The State of Safety in New Mexico 2022

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

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.

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

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%).

Pictogram showing the percentage of state residents that are concerned about their safety on a daily basis, as well as which type of crime they are concerned about the most, and which crimes they have experienced within the past 12 months. Crimes include violent crime, property crime, package theft and gun violence.

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.

Bar chart showing percentages of how concerned state residents are about crime compared to the national averages for violent crime, property crime, package theft and gun violence.

Image: SafeWise

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.
Line graph of violent and property crime rates over the past three years in the state compared to national crime rates per 1,000 residents for violent crime, property crime, package theft and gun violence.

Image: SafeWise

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.

Albuquerque
  • Circle Population
    Population
    562,065
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $52,911
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    13.4, 13.5, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    50.1, N/A, N/A
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Carlsbad
  • Circle Population
    Population
    30,233
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $69,193
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    6.4, N/A, 5.1
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    34.4, N/A, 28.9
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Farmington
  • Circle Population
    Population
    44,191
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $54,480
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    12.0, N/A, 13.1
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    32.7, N/A, 39.0
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Gallup, New Mexico
Gallup
  • Circle Population
    Population
    21,460
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $48,065
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    17.8, 19.9, 15.4
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    42.5, 63.7, 68.9
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Las Vegas
  • Circle Population
    Population
    12,799
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $26,561
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    4.4, N/A, 8.5
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    13.8, N/A, 34.9
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Sunland Park, NM map
Sunland Park
  • Circle Population
    Population
    18,437
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $27,266
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    5.2, 3.6, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    6.2, 10.4, N/A
  • Info
    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

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Compare the best home security systems

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Best overall$599.00
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Amazon,
Google,
Z-Wave
Budget pick$245.00
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Google
Quality DIY pick$129.00
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Z-Wave
Most experienced$0.00
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*Amazon.com price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.

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Find the safest cities in each state

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Related articles on SafeWise


Sources

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.

Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past eight. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month poring over crime reports and spotting trends. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her expert advice and analysis in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, NPR, HGTV, MSN, Reader's Digest, Real Simple, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips.

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