Best Places to Live in New Mexico (2012)

This article, the forty-third in a 50-state series, ranks the best places to live in New Mexico based on three criteria: (1) median household income (adjusted for cost of living); (2) educational attainment (% of residents 25 years and over who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher); and (3) property crime rates per 1,000 residents (burglary and automobile thefts). For purposes of these rankings, “places” are incorporated municipalities and census-designated places (CDP) with populations greater than 2,000–more than half of New Mexico’s communites are CDP.

Among the ten best places to live in New Mexico, five are suburbs of Albuquerque, three are suburbs of Santa Fe, and two are suburbs of Las Cruces.. By county, eight of the ten best places to live in New Mexico are located in either Santa Fe, Sandoval, Dona Ana, or Los Alamos counties, and the remaining two are located in Bernalillo and Valencia counties, respectively.

After reading “Best Places to Live in New Mexico (2012),” return to this link to read “Largest Cities in New Mexico (2012).” A collection of similar articles for the remaining 49 states can be found at these links: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

For the culmination of the 50-state series, read “Best Places to Live in America (2011).”

1. Best Places to Live in New Mexico (2012) – White Rock, NM (Los Alamos County)

Population: 6,244

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $136,566
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 60.7%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 2.16*

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Santa Fe, NM: 33 miles SE
Albuquerque, NM: 95 miles SSW

2. Best Places to Live in New Mexico (2012) – Los Alamos, NM (Los Alamos County)

Population: 11,928

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $101,371
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 66.3%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 2.16*

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Santa Fe, NM: 36 miles SE
Albuquerque, NM: 97 miles SSW

3. Best Places to Live in New Mexico (2012) – Eldorado at Santa Fe, NM (Santa Fe County)

Population: 5,973

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $82,170
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 67.2%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 5.37*

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Santa Fe, NM: 13 miles N
Albuquerque, NM: 69 miles SW

4. Best Places to Live in New Mexico (2012) – Corrales, NM (Sandoval County)

Population: 7,824

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $93,845
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 52.0%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 5.1

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Santa Fe, NM: 55 miles NE
Albuquerque, NM: 13 miles SSW

5. Best Places to Live in New Mexico (2012) – Placitas, NM (Sandoval County)

Population: 3,751

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $83,668
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 50.2%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 1.07

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Santa Fe, NM: 51 miles NE
Albuquerque, NM: 25 miles SSW

6. Best Places to Live in New Mexico (2012) – Mesilla, NM (Dona Ana County)

Population: 2,799

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $56,808
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 47.9%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 3.01*

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Santa Fe, NM: 293 miles N
Las Cruces, NM: 5 miles NNE

7. Best Places to Live in New Mexico (2012) – Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM (Bernalillo County)

Population: 5,537

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $48,903
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 40.7%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 1.96

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Santa Fe, NM: 59 miles NE
Albuquerque, NM: 6 miles S

8. Best Places to Live in New Mexico (2012) – Bosque Farms, NM (Valencia County)

Population: 4,034

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $65,926
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 29.6%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 5.4

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Santa Fe, NM: 80 miles NE
Albuquerque, NM: 19 miles NNE

9. Best Places to Live in New Mexico (2012) – Santa Teresa, NM (Dona Ana County)

Population: 4,339

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $58,657
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 30.4%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 3.01*

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Santa Fe, NM: 322 miles N
Las Cruces, NM: 40 miles N

10. Best Places to Live in New Mexico (2012) – Edgewood, NM (Santa Fe County)

Population: 2,800

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $58,368
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 34.9%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 6.3

Distance to Familiar Cities:

Santa Fe, NM: 58 miles NNE
Albuquerque, NM: 30 miles W

Source(s):

“All Cities in New Mexico,” City-Data.com
” American Community Survey ,” U.S. Census Bureau
” American Fact Finder ,” U.S. Census Bureau
“Uniform Crime Report,” Federal Bureau of Investigation