The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the seventh annual Safest Cities report.
New Mexico’s 20 Safest Cities of 2021
Here are the 10 safest cities in New Mexico for 2021
6. Rio Rancho
7. Sunland Park
8. Truth or Consequences
10. Bosque Farms
See if your city made the full list.
In our 2021 State of Safety survey, 41% of New Mexico residents expressed high concerns for their personal safety on a daily basis—lower than the US average of 47%. Such a relatively low level of concern doesn't quite mesh with the state's above-average crime rates, though the same respondents reported feeling less safe in their state than any other group of Americans.
Still, reports of personal experiences with crimes and violence are down compared to last year, which aligns with downward-trending crime rates. The top 10 safest cities in the Land of Enchantment have lower crime rates than the state, and the majority have lower rates compared to the nation at large.
2021 New Mexico crime rates
New Mexico's violent crime rate saw a decrease in the last year, dropping from 8.6 crimes per 1,000 people to 8.3. The state's property crime rate saw a larger drop from 34.2 per 1,000 to 31.1.
Within the Mountain region, New Mexico had the highest rates of both violent and property crime. The next highest violent crime rate in the region was Nevada (4.9) while the next highest property crime rate was Colorado (25.9).
New Mexico has some of the highest crime rates in the US. Among all 50 states, New Mexico had the second-highest violent crime rate (behind Alaska) and the second-highest property crime rate (behind Louisiana).
Level of concern and experience with crime in New Mexico
Compared to last year's survey, New Mexicans were less frequently concerned for their safety. This is possibly related to a big decrease in personal experiences with violent crimes, property crimes, and gun violence in the last 12 months. While all three experience metrics saw big improvements, the most notable was a 42% drop in encounters with property crime.
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 2021 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 fewer murders, rapes, and robberies per capita 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 last 12 months—down from 14% last year—the US average is 10%.
- Murder is the least-common violent crime in the Land of Enchantment, making up 1% of violent crimes (US 1%)—prevalence in the state's 10 safest cities matched the state average.
- Rape makes up 7% of violent crimes in New Mexico (US 8%), but the 10 safest cities have a higher number of instances at 12%.
- 44% of survey participants report using some form of personal protection like pepper spray—well above the US average (34%).
- 32% of New Mexicans say their personal safety has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic compared to 44% of Americans.
Attitudes about police and 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 past 12 months, down from 12% last year.
- There were 5 mass shootings in New Mexico in 2019 and 3 in 2020.
- 38% of New Mexicans worry about police violence daily—close to the US average of 40%.
- 43% of New Mexico residents reported having confidence in law enforcement. This is one of the lowest levels in the nation, which averages 56%—only New York (38%) and Washington (40%) reported less confidence in law enforcement.
- There were 41 officer-involved shootings in 2020, a 21% increase over 34 in 2019.
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 lower overall property crime rate. Still, the burglary rate in New Mexico is notably higher than the national average, even in the safest cities.
- A smaller number of New Mexicans (19%) reported personal experiences with property crime—a 43% improvement over last year (33%).
- Burglary accounts for 22% of all property crimes in New Mexico (the 10 safest cities also average 22%), 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 62% 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%.
A closer look at 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.
- Milan claimed the number 1 spot this year from Corrales, which held the title for 3 years—this is Milan's first time in the top 10.
- 70% of the safest cities from last year made the list, but only 2 increased their rankings—Raton and Truth or Consequences.
- 3 cities made the list for the first time—Milan, Eunice, and Sunland Park.
- Rio Rancho, New Mexico's third-largest city, is the largest city in the top 10. It’s unusual for such a large city to land in the top 10—8 of the safest cities have populations under 10,000.
- Eunice had the lowest violent crime rate in the state (0.3) and only a single violent crime this year, but the city had the highest property crime rate in the top 10.
- 90% of the safest cities reported fewer than 100 violent crimes.
- All of the safest cities beat the state violent crime rate (8.3) and 90% did better than the national rate (3.7).
- Milan had just 4 property crimes this year, achieving the lowest property crime rate in the state (1.1)—this is also lower than the violent crime rate in most New Mexico cities.
- 80% of the safest cities reported less than 100 total property crimes this year.
How we determined the safest cities
Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.
How to make a safe home anywhere
Didn't find your city in the top 10?
We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population. See how the remaining cities ranked in the list below.
NOTE: If you don’t see your city on the list, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2019.
VC per 1,000
PC per 1,000
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: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, “2019 Crime in the United States,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed November 18, 2020.
Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 6, 2021.
SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 6, 2021.
Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 15, 2021.
For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.