The SafeWise team is pleased to release the fourth annual State of Safety report.
The State of Safety in New Mexico 2022
Attitudes about crime and safety vary wildly in New Mexico. Only 4 in 10 New Mexico residents say they worry about their safety every day, but even fewer think New Mexico is a safe place to live. Just 3 in 10 New Mexicans feel safe calling New Mexico home, putting The Land of Enchantment in a tie with Louisiana for the state where people feel least safe overall.
In this report
2022 New Mexico crime rates
New Mexico continues to have higher-than-average crime rates across the board, but the good news is that both property and violent crime rates are declining year over year. Violent crime fell from 8.2 incidents per 1,000 people to 7.8—but that still gives New Mexico the second-highest violent crime rate in the US, behind Alaska with 8.4 incidents per 1,000.
Property crime fell from 31.8 incidents per 1,000 people to 28.4. New Mexico is one of just a dozen states to see declines in both violent and property crime, but fewer cities reporting crime data to the FBI may also be a factor.
Level of concern in New Mexico
It’s surprising to see such low concern about crime and safety in a state with such high crime rates. New Mexicans are about 13% less worried for their safety every day than most Americans. Despite lower levels of daily concern, New Mexico residents are among the most likely in the US to use a security system to protect their home.
Experience with crime in New Mexico
State of Safety survey respondents told us they experienced less violent crimes, property crimes, and gun violence in the 12 months prior to the survey. While all three experience metrics saw big improvements, the most notable was a 42% drop in encounters with property crime.
Property crime and package theft are the only areas where New Mexico exceeded nationwide averages for crime experience. Statewide, 19% of respondents reported a personal experience with property crime compared to 18% across the US.
Package theft was by far the most-experienced crime, with 29% of respondents targeted by porch pirates compared to 20% nationwide. New Mexico tied with Minnesota’s property crime rate and was second only to New York (30%).
Image: SafeWise. Past 12 months=12 months prior to survey.
Crime concerns in New Mexico
We asked New Mexico residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if New Mexico residents are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.
View the complete 2022 State of Safety report.
Violent crime in New Mexico: Fear vs. reality
New Mexico's high violent crime rate might contribute to residents feeling less safe in their state than other Americans. Still, the state had proportionately fewer murders, rapes, and robberies than the national average—on top of a lower overall violent crime rate than last year.
- 34% of people in New Mexico reported feeling safe in their state compared to 55% of Americans—this is tied with Louisiana for the lowest in the nation.
- 9% of New Mexicans reported having a personal experience with violent crime in the 12 months prior to the survey—down from 14% the previous year. The US average is 10%.
- Violent crime dropped 5%, from 8.2 incidents per 1,000 to 7.8.
- Aggravated assault is the most common violent crime reported, accounting for 79% of all violent crime in New Mexico—9 percentage points higher than the national average.
- 44% of survey participants report using some form of personal protection—well above the US average (34%). Pocket knives and self-defense knives were named most often as the personal safety device carried.
- 32% of New Mexicans say their personal safety has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic compared to 44% of Americans.
Attitudes about gun violence in New Mexico
- 56% of New Mexico respondents named gun violence as a top safety concern—slightly above the US average of 53%.
- 7% of residents reported experiencing gun violence in the 12 months prior to the survey, down from 12% in our previous report.
- Mass shooting incidents declined for the second year in a row, dropping 67% from 3 incidents in 2020 to 1 in 2021.
- Firearms are the third-most-common method used for both personal safety and property protection.
Property crime in New Mexico: Fear vs. reality
New Mexicans' personal experiences with property crime went down year over year, which reflects the state's above-average adoption of security systems and its declining property crime rate. Still, the burglary rate in New Mexico is notably higher than the national average.
- A smaller number of New Mexicans (19%) reported personal experiences with property crime—a 42% improvement over the previous year (33%).
- Burglary accounts for 23% of all property crimes in New Mexico , which is much higher than the national rate of 16%.
- 29% of participants reported experiencing package theft, putting New Mexico well above the US average of 20%.
- 72% of people in The Land of Enchantment use some form of property protection. This is much higher than the 60% national average.
- The top form of property protection in New Mexico this year was security systems with 39% of survey participants using them. This is higher than the national average of 25%.
- 21% of respondents say the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the security of their property—this is lower than the US average of 29%.
The safest cities in New Mexico
For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.
We couldn’t rank the safest cities in New Mexico this year due to limited information reported to the FBI. Only six cities provided data to the FBI in 2019 (the most recent year for which data is available). Crime rates for those cities are detailed below.
How we determined the safest cities
Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.
How to make a safe home anywhere
Whether your city made our list or not, we encourage everyone to be proactive about home security. One of the best ways to stop a burglary before it happens is to add a home security system.
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Find the safest cities in each state
Click on the state image or dropdown menu below to check out the safest cities for each state.
Related articles on SafeWise
FBI: Crime Data Explorer, Accessed March 8, 2022.
US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed January 24, 2022.
Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 24, 2022.
SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 8, 2022.
Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 24, 2022.
Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 8, 2022.
Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 8, 2022.
For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.