The 10 Best Counties To Live In New Mexico For 2022


Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in New Mexico have the most for people looking to make the move to New Mexico.

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Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is New Mexico a good place?

The answer is unequivocally yes… if you know where to locate the best places to live in New Mexico.

Lucky for you, we’re here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Land Of Enchantment based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn’t our first rodeo — we’ve been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best part of New Mexico, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 33 counties in the state.

After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Land Of Enchantment for 2022.

Los Alamos County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in New Mexico. And you might want to avoid Luna County if you can — at least according to the data.

So if you’re thinking of making the move New Mexico, we’ve got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in New Mexico and the cheapest places to live in New Mexico.

The Best Counties To Live In New Mexico For 2022

1. Los Alamos County

Los Alamos, NM

Biggest Place: Los Alamos

Population: 18,976
Median Income: $119,266.0 (best)
Median Home Price: $322,200.0 (best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.5% (4th best)
More on Los Alamos County: PhotosData

2. Sandoval County

Bernalillo, NM

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Rio Rancho

Population: 144,954
Median Income: $65,071.0 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $211,700.0 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (14th best)
More on Sandoval County: PhotosData

3. Bernalillo County

Albuquerque, NM

Biggest Place: Albuquerque

Population: 679,037
Median Income: $54,308.0 (6th best)
Median Home Price: $205,500.0 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.6% (12th best)
More on Bernalillo County: PhotosData

4. Santa Fe County

Edgewood, NM

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Santa Fe

Population: 150,319
Median Income: $60,668.0 (5th best)
Median Home Price: $294,800.0 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (8th best)
More on Santa Fe County: PhotosData

5. Eddy County

Artesia, NM

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Carlsbad

Population: 57,865
Median Income: $65,000.0 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $161,100.0 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (5th best)
More on Eddy County: PhotosData

6. Lincoln County

Ruidoso Downs, NM

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Ruidoso

Population: 19,640
Median Income: $44,939.0 (12th best)
Median Home Price: $172,800.0 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (9th best)
More on Lincoln County: PhotosData

7. Taos County

Taos, NM

Biggest Place: Taos

Population: 32,759
Median Income: $41,973.0 (18th best)
Median Home Price: $249,000.0 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 8.2% (24th best)
More on Taos County: PhotosData

8. Colfax County

Raton, NM

Biggest Place: Raton

Population: 12,106
Median Income: $36,937.0 (22nd best)
Median Home Price: $108,900.0 (24th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (6th best)
More on Colfax County: PhotosData

9. Valencia County

Belen, NM

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Los Lunas

Population: 76,518
Median Income: $50,801.0 (7th best)
Median Home Price: $151,600.0 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (20th best)
More on Valencia County: PhotosData

10. Chaves County

Roswell, NM

Biggest Place: Roswell

Population: 64,912
Median Income: $46,254.0 (10th best)
Median Home Price: $115,400.0 (22nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (10th best)
More on Chaves County: PhotosData

Methodology: How do you determine which New Mexico county is the best?

To give you the best county in New Mexico, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what’s a “best county” and what isn’t. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you’d make at a bar using facts, don’t take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.

We paid particular attention to:

  • Violent Crime Rates
  • Property Crime Rates
  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Adult Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We then ranked each county in New Mexico across each of the criteria from one to 33, with one being the best.

Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the “Best County To Live In New Mexico”.

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Land Of Enchantment.

Read on to see why Los Alamos County is the best county, while Luna County is probably in contention for being the worst county in New Mexico.

Summary: The Best Counties In New Mexico To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in New Mexico can vary from one part of the state to the next — who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that’s why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here’s a look at the worst counties in New Mexico according to the data:

  1. Luna County
  2. Cibola County
  3. Mckinley County

For more New Mexico reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In New Mexico

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Los Alamos County 1 18,976 $119,266.0 $322,200.0
Sandoval County 2 144,954 $65,071.0 $211,700.0
Bernalillo County 3 679,037 $54,308.0 $205,500.0
Santa Fe County 4 150,319 $60,668.0 $294,800.0
Eddy County 5 57,865 $65,000.0 $161,100.0
Lincoln County 6 19,640 $44,939.0 $172,800.0
Taos County 7 32,759 $41,973.0 $249,000.0
Colfax County 8 12,106 $36,937.0 $108,900.0
Valencia County 9 76,518 $50,801.0 $151,600.0
Chaves County 10 64,912 $46,254.0 $115,400.0
Catron County 11 3,547 $36,607.0 $162,400.0
San Juan County 12 125,608 $47,643.0 $155,000.0
San Miguel County 13 27,546 $32,310.0 $138,300.0
Quay County 14 8,265 $33,962.0 $68,500.0
Rio Arriba County 15 38,962 $42,264.0 $172,900.0
Harding County 16 432 $32,500.0 $87,500.0
Otero County 17 66,804 $45,032.0 $120,800.0
Sierra County 18 10,988 $33,873.0 $120,100.0
Grant County 19 27,391 $37,453.0 $127,100.0
Lea County 20 70,359 $61,867.0 $138,600.0
Curry County 21 49,502 $48,903.0 $132,400.0
Socorro County 22 16,723 $40,297.0 $117,900.0
De Baca County 23 1,995 $31,532.0 $130,000.0
Mora County 24 4,500 $29,458.0 $104,300.0
Hidalgo County 25 4,234 $44,722.0 $91,800.0
Torrance County 26 15,477 $38,240.0 $115,500.0
Union County 27 4,106 $35,484.0 $93,800.0
Guadalupe County 28 4,336 $31,061.0 $100,500.0
Doã±a Ana County 29 217,696 $44,024.0 $153,600.0
Roosevelt County 30 18,723 $42,917.0 $111,700.0
Mckinley County 31 71,956 $36,179.0 $66,700.0
Cibola County 32 26,763 $44,731.0 $88,800.0
Luna County 33 24,022 $32,251.0 $84,700.0
Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the best counties to live in New Mexico.

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.