New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment—and for good reason. It’s one of the most culturally unique and naturally beautiful states in our country, which may seem like reason enough to move there.
Before you start packing your bags, you’ll probably want to know just which places in this enchanting land will be best for you and your family. There’s cost to consider, school districts, and, most importantly, safety.
Here at the Movoto Real Estate
Blog, we’re going to help you narrow down your choices a bit, particularly in terms of this latter (and many would say most important) factor.
Here are the 10 safest places in New Mexico:
1. Village of Corrales
2. CDP of Los Alamos
3. City of Alamogordo
4. City of Lovington
5. City of Raton
6. City of Aztec
7. City of Sunland Park
8. City of Rio Rancho
9. City of Las Vegas
10. City of Deming
Keep reading to find out how we came up with this order and just what makes these 10 places safer than the rest.
How We Created This Ranking
First, we created a list of all of the largest places in New Mexico, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Then we used the 2012 FBI Uniform Crime Report
to collect crime data on each place for the following criteria:
- Vehicle theft
We divided these crimes into four categories:
- Violent crimes
- Property crimes
- Total crimes
Once we eliminated all the places that didn’t report crime data that year, we had a total of 25 to look at.
We calculated the crime rates for each place per 100,000 people in order to fairly compare places with varying population sizes. Then, we ranked each place in each category from one to 25, with the lower the score, the safer the place.
We weighted each category so that murders, violent crimes, and property crimes each accounted for 30 percent of the overall score, while total crimes made up 10 percent.
Finally, we averaged these adjusted rankings into one overall Big Deal Score
, where the lowest score was our safest place.
To see a complete list of how each place ranked, you can head to the end of the post. Next, we’ll take a closer look at each of our top 10, starting with our safest place.
Source: Flickr user Mike Pedroncelli
In 2012, Corrales had the second lowest number of overall crime, property crime, and violent crime.
To be more specific, it had just 694 total crimes per 100,000 people, which included 635 property crimes and 59 violent crimes.
Of those property crimes, there were 12 vehicle thefts, 423 thefts, and 200 burglaries. Of the violent crimes, all 59 were assaults (there were no murders).
With such low numbers, residents in Corrales only had a 1 in 144 chance of being the victim of a crime.
2. Los Alamos
Source: Flickr user Larry Lamsa
Residents in Los Alamos had the lowest chance anywhere in the state of being the victim of a crime at 1 in 192. That’s because with just 520 total crimes per 100,000 people, it had the lowest number of crimes.
Of these crimes, 197 were property crimes and 323 were violent crimes. This relatively high number of violent crimes, as compared to property crimes, was the only reason Los Alamos didn’t take the No. 1 spot on our list.
Even so, compared to many places in the state with over 1,000 (or even in the case of Espanola, 2,000) violent crimes per 100,000 people, Los Alamos’ rate of violence was still very low.
Source: Flickr user Nicolas
This city is not just family friendly for its many parks, trails, zoo, or library, but for the safety underlying it all as well.
With a total of 2,888 total crimes per 100,000 people in 2012, made up of 2,601 property crimes and 287 violent crimes, Alamogordo came in at No. 6 in each of these three categories.
The reason Alamogordo ranked so well, though, was because of its No. 1 ranking (tied with several others in our top 10) for lack of murders. Of the violent crimes committed in 2012, there were zero murders, 13 rapes, 25 robberies, and 249 assaults per 100,000 people.
Source: Flickr user Bryan Swisher
This Lea County city would certainly be awarded points for the safest-sounding place on our list, but, even as it is, this loving city came in at No. 4, primarily for its low number of property crimes.
In 2012, Lovington had just 2,601 property crimes per 100,000 people, which was the fourth lowest number on our list. Additionally, there were 404 violent crimes, for a total of 2,422 crimes per 100,000 people for the entire year.
Of those property crimes, 179 were vehicle thefts, 960 were thefts, and 879 were burglaries per 100,000. Of the violent crimes, there were no murders, 45 rapes, 36 robberies, and 323 assaults per 100,000.
Source: Flickr user Loco Steve
The Colfax County city of Raton is known as a good place for families, largely because of its low crime rate.
In 2012, Raton had just 132 violent crimes per 100,000 people, the third lowest in the category. Of those, none were murders, 15 were rapes, 44 were burglaries, and 73 were assaults.
Additionally, Raton had 4,108 property crimes per 100,000 people. This may sound like a lot, but compared to places like Taos and Gallup—where there were 8,039 and 8,697 respectively—Raton was very safe.
Source: City of Aztec
The small city of Aztec came in high on our list for a low number of crimes overall.
It ranked eighth safest in three out of four categories (total crime, property crime, and violent crime) and tied for safest in the category of murder.
To be more specific, in 2012, Aztec had 3,325 crimes per 100,000, including 2,965 property crimes, 360 violent crimes, none of which were murders.
To be more specific still, those property crimes were made up of 165 vehicle thefts, 2,156 thefts, and 644 burglaries per 100,000, while the 360 violent crimes were comprise of no murders, 75 rapes, 30 robberies, and 255 assaults per 100,000.
7. Sunland Park
Source: Wikimedia user B575
Named for the Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino, this community may not initially sound like a safe haven for families, but with the lowest number of violent crimes in the state, and some of the fewest property crimes as well, it really was.
In 2012, Sunland Park had just 1,351 property crimes and 42 violent crimes per 100,000 people. Unfortunately, of those, seven were murders, which is why Sunland Park did not rank higher on our list.
Seven is certainly more than any other place in our top 10, but compared to Taos, where there were five times as many murders per 100,000 people, Sunland Park is still looking pretty safe.
8. Rio Rancho
Source: City of Rio Rancho
With some of the lowest numbers of both property and violent crimes in the state, it’s no wonder Rio Rancho is growing so rapidly.
Specifically, Rio Rancho had just 2,353 crimes per 100,000 people in 2012, which included 2,128 property crimes and 225 violent crimes.
Unfortunately, among those violent crimes there were two murders per 100,000 people, which bumped it down to eighth on our list. That’s still better than 17 other places in the state, however.
9. Las Vegas
Source: John Aragon
In 2012, this much smaller Vegas had the seventh lowest number of property crimes in the state at just 2,918 per 100,000 people.
Even though it did have a rather high number of violent crimes (914 per 100,000 people, ranking it 20th in this category), none of those included murder, and the overall number of crimes for the year was still low enough to rank Las Vegas ninth in that category.
Source: Flickr user Paul L. McCord, Jr.
This Luna County city had the 13th lowest number of total crimes in 2012, with just 4,891 per 100,000 people. Of those, there were 4,324 property crimes and 567 violent crimes, none of which were murders.
These may not sound like small numbers, especially compared to some of the other places in our top 10, but when you consider that many of the places in the state had well over 6,000, 7,000—or, in the cases of both Gallup and Espanola, over 10,000 and 11,000 total crimes, respectively—it’s clear why Deming made the cut.
Enchanting And Safe
New Mexico certainly seems to have it all. It’s beautiful, culturally unique, and, above all else, safe—especially in these 10 places.
If you’re interested in moving to one of these safe places, just get in touch with us. In addition to creating rankings like this one, we help people move to safer, more exciting
, or just all around better
places across the country.
We hear New Mexico is just, well, enchanting this time of year.