navajo 1,498 19.8% $47,300
6 Columbus 1,165 13.6% $65,400
7 Hatch 1,489 21.7% $78,800
8 Black Rock 1,684 25.3% $65,500
9 Crownpoint 2,500 21.2% $63,400
10 Keeler Farm 1,804 11.8% $74,400
11 Laguna 1,151 22.5% $70,600
12 Berino 1,610 5.2% $68,300
13 Lordsburg 2,539 11.4% $69,200
14 Ruidoso Downs 2,597 6.9% $124,800
15 La Luz 1,472 10.0% $80,300
16 Vado 2,579 9.9% $116,800
17 Dulce 2,663 21.0% $85,300
18 El Cerro Mission 4,734 8.7% $75,300
19 Tucumcari 4,958 9.0% $52,500
20 San Miguel 1,054 18.6% $98,100
21 Fort Sumner 1,228 5.3% $47,900
22 Estancia 1,643 9.7% $115,500
23 Milan 3,636 14.0% $73,000
24 Clayton 3,104 1.8% $75,800
25 Fairacres 1,309 16.1% $142,200
26 Radium Springs 1,731 3.4% $89,700
27 Jemez Pueblo 2,031 6.3% $114,000
28 Dexter 1,091 0.0% $88,900
29 Moriarty 2,223 4.2% $103,900
30 Santa Clara 1,783 15.1% $80,500
31 Jal 2,032 5.9% $67,600
32 Texico 1,229 1.3% $85,400
33 San Pablo 1,046 11.1% $223,800
34 Sausal 1,944 15.6% $164,300
35 Pecos 1,594 7.9% $152,800
36 Loving 1,212 4.9% $91,300
37 Bayard 2,419 12.3% $82,800
38 Jarales 2,060 18.2% $148,500
39 Santa Rosa 3,426 6.1% $85,400
40 Valencia 1,826 11.5% $137,700
41 Boles Acres 1,899 4.0% $97,500
42 Eunice 3,059 5.4% $91,100
43 Questa 2,019 7.9% $114,500
44 El Valle De Arroyo Seco 1,721 0.0% $164,000
45 Agua Fria 2,959 2.8% $180,700
46 Pojoaque 2,018 7.5% $156,500
47 Waterflow 1,769 10.8% $158,300
48 La Cienega 3,526 6.6% $221,300
49 West Hammond 2,787 10.1% $168,000
50 Nambe 1,814 6.3% $245,600
51 Arenas Valley 1,647 9.7% $174,500
52 La Puebla 1,005 1.1% $177,300
53 Hurley 1,439 6.7% $84,900
54 Elephant Butte 1,366 8.7% $137,900
55 Flora Vista 1,799 8.0% $183,700
56 Tularosa 2,931 1.5% $108,700
57 Capitan 1,441 0.0% $155,300
58 Ranchos De Taos 2,460 5.5% $288,500
59 Carnuel 1,724 4.1% $217,100
60 Spencerville 1,746 0.0% $130,700
61 Peralta 3,577 11.2% $194,900
62 Ponderosa Pine 1,057 8.6% $254,800
63 San Ysidro 2,091 0.0% $188,900
64 Mesilla 2,138 2.0% $230,300
65 Las Maravillas 1,668 3.5% $135,000
66 Bosque Farms 3,827 3.9% $207,400
67 El Rancho 1,088 2.4% $217,800
68 Placitas Cdp (Sandoval County) 4,441 5.3% $349,500
69 Sandia Knolls 1,566 1.2% $176,400
70 Sandia Heights 3,366 3.9% $442,900

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