5 Worst Places to Live in New Mexico

New Mexico, with its expansive deserts, dramatic mountains, and rich blend of cultures, attracts those seeking unique landscapes and vibrant communities. It’s rightfully called the “Land of Enchantment.” However, like any state, New Mexico has locations that may present challenges for certain individuals or families. This article explores five places you should carefully consider before deciding to settle down in New Mexico.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Place to Live in New Mexico

Before delving into specific locations, it’s vital to understand what makes a place livable for you:

  • Crime Rates: Sadly, some New Mexico cities struggle with higher crime rates than the national average. Safety is a major concern when relocating.
  • Job Market and Economy: Finding gainful employment that aligns with your skills is crucial. Economic conditions vary greatly from town to town in New Mexico.
  • Cost of Living: Housing, groceries, and healthcare costs fluctuate throughout the state. Understanding affordability is key.
  • Educational Opportunities: If you have children, the quality of schools will be a major deciding factor.
  • Amenities and Infrastructure: Access to healthcare, grocery stores, recreational activities, and other basic needs shouldn’t be overlooked.

5 Places to Consider Before Moving to New Mexico

1. Gallup

  • Source: This is the Worst City to Live in New Mexico – 24/7 Wall St.: https://247wallst.com/special-report/2016/06/28/the-worst-cities-to-live-in/
  • Concerns: Gallup frequently appears on lists of New Mexico’s cities with the highest rates of violent crime. This can generate a sense of unease for residents. Additionally, residents express concerns about limited options for fresh produce and recreational facilities. The unemployment rate in Gallup also tends to exceed the national average, making financial security a potential worry.

2. Española

  • Source: Here Are The 10 Most Dangerous Towns In New Mexico To Live In – OnlyInYourState: https://www.travelsafe-abroad.com/most-dangerous-cities-in-new-mexico/
  • Concerns: Española has, unfortunately, seen a worrisome rise in violent crime in recent years. Additionally, parents moving to the area may not be satisfied with the quality of the public school system. Española also faces economic challenges, with limited job possibilities in certain fields and a high poverty rate.

3. Artesia

  • Source: Here Are The 10 Most Dangerous Towns In New Mexico To Live In – OnlyInYourState: https://www.travelsafe-abroad.com/most-dangerous-cities-in-new-mexico/
  • Concerns: While property crime is on a downward trend in Artesia, rates of violent crime are climbing. The job market in Artesia may present hurdles, as opportunities can be limited depending on your area of expertise. Its remote location, far from major cities, could feel isolating for some.

4. Sunland Park

  • Source: https://www.safewise.com/blog/safest-cities-new-mexico/
  • Concerns: Sunland Park has a crime rate exceeding the national average. For families, the quality of public education can be a concern. As a border town, Sunland Park has unique dynamics related to border crossings and potential traffic that might not suit everyone.

5. Clayton

  • Source: https://www.safewise.com/blog/safest-cities-new-mexico/
  • Concerns: Limited amenities could be a major drawback in Clayton. Residents might need to drive considerable distances for groceries, healthcare, or entertainment. Job opportunities can be scarce, making it potentially difficult to find work locally. Clayton’s remoteness is a major factor; some might find the isolation difficult.

Important Considerations

  • Not Definitive: This list is not meant to be a final judgment, but a starting point for your own research.
  • Diversity: New Mexico is incredibly diverse; each town has something unique to offer.
  • Prioritize Your Needs: What’s a deal-breaker for one person might not be for another. Consider your personal must-haves.
  • Potential Can Be Found: Every town has its positives, and some “challenged” areas have passionate communities working for improvement.


New Mexico is a state with much to offer potential residents – stunning scenery, a unique cultural experience, and the warmth of its people. However, it’s important to be aware that not all cities within the state are created equal. Issues with crime rates, limited job opportunities, or lack of amenities do exist in certain locations.

By carefully evaluating the factors that matter most to you – safety, employment prospects, educational quality, cost of living, and access to the things you enjoy – you can make a well-informed choice about where to settle in New Mexico. It’s a beautiful state, but finding the right fit will maximize your chances of living a happy and fulfilling life here.

Additional Resources

To help in your decision-making, here are some valuable websites to explore:

A Final Note

Choosing a place to live is a big decision. Remember, where one person sees challenges, another sees an opportunity to make a difference. New Mexico has a way of getting under your skin; the enchantment is real! With careful research and a realistic perspective, you can find a place in New Mexico that becomes the home you’ve always wanted.

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MBS Staff
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