The 10 Best Places To Live In New Mexico For 2024

The best places to live in New Mexico for 2024 are Corrales, Rio Rancho, and Los Ranchos De Albuquerque. Find out where your city or town ranks.

There’s more to New Mexico than aliens, incredible sunsets, and the Animas River. This Southwestern state has plenty of great places to call home.

Notables like Julia Roberts, Gene Hackman, and Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin wouldn’t just live anywhere. They love New Mexico’s great people and good old desert living.

We used Saturday Night Science to uncover the best places to live in New Mexico for based on Census, FBI, and Zillow data. We compared quality of life factors like income, home prices, and safety for the 33 places over 5,000 in New Mexico.

There’s a reason two million people call the Land of Enchantment home.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Table | Map | Methodology | Summary

What’s the best place to live in New Mexico? The best place to live in New Mexico is Corrales.

Whether you’re a fan of UFOs, the University of New Mexico Lobos, or catching a rodeo in Ruidoso, there’s a great place to live waiting for you in New Mexico.

For more reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In New Mexico For 2024

Best Places To Live In New Mexico Map

Corrales, NM

Source: Wikipedia User Chris English | CC BY-SA 3.0
Stat Corrales New Mexico
Population 8,495 2,112,463
Rank Last Year 1
Median Home Value $668,575 $293,040
Median Income $94,966 $58,722
Unemployment Rate 4.6% 6.2%
Crime Per Capita 0.0072 0.0361

More on Corrales: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Welcome to Corrales, the best place to live in New Mexico for the second year running. Despite having the the big cities of Albuquerque and Rio Rancho as neighbors, Corrales has worked hard to retain its rural character. From the many wineries to the community Grower’s Market, agriculture still plays a big part in Corrales’s culture and economy. There are also many events peppered throughout the year and regular shows put on at the Old San Ysidro Church are a big hit with locals.

The first thing to know about your neighbors in Corrales is that they’re among the best-educated in the state; about 60% of residents have a college degree and 30% have a master’s degree or higher. Those fancy degrees come in handy when pay-day rolls around, because Corrales also has the best-paid populace in New Mexico, with a median household income of $94,966/year. Also, the poverty rate in Corrales is the lowest statewide at 3.4%. Smart, moneyed individuals rarely go in for crime, so it makes sense that Corrales is also the safest place in New Mexico, with a crime rate 80% below the national average. The catch? Housing is twice as expensive as the statewide average, with a typical home selling for $668,575 and rent going for $1,201/month.

Rio Rancho, NM

Source: Public domain
Stat Rio Rancho New Mexico
Population 104,351 2,112,463
Rank Last Year 2
Median Home Value $328,616 $293,040
Median Income $78,978 $58,722
Unemployment Rate 5.5% 6.2%
Crime Per Capita 0.0219 0.0361

More on Rio Rancho: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Rio Rancho, New Mexico’s third-biggest city, also comes in as the 2nd best place to live in the Land of Enchantment. Rio Rancho has been surging economically in recent years; it’s home to an Intel facility that’s by far the area’s largest employer, as well as companies like Hewlett-Packard and Walmart. For families, A Park Above is a delightful spot that’s been named the best city park by several New Mexico publications. And while New Mexico is generally sparse on greenery, you wouldn’t know it if you walked or cycled down the Willow Creek Trail.

Rio Rancho’s population has grown by more than 15% since 2010. Crime has remained uncommon, though, and ranks as the 12th lowest in New Mexico. The poverty rate in Rio Rancho is the 2nd lowest statewide at 7.1%. Rio Rancho’s median rent of $1,357/month outstrips the statewide median by 33%. Expenses aren’t a big issue for Rio Rancho’s residents, though, because they enjoy the 2nd highest median household income in the state at $78,978/year.

Los Ranchos De Albuquerque, NM

Source: Wikipedia User John Phelan | CC BY 3.0
Stat Los Ranchos de Albuquerque New Mexico
Population 5,894 2,112,463
Rank Last Year 3
Median Home Value $621,423 $293,040
Median Income $67,747 $58,722
Unemployment Rate 1.4% 6.2%
Crime Per Capita 0.0615 0.0361

More on Los Ranchos De Albuquerque: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Los Ranchos de Albuquerque is an affluent suburb of Albuquerque. From organic farms to grower’s markets, agriculture remains the dominant theme in Los Ranchos. Antique shopping, ceramics, and wineries leave you with plenty to do and work to enhance the cultural tradition of Los Ranchos. No event garners more attention than the annual Lavender Festival, though.

Nearly 30% of Los Ranchos residents have a master’s degree or higher, so you’d better study up if you don’t want to hold your team back on pub quiz night. The unemployment rate in Los Ranchos is the 2nd lowest statewide at 1.4% and the village has the 6th highest rate of residents with health insurance in New Mexico. Homes are the 2nd most expensive in the state, but the median rent of $940/month is lower than the statewide median. In any case, you shouldn’t have much trouble paying the bills here, because Los Ranchos has the 8th highest median household income in New Mexico at $67,747/year.

Artesia, NM

Source: Public domain
Stat Artesia New Mexico
Population 12,632 2,112,463
Rank Last Year 5
Median Home Value $204,195 $293,040
Median Income $75,389 $58,722
Unemployment Rate 4.5% 6.2%
Crime Per Capita 0.0282 0.0361

More on Artesia: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Sandwiched between Roswell to the north and Carlsbad to the south, Artesia ranks as New Mexico’s 4th best place to live. A small-town environment, free of pollution and traffic, makes Artesia the ideal spot for someone who prefers the simple things in life. Main Street has all the amenities you need, as well as fun street sculptures and murals to keep everything aesthetically pleasing.

If you’re looking for a vibrant city with fresh ideas, know that Artesia is the youngest place on this list, with a median age of 33. As far as safety goes, Artesia experienced the 10th lowest amount of violent crime anywhere in New Mexico. People are catching on to how great Artesia is and the city’s grown by more than 10% in the last decade. Property values also went up 4% in just the last year, and property taxes are a fraction of what they are in most places on this list.

Alamogordo, NM

Source: Public domain
Stat Alamogordo New Mexico
Population 30,996 2,112,463
Rank Last Year 9
Median Home Value $200,708 $293,040
Median Income $50,721 $58,722
Unemployment Rate 6.7% 6.2%
Crime Per Capita 0.0267 0.0361

More on Alamogordo: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Located in the high desert at the base of the Sacramento Mountains, Alamogordo comes in as the 5th best place to live in New Mexico. We named Alamogordo one of the best places for singles in New Mexico and it’s not hard to see why. Date ideas include: a day out at the New Mexico Museum of Space History for the science nerds, the Heart of the Desert for wine-lovers and pistachio-poppers, the Alameda Park Zoo for animal-enthusiasts, and the White Sands National Park for anyone with an eye for breathtaking beauty.

The poverty and unemployment rates in Alamogordo both rank within the top ten statewide. The cost of living here is cheap, with housing costs about 25% below the statewide average. In fact, Alamogordo’s median home price of $200,708 is the lowest of anywhere on this list. As a bonus, Alamogordo has the 12th shortest average commute time in New Mexico at 18 minutes.

Raton, NM

Source: Wikipedia User Billy Hathorn | CC BY-SA 3.0
Stat Raton New Mexico
Population 6,046 2,112,463
Rank Last Year 6
Median Home Value $138,410 $293,040
Median Income $40,899 $58,722
Unemployment Rate 0.8% 6.2%
Crime Per Capita 0.0169 0.0361

More on Raton: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

The county seat of Colfax County in northeastern New Mexico, Raton ranks as the 6th best place to live statewide. We already named Raton as one of the safest places in New Mexico, with the 6th lowest overall crime rate in the state.

Additionally, homes in Raton sell for a median price of $138,410, while the median household income is $40,899. That combination of statistics gives Raton the 11th best home price to income ratio in the state, making it one of New Mexico’s most affordable cities. On top of that, Raton has an overall cost of living score of about 80, where the national average is 100.

As for entertainment, Raton offers quite a bit for a city of just 6,046. There’s Sugarite Canyon State Park for outdoorsy people, the Shuler Theater for arts enthusiasts, and plenty of mom and pop shops downtown to make for a thriving local economy.

Speaking of the economy, Raton has the lowest unemployment rate in New Mexico and the 9th highest rate of health-insured residents. And folks don’t have to stress themselves out over traffic every day, seeing as Raton also enjoys the 6th shortest average commute time in New Mexico at just 14 minutes.

Los Lunas, NM

Source: Public domain
Stat Los Lunas New Mexico
Population 17,452 2,112,463
Rank Last Year 10
Median Home Value $298,049 $293,040
Median Income $68,934 $58,722
Unemployment Rate 5.3% 6.2%
Crime Per Capita 0.0469 0.0361

More on Los Lunas: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

You’d have to be loco to not locate to Los Lunas.

Los Lunas in Valencia County, New Mexico, ranks as the 7 best place to live in the state, home to 17,452 enjoying $298,049 for a typical home and a 68,934 income. As the county seat since 1876 and part of the Albuquerque Metropolitan Statistical Area, residents have access to annual events like the St. Patrick’s Day Balloon Rally and Fourth of July celebrations and educational opportunities through its public schools. The village’s proximity to Interstate 25 provides easy 27 minute commutes.

Edgewood, NM

Source: Public domain
Stat Edgewood New Mexico
Population 6,113 2,112,463
Rank Last Year 4
Median Home Value $348,936 $293,040
Median Income $70,568 $58,722
Unemployment Rate 6.6% 6.2%
Crime Per Capita 0.0208 0.0361

More on Edgewood: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Edgewood is a town of 6,113 situated a half-hour east of Albuquerque. An exceedingly popular bedroom community, Edgewood’s population has exploded by around 65% since 2010, making it New Mexico’s fastest-growing city. Folks love the vintage indoor Church Street Market, chock full of local and handmade treasures. Wildlife West Nature Park is a must-visit for animal-lovers who want to see the epic wildlife of the Southwest up close and personal.

As for the essentials, the unemployment, poverty, crime, and health insurance rates in Edgewood all rank in the top ten statewide. GreatSchools also gave Edgewood’s public schools an 8/10 score, so those with children can feel secure moving here. Increased demand drove up property values more than 10% in the last year, so don’t be put off by the high price tag on homes — it’s a sound investment.

Albuquerque, NM

Source: Wikipedia User John Phelan | CC BY 3.0
Stat Albuquerque New Mexico
Population 562,551 2,112,463
Rank Last Year 11
Median Home Value $321,089 $293,040
Median Income $61,503 $58,722
Unemployment Rate 5.5% 6.2%
Crime Per Capita 0.0615 0.0361

More on Albuquerque: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

New Mexico’s biggest and most densely populated city, Albuquerque, comes in as the state’s 9th best place to call home. Albuquerque is known for its cultural diversity, it’s thriving arts scene, and world-class cuisine.

Additionally, Albuquerque is the hot air ballooning capital of the world, but thrill seekers don’t have to stop there. They can also hit the slopes at Sandia Peak. More relaxed folks will enjoy the Albuquerque’s golf courses.

Albuquerque is a young city, with a median age of 38. 39% of adults here are highly educated, so brush up on your trivia before a pub quiz night if you want to compete. Albuquerque has great schools as well, achieving the 6th lowest high school dropout rate in New Mexico.

Homes in Albuquerque are the 7th most expensive statewide, with a median price of $321,089. But median household income keeps pace, with residents earning around $61,503 each year.

Carlsbad, NM

Source: Public domain
Stat Carlsbad New Mexico
Population 31,755 2,112,463
Rank Last Year 14
Median Home Value $201,720 $293,040
Median Income $77,209 $58,722
Unemployment Rate 3.0% 6.2%
Crime Per Capita 0.0337 0.0361

More on Carlsbad: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Located on the Pecos River in the Chihuahuan Desert, Carlsbad’s tree-lined streets, gorgeous public parks, and municipal beach on Lake Carlsbad all work to make this a truly spectacular oasis. For those who want to get up close and personal with the region’s wildlife, the unique Living Desert Zoo and Gardens offers an incredible experience. If exploring more hidden treasures is your cup of tea, you’ll probably find yourself returning again and again to Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Carlsbad has grown by about 10% in the past decade as people swarm to a place with great schools, low unemployment and poverty rates, and high quality of life. Also, despite having the second cheapest median home price on this list, Carlsbad has the 3rd highest median income in New Mexico at $77,209/year. That combination of stats is part of the reason we named Carlsbad among New Mexico’s most affordable cities.

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in New Mexico

Best Places To Live In New Mexico Size Requirement

Before we even started to collect data on the best places to live in New Mexico, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Santa Fe, with a population of 87,617, against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.

So, to create our ranking, we broke the best places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities — Populations over 5,000
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This filter left 33 cities, 91 towns, and 145 small towns.

We then decided no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in New Mexico have more of everything, and therefore, you need over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best.’

Methodology: How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In New Mexico

Now that we had our set of the best possible cities, it was time to rank them using Saturday Night Science.

We ranked each place in New Mexico across a number of criteria from one to 33, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, crowning the city posting the lowest overall score, the “Best Place To Live In New Mexico.”

The criteria we looked to determine the best places were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher is better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data, FBI Crime Data, and Zillow. We updated this article for 2024. This report is our tenth time ranking New Mexico’s best places to live.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in New Mexico. Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Corrales at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Summary: The Best Places In New Mexico

If you’re looking at areas in New Mexico with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

The best places to live in New Mexico are Corrales, Rio Rancho, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, Artesia, Alamogordo, Raton, Los Lunas, Edgewood, Albuquerque, and Carlsbad.

Corrales made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in New Mexico for 2024.

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in New Mexico according to the data:

  1. Deming (Pop. 14,756)
  2. Anthony (Pop. 8,708)
  3. Belen (Pop. 7,367)

For more New Mexico reading, check out:

Best Places To Live In New Mexico Table

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value Median Income Rent Crime Per Capita
1 Corrales 8,495 4.6% $668,575 $94,966 $1,201 0.0072
2 Rio Rancho 104,351 5.5% $328,616 $78,978 $1,357 0.0219
3 Los Ranchos de Albuquerque 5,894 1.4% $621,423 $67,747 $940 0.0615
4 Artesia 12,632 4.5% $204,195 $75,389 $850 0.0282
5 Alamogordo 30,996 6.7% $200,708 $50,721 $858 0.0267
6 Raton 6,046 0.8% $138,410 $40,899 $666 0.0169
7 Los Lunas 17,452 5.3% $298,049 $68,934 $1,098 0.0469
8 Edgewood 6,113 6.6% $348,936 $70,568 $939 0.0208
9 Albuquerque 562,551 5.5% $321,089 $61,503 $1,014 0.0615
10 Carlsbad 31,755 3.0% $201,720 $77,209 $1,143 0.0337
11 Santa Fe 87,617 5.3% $571,512 $67,663 $1,314 0.0588
12 Socorro 8,605 3.0% $171,400 $42,622 $708 0.0278
13 Truth or Consequences 6,030 2.9% $137,945 $28,685 $686 0.0211
14 Bernalillo 9,286 6.2% $312,259 $57,905 $967 0.0312
15 Grants 9,177 4.5% $159,642 $55,631 $815 0.0081
16 Aztec 6,214 1.6% $226,721 $45,846 $810 0.0182
17 Ruidoso 7,696 5.4% $317,739 $36,033 $850 0.0281
18 Portales 12,085 9.5% $130,829 $49,313 $778 0.0310
19 Bloomfield 7,430 3.0% $205,766 $49,442 $837 0.0206
20 Farmington 46,457 7.7% $236,143 $61,388 $980 0.0344
21 Las Cruces 111,273 7.5% $281,919 $51,013 $907 0.0611
22 Clovis 38,453 8.4% $156,608 $52,983 $932 0.0303
23 Tucumcari 5,206 4.4% $75,709 $34,424 $672 0.0096
24 Taos 6,458 8.9% $454,642 $40,185 $953 0.0725
25 Lovington 11,495 8.4% $146,559 $70,029 $932 0.0216
26 Sunland Park 16,773 1.8% $211,033 $45,545 $718 0.0118
27 Roswell 48,035 5.4% $140,780 $48,298 $855 0.0383
28 Las Vegas 13,194 7.9% $186,356 $39,558 $690 0.0361
29 Gallup 21,672 3.9% $194,750 $58,358 $838 0.0622
30 Hobbs 39,782 7.4% $173,086 $63,804 $1,067 0.0566
31 Deming 14,756 7.5% $130,288 $33,548 $538 0.0532
32 Anthony 8,708 11.3% $218,443 $27,406 $591 0.0082
33 Belen 7,367 8.0% $244,505 $38,838 $831 0.0563

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.