Moving to New Mexico? Relocation Guide for 2021

This is a complete guide for Moving to New Mexico.
Get all the information you need to know about moving to New Mexico.

Is moving to New Mexico right for you?

If you’d like to live in an artistic city with various beautiful sceneries and landscapes that look like photos created on photoshop, moving to New Mexico will be right for you.

New Mexican culture is a blend of Spanish, Native American, Mexican and English influences making the state a multicultural hub.

If you enjoy ballooning, kayaking, cycling, horseback riding, rock climbing, and hiking, etc., moving to New Mexico is right for you.

Hippies love New Mexico and there are lots of fiestas and festivals to enjoy in the state.

If all of these sounds like what you’ll like to be a part of, we’ve curated key data about the state to help you make the right decision about moving to New Mexico.

Let’s jump right in!

Quick facts to know before moving to New Mexico

  • Renters make up 26.8% of the New Mexico population
  • The median home value in New Mexico is $193,200
  • The average annual pay for hourly rate jobs in New Mexico is $35,505 a year
  • The average hourly pay for hourly jobs in New Mexico is $17.07 an hour
  • New Mexico’s jobs have increased by 2.8% over the past year
  • Income tax in New Mexico ranges from 1.7% - 4.9%

How fast can you commute in New Mexico?

The average one-way commute time in New Mexico takes 21.8 minutes. The national average is 26.4 minutes. That means commuting time in New Mexico is shorter than the national average.

  • About 80.2% of people in New Mexico drive their own car alone
  • Up to 9.8% of people in New Mexico carpool with others
  • Around 4.8% of people in New Mexico work from home
  • Up to 1.1% of people in New Mexico take mass transit

How is the weather like in New Mexico?

If the weather is one of the key things you’d like to consider before making up your mind about moving to New Mexico, here’s a summary of the state’s weather:

  • New Mexico summer high in July is around 88 degrees
  • Winter low in New Mexico in January is around 20 degrees
  • New Mexico gets 15 inches of rain a year
  • Snow in New Mexico average 24 inches per year
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Top 10 Reasons to move to New Mexico

Hundreds of people move to New Mexico every year for several reasons. Since you’re considering moving to New Mexico, here are some of the reasons why the state is so appealing:

  • Affordable homes

    In New Mexico, the median home value is $193,200, which is much lower than the national average. This means, your chances of owning a home are higher in New Mexico than in the neighboring states. Even the median home rental is lower than the national average and you can rent a studio apartment in New Mexico for $597.

  • Growing job market

    New Mexico’s economy is driven by oil, gas production, energy, and tourism and most jobs are related to these sectors. In addition, construction, retail trade, healthcare, mining, and manufacturing are also prominent in the state. And the good news is that the state’s job market is looking up.

  • Low cost of living

    New Mexico records a low cost of living, which means, utilities, transportation, housing, healthcare, and groceries cost less than the national average.

  • Warm climate

    A big plus of New Mexico is its climate, which is mild, arid or semiarid, and continental. There is abundant sunshine, low relative humidity, and a relatively large annual and diurnal temperature range. The winters are not severe in New Mexico and adequate rainfall occurs across the state.

  • Beautiful nature

    New Mexico takes pride in its stunning mountain communities like Taos and quirky desert towns like Truth or Consequences. Volcanic rock formations, cave dwellings, and stark white dunes make us believe that we are taken to a different planet. The unparalleled natural beauty of New Mexico often makes us feel like a painting on a wide canvas.

  • Top-quality wines

    With a long history of wine production, New Mexico boasts of 60 wineries producing 900,000 US gallons (3,400,000 L) of wine annually, contributing millions of dollars to the state coffers. Some of the prominent wineries in the state include Acequia Vineyards & Winery, Gruet Winery, Matheson Wine Company, Black Mesa Winery, and St. Clair Winery. Multiple wine trails across the state are hosted to popularize different wines and their production processes to the public.

  • Unique culture and traditions

    New Mexican culture is a unique fusion of indigenous, Spanish, Hispanic, and American influences and this is visible in the festivals celebrated in the state. A strong Spanish flavor still exists here and exploring some of the fests in the state is the best way to feel it.

    Here’s a list of traditional festivals in New Mexico.

    • Santa Fe Opera
    • Roswell UFO Festival
    • Santa Fe Indian Market
    • Taos Winter Wine Festival
    • Gathering of Nations Pow Wow
    • Santa Fe International Folk Art Market
    • Hatch Chile Festival
    • Whole Enchilada Fiesta

  • Lots of entertainment and recreation options

    New Mexico is incredibly scenic and its landscapes are highly diverse. This complemented by the warm climate promises unlimited outdoor recreation options.

    Here is a list of natural wonders to explore in New Mexico:

    • Carlsbad Caverns National Park
    • White Sands National Monument
    • Bandelier National Monument
    • Petroglyph National Monument
    • Taos Pueblo
    • Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
    • Taos Ski Valley
    • Wheeler Peak Wilderness

  • Unique and delicious cuisines

    New Mexicans are serious about what they eat and this reflects in the cuisine, which is an amalgam of cultural influences. Often the cuisine in New Mexico is a unique blend of Hispanic and Pueblo recipes and though the names sound similar to Mexican, the dishes are not the same.

    Here is a list of some of the cuisines to relish in New Mexico

    • Green Chile Cheeseburgers
    • Carne Adovada
    • Stacked Red Chile Enchiladas with a Fried Egg
    • Huevos Rancheros
    • Blue Corn
    • Tamales
    • Chicharrones
    • Chicos
    • Posole
    • Calabacitas
    • Enchiladas

  • You’ll enjoy lots of outdoor activities

    With 300+ days of sunshine and tens of thousands of miles of public wilderness lands, “The Land of Enchantment” has got unlimited things to do outdoors. There is an adventure at every corner of the state and you can add hiking, skiing, cave exploring, and kayaking to your ‘to-do list’.

    We’ve compiled some of the best adventures to explore in New Mexico.

    • Explore Ancient Ruins in Pecos National Historic Park
    • Follow Scenic Trails at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument
    • Marvel at Volcanic Landscapes in Bandelier National Monumentli>
    • Go River Rafting on the River Grande
    • Soak in the Refreshing San Antonio Hot Springs
    • Roam the Cobblestone Streets of Old Town Albuquerque
    • Take Flight in a Hot Air Balloon in Albuquerque
    • Take a Step Back in Time at Petroglyph National Monument
    • Ride the Cable Cars at Sandia Peak Tramway
    • Climb New Mexico’s Highest Mountain at Wheeler Peak
    • Hop Aboard Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad
    • Hike Chaco Culture National Historical Park
    • Sled the Dunes at White Sands National Park
    • Go Underground at Carlsbad Caverns National Park
    • Experience Small-Town Charm in Silver City

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Pros and Cons of living in New Mexico

Is moving to New Mexico right for you or not? One of the easiest ways to figure out if moving to New Mexico is right for you or not is to consider the pros and cons of living in the city.

The Pros of living in New Mexico The Cons of living in New Mexico
Low cost of livingHigh crime rate
Unique and Historic presencePoverty and drugs
Flexible EnvironmentLess job opportunities
Low housing costLow quality of educationx
Unique culture and traditionsEthnic diversity
Historic sitesHigh crime rates
Beautiful sceneryPoor roads and traffic
Affordable educationPoverty
Friendly peopleInconvenient weather patterns
Ethnic diversitySeasonal dust
Diverse cuisines
Life is slower
No vehicle policies
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10 Best places to live in New Mexico

If you’re moving to New Mexico, you’ll most likely be interested in the best places to live in the state. Here are the ten best places to buy a house in New Mexico:

Rank City Median Home Price Population Change Home Price Increase
1Truth Or Consequences$85,300-1.2%7.0%
2Taos$260,800-0.9%2.6%
3Raton$83,700-1.6%-1.5%
4Edgewood$194,1000.1%-0.9%
5Los Ranchos De Albuquerque$447,700-0.3%$161,500
6Aztec$155,300-0.6%0.4%
7Belen$106,5004.2%2.1%
8Ruidoso$180,7000.4%-15.7%
9Bloomfield$149,200-1.9%2.5%
10Socorro$135,600-1.1%17.2%

Where should I not live in New Mexico?

The crime rate in New Mexico is above the national average, especially when we focus on the violent crime and property crime numbers. Here’s a list of 10 places in New Mexico you need to avoid living in as the crime rate is high.

  • Gallup
  • Belen
  • Deming
  • Los Lunas
  • Roswell
  • Clovis
  • Artesia
  • Las Cruces
  • Taos
  • Bernalillo
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Cost of living in New Mexico

New Mexico’s cost of living is 88.4. the national average is 100. That means the cost of living in New Mexico is lower than the national average.

Housing in New Mexico

If you’re interested in buying a home after moving to New Mexico, the median home value in the state is $193,200.

  • Homes in the state have appreciated by 5.2% in the last ten years
  • Currently, home appreciation is 6.5%
  • Renters make up 26.8% of the New Mexico population
  • About 2.6% of houses and apartments in New Mexico are open to rent

Median home rental cost in New Mexico?

Renting a home in New Mexico is a good housing option. Here are the median rental costs of various housing options in New Mexico:

  • Average cost of a Studio apartment in New Mexico is $597
  • Average cost of a 1-bedroom home or apartment in New Mexico is $693
  • Average cost of a 2-bedroom home or apartment in New Mexico is $847
  • Average cost of a 3-bedroom home or apartment in New Mexico is $1181
  • Average cost of a 4-bedroom home or apartment in New Mexico is $1382
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New Mexico Job Market

Moving to New Mexico could mean starting a new job or perhaps setting up a company and hiring employees.

Since you’re considering moving to New mexico, we’ve collated key stats about the state’s job market to give you a head start.

How is the job market like in New Mexico?

New Mexico’s unemployment rate is 5.6% while the national average is 3.7%. If you have a plan to look for a job after moving to New Mexico, the state’s unemployment rate will give you an idea of the state’s job market and the overall economy.

  • The unemployment rate in New Mexico is higher than the U.S. average
  • New Mexico has witnessed a 2.8% increase in job growth over the past year
  • New Mexico’s job market is experiencing positive growth and is predicted to grow by 29.5% in the next 10 years

What are the top industries in New Mexico?

New Mexico is home to several large industries that power the state’s economy. We’ve made a list of the leading industries in the state to give you an idea of where you can invest or consider opportunities if you’re moving to New Mexico. Here are top industries in New Mexico:

  • Energy
  • Aerospace and Defense
  • Tourism and Food
  • Distribution, Logistics, and Transportation
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Digital Media and Film Production
  • Administrative and Federal Government

What are the top career options in New Mexico?

If you’re looking to get a job faster after moving to New Mexico, we’ve made a list of the fastest growing jobs in demand in the state. Here’s a list of the to career options in the state if you’re moving to New Mexico:

Rank Job Title Average Salary Entry Level Salary # Of People
1General Internal Medicine Physicians$280,620$200,650130
2Obstetricians And Gynecologists$258,380$74,290100
3Psychiatrists$240,350$148,500100
4Physicians, All Other; And Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric$229,770$110,4902,120
5Orthodontists$214,050$140,74060
6Pediatricians, General$192,390$70,140140
7Dentists, All Other Specialists$191,170$114,10070
8Dentists, General$182,420$80,280630
9Physicists$166,720$107,4001,740
10Architectural And Engineering Managers$165,130$103,1201,530

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What’s the median salary in New Mexico?

Starting a new job could be one of your plans if you’re moving to New Mexico. We’ve collated key data about the average salaries in New Mexico to help you figure out what’s suitable for you in the state:

  • The average annual pay for hourly rate jobs category in New Mexico is $35,505 a year
  • The average hourly pay for hourly jobs in New Mexico is $17.07 an hour
  • The average weekly pay for hourly jobs in New Mexico is $683 per week
  • The average monthly pay for average jobs in New Mexico is $2,959 a month
  • Salaries within the hourly rate jobs category currently range between $25,639 to $42,879
  • Top earners in New Mexico make $55,257 annually

What’s the unemployment rate in New Mexico?

New Mexico’s unemployment rate is 5.6%. The United States average is 3.7%. If you’re considering getting a job after moving to New Mexico, here’s a simple analysis of the state’s job market:

  • New Mexico’s job growth has been positive over the years
  • New Mexico’s jobs have increased by 2.8% over the past year
  • New Mexico’s average salary is $44,968
  • Future job growth over the next 10 years is predicted to be 29.5%

10 Biggest companies in New Mexico

If you’re interested in getting a job in some of the largest companies after moving to New Mexico, we’ve made a list of the biggest companies in the state who are also the largest employers. Here are the 10 biggest companies in New Mexico:

Rank Company City Employees
1Akal SecurityEspanola15,000
2Sandia National LaboratoriesAlbuquerque11,694
3Los Alamos National LaboratoryLos Alamos10,000
4The University of New MexicoAlbuquerque8,010
5New Mexico State UniversityLas Cruces5,370
6PresbyterianAlbuquerque4,340
7Ernest HealthAlbuquerque3,644
8New Mexico Department of HealthSanta Fe3,250
9GCC DacothaLas Cruces3,183
10Lovelace Health SystemAlbuquerque3,183

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How safe is New Mexico?

Safety is always one of the key things to consider before moving to any state. Since you’re considering moving to New Mexico.

  • Violent crime rate in New Mexico is 40.3. The United States average is 22.7
  • Property crime rate in New Mexico is 55.7. The U.S. average is 35.4

10 Safest Cities in New Mexico

Here are the ten safest cities in the state if you’re moving to New Mexico:

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per 100k Property Crimes Per 100k
1Corrales, NM8,57734501
2Los Alamos, NM18,883127582
3Rio Rancho, NM97,3942021,637
4Grants, NM8,9822111,503
5Lovington, NM11,1751342,425
6Anthony, NM9,313440440
7Raton, NM5,9602182,701
8Alamogordo, NM31,3323063,261
9Ruidoso, NM7,7183752,928
10Aztec, NM6,5385502,233
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New Mexico Taxes

Depending on where you’re moving from, you may end up paying more or less in taxes if you’re moving to New Mexico. Here’s a breakdown of the various taxes in New Mexico:

  • Income tax in New Mexico ranges from 1.7% - 4.9%
  • There is no sales tax in New Mexico (Gross receipts tax of 5.125% to 9.25% effectively acts like a sales tax)
  • Property tax in New Mexico is 0.78% average effective rate
  • The gas tax in Montana is 32.00 cents per gallon of regular gasoline
  • New Mexico Gas tax is 17.00 cents per gallon of regular gasoline and 21.00 cents per gallon of diesel
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What’s New Mexico most known for?

New Mexico is known for many remarkable attractions, events, history, and natural phenomena, etc. These are some of the reasons why moving to New Mexico appeals to many families. Here are some of the various things New Mexico is known for:

  • Pecos National Historical Park

    The 6,671-acre Pecos National Historical Park encompasses historical elements from prehistoric archaeological ruins to 19th-century ranches, to a battlefield of the American Civil War. There is also a remaining of a 17th-century Spanish mission inside the park.

  • Bandelier National Monument

    The 33,000-acre Bandelier National Monument protects rugged but beautiful canyons and mesa country as well as evidence of a human presence here going back over 11,000 years. Multiple hiking trails exist inside, which makes the park a hot adventure destination. A National Historic Landmark, the national monument is also home to over 55 species of mammals, including mule deer and mountain lions.

  • Petroglyph National Monument

    The monument has more than 15,000 prehistoric and historic Native American and Hispanic petroglyphs stretching 17-miles along Albuquerque's West Mesa escarpment. Petroglyph National Monument also protects five volcanoes in the area.

  • Taos Pueblo

    This is an ancient pueblo belonging to a Taos-speaking Native American tribe of Puebloan people, who are one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the United States. Taos Pueblo is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Cumbres-Toltec Scenic Railway

    The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad or C&TSRR is a 3-ft narrow-gauge heritage railroad between Antonito, Colorado, and Chama, New Mexico that takes back to the raw, rugged, and majestic beauty of the American West. A National Historic Landmark, the railroad operates steam engines manufactured in the 1880s.

  • Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

    The 533-acre Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in the extreme southern portion of Catron County is home to two prominent ruins sites among a collection of smaller sites located within the Gila Wilderness inside the Gila National Forest. There is a museum hosting the exhibits of Apache and Mogollon artifacts, uncovered both in the surrounding wilderness and at the monument.

  • Taos Ski Valley

    A village and alpine ski resort in Taos County, Taos Ski Valley is a wild frontier for skiing and snowboarding, steeped in legendary culture, unconventional traditions, and rugged perfection.

  • The Very Large Array

    The Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) is a radio astronomy observatory at Socorro County with twenty-eight 25-meter radio telescopes deployed in a Y-shaped array. Astronomers using VLA had made significant discoveries in the past including key observations of black holes and protoplanetary disks around young stars.

  • Billy the Kid Museum

    Billy the Kid Museum displays the history of the trials of people of the 1800s and early 1900s and their struggle to stay alive and provide for their families. Dedicated to Billy the Kid, a Wild West legend, the museum has his rifle, chaps and spurs, the original ‘Wanted’ poster, and even locks of his hair on display. Other displays in the museum include the military cavalry sword of John Chisum, more than 150 firearms of varying ages, and antique automobiles ranging from 1941 fire trucks, Model Ts, and Model As to 1956 classic cars.

  • Wheeler Peak Wilderness

    The 19,661-acre Wheeler Peak Wilderness in the Carson National Forest is home to Wheeler Park, the highest point in New Mexico. Lying along the top of the Sangre De Cristo Mountain, the Wilderness is characterized by high rugged terrain and has a huge wildlife population, including Marmots, pikas, elk, mule deer, and golden eagles, and pigs.

  • International UFO Museum and Research Center

    The International UFO Museum and Research Center focus on the study of UFO incidents in the US and elsewhere. The museum contains extensive documentation of the now-famous 1947 Roswell incident, which is believed to be an extraterrestrial landing. The museum’s library contains nearly 55,000 documents, including books, videotapes, audiotapes, photographs, news clippings, letters, reports, and artwork related to extraterrestrial life.

  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park

    The 46,766-acre Carlsbad Caverns National Park has show caves that can be hiked for adventure. There is a large limestone chamber inside, which is the largest in North America and the 31st largest in the world

  • White Sands National Monument

    The national monument in the southeastern region of New Mexico has the world’s largest gypsum dune field, made of 275 square miles of fine white sand. The monument ranges in elevation from 3890' to 4116' above sea level and about a thousand species of animals inhabit the park.

  • Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

    During the annual 9-day festival, the Albuquerque sky will be filled with about 500 hot air balloons launched from the 78-acre Balloon Fiesta Park. The balloons are launched before sunrise and it illuminates the night sky. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the world’s largest balloon festival.

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Best schools and universities in New Mexico

New Mexico is home to several top-quality schools including universities, colleges, high, middle, and elementary schools. Since you’re considering moving to New Mexico, here are the best schools in the state:

Best elementary schools in New Mexico

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  • S. Y. Jackson Elementary School
    Albuquerque Public Schools, Public, K-5 | 556 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Hubert H Humphrey Elementary School
    Albuquerque Public Schools, Public, PK-5 | 461 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Corona Elementary School
    Corona Municipal Schools, Public, PK-6 | 36 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Grady Elementary School
    Grady Municipal Schools, Public, PK-6 | 81 students, Rating: 9/10

  • Anansi Charter School
    Taos Municipal Schools, Charter, K-8 | 194 students, Rating: 9/10

Top rated Middle schools in New Mexico

  • Sidney Gutierrez Middle School
    Roswell Independent Schools, Charter, 6-8 | 66 students, Rating: 9/10

  • Academy for Tech & Class
    Santa Fe Public Schools, Charter, 7-12 | 387 students, Rating: 9/10

  • Anansi Charter School
    Taos Municipal Schools, Charter, K-8 | 194 students, Rating: 9/10

  • Albuquerque Institute Of Math & Science
    Albuquerque Institute Of Math & Science, Charter, 6-12 | 367 students, Rating: 9/10

  • The Family School
    Albuquerque Public Schools, Public, K-8 | 297 students, Rating: 9/10

Best High schools in New Mexico

  • Early College High School
    Las Cruces Public Schools, Public, 9-12 | 350 students, Rating: 10/10

  • College and Career High School
    Albuquerque Public Schools, Public, 9-12 | 160 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Carlsbad Early College High
    Carlsbad Municipal Schools, Public, 9-12 | 240 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Arrowhead Park Medical Academy
    Las Cruces Public Schools, Public, 9-11 | 226 students, Rating: 10/10

  • San Juan College High School
    Farmington Municipal Schools, Public, 9 | 150 students, Rating: 10/10

Best Colleges & Universities in New Mexico

  • Rank 1. University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

  • Rank 2. New Mexico State University, Las Cruces

  • Rank 3. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro

  • Rank 4. Eastern New Mexico University, Portales

  • Rank 5. Western New Mexico University, Silver City

  • Rank 6. New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas

  • Rank 7. University of the Southwest, Hobbs

  • Rank 8. Northern New Mexico College, Espanola

  • Rank 9. Southwestern College, Santa Fe

Frequently Asked Questions

Is New Mexico a good state to live in?

New Mexico has got reasons to claim to be a good state to live in. The pleasant and warm climate complemented with a low cost of living including home values and amazing outdoor entertainment options makes New Mexico a good pick to move in. Moreover, the state’s job market is also looking up.

What should I know before moving to New Mexico?

New Mexico boasts of the low cost of living, booming job market, unlimited outdoor entertainment options, and a warm climate. However, you also need to know that the crime rate is high in New Mexico and the economy also fares poorly in comparison to neighboring states. New Mexico also ranks low in education.

How much money do you need to live comfortably in New Mexico?

The cost of living in New Mexico is lower than the national average. This means groceries, food, utilities, transportation, and house costs are lower than the national average. As per the latest calculations, you may require $42,445 to live in New Mexico. A single person with no children can live off of $13.97 per hour in New Mexico, or $26,880 a year.

Where in New Mexico should you not live?

Despite the pluses, such as good scenery, rich diversity, and low cost of living, there are neighborhoods in New Mexico you need to skip for the high crime rate. Gallup, Belen, Deming, Los Lunas, Roswell, Clovis, Artesia, and Las Cruces are areas in New Mexico you should avoid living in

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