The 10 Worst Small Towns In New Mexico For 2022


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 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the worst small places to live in New Mexico.

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.

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 2022

1. Twin Lakes

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 1,119
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $54,300 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.5% (11th worst)
More on Twin Lakes:  Data

2. Thoreau

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 2,068
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $55,700 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 19.4% (8th worst)
More on Thoreau:  Data

3. Upper Fruitland

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 1,601
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $78,800 (18th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.4% (29th worst)
More on Upper Fruitland:  Data

4. Mescalero

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,127
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $1,000 (1000th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (48th worst)
More on Mescalero:  Data

5. Columbus

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,044
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $65,000 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.2% (20th worst)
More on Columbus:  Data

6. Monterey Park

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 1,097
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $106,000 (34th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.0% (15th worst)
More on Monterey Park:  Data

7. San Felipe Pueblo

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,767
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $183,300 (6worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.8% (27th worst)
More on San Felipe Pueblo:  Data | Photos

8. El Cerro Mission

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 4,808
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

9. Navajo

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,818
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $45,000 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.5% (9th worst)
More on Navajo:  Data

10. La Luz

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,799
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:

  1. White Sands (Pop. 1,368)
  2. La Huerta (Pop. 1,489)
  3. Sandia Heights (Pop. 3,111)

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 Twin Lakes 1,119 17.5% $54,300
2 Thoreau 2,068 19.4% $55,700
3 Upper Fruitland 1,601 12.4% $78,800
4 Mescalero 1,127 7.3% $1,000
5 Columbus 1,044 14.2% $65,000
6 Monterey Park 1,097 16.0% $106,000
7 San Felipe Pueblo 1,767 12.8% $183,300
8 El Cerro Mission 4,808 12.6% $69,700
9 Navajo 1,818 18.5% $45,000
10 La Luz 1,799 52.7% $74,700
11 Crownpoint 3,018 14.0% $69,700
12 Keeler Farm 1,794 13.2% $90,600
13 Black Rock 1,298 21.3% $65,600
14 Vado 3,189 12.3% $111,000
15 Milan 3,665 17.8% $47,800
16 Church Rock 1,354 9.8% $33,400
17 Hatch 1,718 16.7% $113,400
18 Estancia 1,635 35.8% $85,300
19 Meadow Lake 4,266 16.7% $70,500
20 Moriarty 1,835 15.0% $107,100
21 Dulce 2,584 21.1% $65,000
22 Berino 1,704 2.5% $72,400
23 San Miguel 1,006 11.6% $94,900
24 Taos Pueblo 1,443 13.1% $222,600
25 Fort Sumner 1,301 14.6% $89,300
26 Clayton 3,079 4.3% $77,800
27 Lordsburg 2,256 8.5% $70,400
28 La Plata 2,078 13.9% $156,100
29 San Rafael 1,757 8.6% $109,100
30 Jal 1,856 8.9% $78,200
31 Tucumcari 4,872 2.5% $47,100
32 Rock Springs 1,166 2.5% $1,000
33 Radium Springs 1,487 10.2% $91,400
34 Santa Clara 1,708 8.3% $84,500
35 Santo Domingo Pueblo 2,281 5.6% $123,000
36 Skyline-Ganipa 1,173 11.5% $81,900
37 Mesita 1,169 10.5% $83,700
38 Ruidoso Downs 2,611 4.1% $1,000
39 San Pablo 1,022 17.3% $248,100
40 University Park 2,917 27.2% $1,000
41 Nambe 1,970 10.9% $211,500
42 Santa Rosa 3,007 6.6% $91,200
43 Texico 1,053 2.2% $86,100
44 Jemez Pueblo 1,976 1.7% $107,600
45 Pojoaque 2,094 4.7% $81,700
46 Jarales 2,207 13.5% $93,700
47 Fairacres 1,213 14.8% $217,300
48 Pecos 1,194 7.1% $108,800
49 Atoka 1,275 4.3% $120,900
50 Tularosa 2,983 15.5% $116,200
51 La Cienega 3,728 8.6% $261,300
52 West Hammond 2,738 8.6% $163,900
53 Ranchos De Taos 2,086 9.5% $311,700
54 Ohkay Owingeh 1,220 6.9% $2,000,001
55 Loving 1,174 3.9% $113,900
56 Dexter 1,061 0.0% $83,300
57 Arenas Valley 1,224 8.0% $147,300
58 Agua Fria 2,997 0.7% $1,000
59 Flora Vista 2,187 3.3% $167,500
60 La Puebla 1,061 19.8% $163,200
61 El Valle De Arroyo Seco 1,807 6.0% $174,000
62 Hurley 1,393 4.7% $80,900
63 Waterflow 1,552 6.0% $157,500
64 Arroyo Seco 2,311 32.7% $237,100
65 Adelino 1,110 0.0% $1,000
66 Eunice 3,026 5.6% $109,900
67 Questa 1,961 0.7% $137,500
68 Capitan 1,356 2.5% $115,300
69 Peralta 3,599 12.8% $195,900
70 Bayard 2,415 2.6% $88,800
71 Boles Acres 2,311 1.7% $160,800
72 El Cerro 3,138 11.8% $196,200
73 Chimayo 2,779 0.8% $172,800
74 Spencerville 1,592 0.9% $151,600
75 Mesilla 2,274 3.7% $231,400
76 Cannon Afb 2,527 11.9% $1,000
77 El Rancho 1,406 0.0% $185,000
78 La Mesilla 2,656 2.9% $217,300
79 Elephant Butte 1,552 0.0% $142,900
80 Los Chaves 4,965 1.7% $165,400
81 Tome 1,585 0.0% $279,800
82 Holloman Afb 3,943 2.2% $1,000
83 Las Maravillas 1,960 3.4% $140,200
84 Paradise Hills 4,918 6.9% $197,400
85 Talpa 1,245 3.2% $302,000
86 High Rolls 1,370 0.0% $219,900
87 Placitas Cdp (Sandoval County) 4,506 5.8% $392,700
88 San Ysidro 2,527 7.4% $292,400
89 Carnuel 1,037 0.0% $251,000
90 Bosque Farms 3,833 2.2% $223,500
91 Sandia Knolls 1,516 0.6% $253,200
92 White Sands 1,368 0.0% $1,000
93 La Huerta 1,489 0.0% $308,500
94 Sandia Heights 3,111 6.6% $490,500

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