New Mexico is a beautiful state: sprawling desert landscapes break into rugged mountain ranges chalk full of snow-capped peaks, stark mesas and other unique geographical features. The cities of Albuquerque and Santa Fe are funky and offbeat, merging elements of indigenous cultures with counterculture iconoclasm. Unfortunately, New Mexico is not among the safest of U.S. states: its violent and property crime rates are well above the national averages. Yet, the “Land of Enchantment” has its share of safe communities in which to raise a family.
New Mexico’s safest town is Los Alamos, world famous for being the location of the Manhattan Project and the birthplace of the atomic bomb. Los Alamos’ violent crime rate of just over 1 reported incident per 1,000 and rate of 7.87 property crimes per 1,000 are excellent, well below both the state and national averages. Sunland Park (#2), located in Doña Ana County, is of similar size and boasts nearly as impressive low crime rates. Rio Rancho (#3), a city of 95,454, is the third largest in the state and logged a violent crime rate of just 2.25 reported incidents per 1,000 inhabitants.
1. LOS ALAMOS
2. SUNLAND PARK
3. RIO RANCHO
New Mexico's Safest Cities
|Rank||City||Population||Violent crime||Property crime||Violent per 1,000||Property per 1,000|
To identify the safest cities in New Mexico, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 10,000.
The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 1,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 1.5 of the total (due to their severity) than property crimes.