The State of Safety in New Mexico 2023

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The SafeWise team is pleased to release the fifth annual State of Safety report.

Attitudes about crime and safety vary wildly in New Mexico. According to our State of Safety survey, 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 third place for where people feel least safe overall.

In this report

2022 New Mexico crime rates

New Mexico didn't provide enough data to the FBI this year so we're unable to update state crime rates. Here's the latest data available, from 2022:

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.

For better crime reporting in New Mexico in the future, we recommend telling local lawmakers and law enforcement agencies that this information matters to you.

Bar chart of violent and property crime rates per 1,000 people where the national average is 4.0 violent crimes per 1,000 people and 19.6 property crimes per 1,000 people.

Image: SafeWise

Violent crime in New Mexico: Fear vs. reality

New Mexicans have the eighth-highest level of concern about violent crime in the nation with 58% of our State of Survey respondents indicating they worry about it on a daily basis. Concern about gun violence is just a tad lower with 57% of the population reporting daily concern.

  • 31% of people in New Mexico reported feeling safe in their state compared to 50% of Americans. Only the residents of Illinois and New York feel less safe in their states.
  • 15% of New Mexicans reported having a personal experience with violent crime in the 12 months prior to our survey, which matches the national average but represents an increase of 200% year over year for New Mexico.
  • 42% of survey participants report using some form of personal protection— above the US average of 39%. Pepper spray was the most popular personal safety device carried.
  • 48% 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

  • 57% of New Mexico respondents named gun violence as a top safety concern—well above the US average of 47%.
  • 16% of residents reported experiencing gun violence in the 12 months prior to the survey, up from 5% in our previous report.
  • Mass shooting incidents increased 300% in New Mexico during the 2023 reporting year, rising from 1 to 4.
  • Firearms are the third-most common method used for both personal safety and property protection in New Mexico.

Property crime in New Mexico: Fear vs. reality

New Mexicans' personal experiences with property crime increased year over year to 39%, which is the second-highest percentage in the nation. With that said, 41% of New Mexicans said they increased their security or safety measures in the 12 months prior to the survey, and people in New Mexico were more likely to use all types of property protection compared to the average American.

  • Property crime experiences increased by 105% year-over-year in New Mexico.
  • 39% of New Mexicans experienced package theft in the 12 months prior to our survey, which is the eighth-highest rate in the nation and represents an increase of 70% year over year.
  • 46% of survey respondents said they use security cameras. Guard dogs were the second-most popular option for protecting property in New Mexico (38%). 
  • Doorbell cameras are the most popular form of package theft protection among New Mexico residents.

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Crime concerns in New Mexico

We asked New Mexico residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if New Mexicans are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.

Image: SafeWise

View the complete 2023 State of Safety report.

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 2021 (the most recent year for which data is available). Crime rates for those cities are detailed below.

Albuquerque
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    Population
    564,147
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    Median Income
    $56,366
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    VC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    13.9, 13.4, N/A
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    PC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    43.5, 50.1, N/A
  • bullet
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Artesia
  • bullet
    Population
    12,286
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    Median Income
    $61,582
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    VC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    2.4, N/A, 5.3
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    PC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    18.4, N/A, 30.4
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    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Aztec, New Mexico
Aztec
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    Population
    6,289
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    Median Income
    $46,509
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    VC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    3.5, 4.0, N/A
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    PC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    12.1, 15.8, N/A
  • bullet
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Carlsbad
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    Population
    30,029
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    Median Income
    $70,745
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    VC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    5.0, 6.4, N/A
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    PC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    27.1, 34.4, N/A
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    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Farmington
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    Population
    43,973
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    Median Income
    $56,045
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    VC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    11.3, 12.0, N/A
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    PC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    24.9, 32.7, N/A
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    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Sunland Park, NM map
Sunland Park
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    Population
    18,920
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    Median Income
    $34,639
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    VC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    3.9, 5.2, 3.6
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    PC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    5.5, 6.2, 10.4
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    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime

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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Get a home security system

Find out which companies we recommend for every budget and lifestyle in our roundup of the Best Home Security Systems—and learn the basics with our guide on Everything You Need to Know About Home Security

Find security and safety resources in your area

Didn't find your city?

We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population as calculated using FBI data. To request a report of the remaining cities in your state email info@safewise.com with the subject line: Safest Cities Full Report.

NOTE: If your city is missing from our full report, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2021.

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


Endnotes and sources

FBI Crime Data Explorer, "Documents & Downloads." Accessed February 6, 2023.

  • 2021 and 2020 Crime in the United States Annual Reports
    • Offenses Known to Law Enforcement
  • 2021 NIBRS Estimation Tables

FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program, "Offenses Known to Law Enforcement [2019]." Accessed February 6, 2023.

Bureau of Justice Statistics, "National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)." Accessed February 6, 2023.

US Census Bureau, "2021: ACS 5-Year Estimates Subject Tables." Accessed February 6, 2023.

US Census Bureau, "2021: ACS 5-Year Estimates Detailed Tables." Accessed February 6, 2023.

SafeWise, "2022 State of Safety survey." Accessed February 6, 2023.

Gun Violence Archive, "General Methodology." Accessed February 6, 2023.

Gun Violence Archive, "Past Summary Ledgers." Accessed January 3, 2023.

Gun Violence Archive, "Congress."

  • 2022 totals: Accessed January 3, 2023.
  • 2021 and 2020 totals: Accessed December 19, 2022.
Cathy Habas
Written by
Cathy Habas
With over eight years of experience as a content writer, Cathy has a knack for untangling complex information. Her natural curiosity and ability to empathize help Cathy offer insightful, friendly advice. She believes in empowering readers who may not feel confident about a purchase, project, or topic. Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Indiana University Southeast and began her professional writing career immediately after graduation. She is a certified Safe Sleep Ambassador and has contributed to sites like Safety.com, Reviews.com, Hunker, and Thumbtack. Cathy’s pride and joy is her Appaloosa “Chacos.” She also likes to crochet while watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix.

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