New Mexico isn’t about to let rising crime rates take the magic from the Land of Enchantment. With election season just around the corner, Republicans and Democrats are working towards bipartisan solutions. As of early 2018, several new measures are making their way through the legislature and offer options to better support police on the street and prevent criminals from repeating crimes after they’re released.  

Rising crime rates might not be telling the whole story, though. Crime rates in New Mexico are still lower than previous decades, and the jump in numbers is most likely due to changes in the way the state’s largest city, Albuquerque, processes criminal cases. In a September 2017 interview, Albuquerque police chief, Gordon Eden, said, “Quite frankly, what I think happened is there were just too many decisions being made in the criminal justice system and that has created a real perfect storm for our state and for the 2nd judicial district.” Just because Albuquerque saw a spike doesn’t mean the entire state is in trouble.

Not surprisingly, the FBI’s most recent crime report shows that the strongest and safest cities in New Mexico are some of its smallest communities. While well-known cities like Roswell and Santa Fe also made our list, it’s communities like Los Alamos and Sunland Park that are keeping the southwestern magic alive. Both cities boast rates of property crime (the most common crimes) that are more than 70% lower than the national average.

New Mexico’s second largest city, Las Cruces, is also finding ways to combat rising crime rates. Even with a population of more than 100,000, the city managed to reduce its crime rate by 6% in 2016.1 This is due in large part to the way law enforcement and the community have been able to partner together in recent years to promote public safety.

Cities all over New Mexico are coming together to curb crime rates. For more information and resources on staying safe, check out our New Mexico Safety Directory, where you’ll find tips on emergency preparedness, crime prevention, and more. 

The 20 Safest Cities in New Mexico

1. Corrales

Population: 8,530
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.82
Property crimes per 1,000: 11.02
Total crime: 7.45% violent, 92.55% property

2. Los Alamos

Population: 17,667
Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.02
Property crimes per 1,000: 7.87
Total crime: 12.95% violent, 87.05% property

3. Sunland Park

Population: 16,301
Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.47
Property crimes per 1,000: 7.61
Total crime: 19.35% violent, 80.65% property

4. Lovington

Population: 11,970
Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.50
Property crimes per 1,000: 26.65
Total crime: 5.64% violent, 94.36% property

5. Raton

Population: 6,058
Violent crimes per 1,000: 2.15
Property crimes per 1,000: 31.53
Total crime: 6.81% violent, 93.19% property

6. Rio Rancho

Population: 95,454
Violent crimes per 1,000: 2.25
Property crimes per 1,000: 23.57
Total crime: 9.56% violent, 90.44% property

7. Las Cruces

Population: 102,349
Violent crimes per 1,000: 2.45
Property crimes per 1,000: 46.78
Total crime: 5.24% violent, 94.76% property

8. Ruidoso

Population: 7,683
Violent crimes per 1,000: 2.73
Property crimes per 1,000: 27.46
Total crime: 9.95% violent, 90.05% property

9. Truth or Consequences

Population: 6,000
Violent crimes per 1,000: 3.67
Property crimes per 1,000: 34.67
Total crime: 10.58% violent, 89.42% property

10. Alamogordo

Population: 30,768
Violent crimes per 1,000: 3.74
Property crimes per 1,000: 32.83
Total crime: 11.39% violent, 88.61% property

11. Santa Fe

Population: 84,663
Violent crimes per 1,000: 3.83
Property crimes per 1,000: 38.20
Total crime: 10.02% violent, 89.98% property

12. Portales

Population: 11,921
Violent crimes per 1,000: 4.19
Property crimes per 1,000: 39.59
Total crime: 10.59% violent, 89.41% property

13. Grants

Population: 9,245
Violent crimes per 1,000: 4.22
Property crimes per 1,000: 26.07
Total crime: 16.18% violent, 83.82% property

14. Carlsbad

Population: 29,538
Violent crimes per 1,000: 4.50
Property crimes per 1,000: 39.17
Total crime: 11.50% violent, 88.50% property

15. Bloomfield

Population: 7,163
Violent crimes per 1,000: 5.58
Property crimes per 1,000: 25.83
Total crime: 21.62% violent, 78.38% property

16. Clovis

Population: 39,725
Violent crimes per 1,000: 5.61
Property crimes per 1,000: 60.04
Total crime: 9.35% violent, 90.65% property

17. Hobbs

Population: 39,349
Violent crimes per 1,000: 5.62
Property crimes per 1,000: 48.16
Total crime: 11.66% violent, 88.34% property

18. Aztec

Population: 6,031
Violent crimes per 1,000: 5.80
Property crimes per 1,000: 30.18
Total crime: 19.23% violent, 80.77% property

19. Deming

Population: 14,457
Violent crimes per 1,000: 6.02
Property crimes per 1,000: 43.09
Total crime: 13.96% violent, 86.04% property

20. Roswell

Population: 48,556
Violent crimes per 1,000: 6.40
Property crimes per 1,000: 43.91
Total crime: 14.59% violent, 85.41% property

How We Chose the Safest Cities in New Mexico

To identify the twenty safest cities in New Mexico, we reviewed the 2016 FBI crime report statistics and population data. Cities that fell below identified population thresholds or that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI were excluded from the ranking system.

Our evaluation is based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape,

and robbery) in each city. If there was a tie, we also factored in the number of property crimes (burglary,arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft). To level the playing field, we calculated the rate of crimes per 1,000 people in each city. This makes it easier to directly compare the likelihood of these crimes occurring in cities with vastly different populations.

Learn more about how we rank our Safest Cities Reports.

How Safe Is Your Home?

Wherever you live, feeling safe in your home can bring greater peace of mind and happiness. Whether your city made our list or not, we recommend adding extra security to your home with monitored security services provided by the nation’s leading home security providers.

To learn more about the home security options available to you, check out SafeWise’s picks for Best Home Security Systems of 2018.

If you would like to contact a SafeWise Safest Cities Analyst, please email info@safewise.com.


1. Las Cruces Sun News, “FBI: Rates of Violent and Property Crime down in Las Cruces, Doña Ana County

Written by Laura E. Hilton

Laura is a writer, teacher, and mother based out of Utah. She is passionate about making and maintaining strong, safe, healthy communities. To learn more, visit her website at lauraehilton.com. Learn more

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