16 Pros and Cons of Living in New Mexico

Updated On November 29, 2023
New Mexico

New Mexico is a state located in the desert Southwest of the United States, and it has become a popular area for individuals to work and settle.

Anyone considering moving to New Mexico will enjoy many benefits, but there are some downsides or cons to living in New Mexico.

Please keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of this rapidly growing state and whether it is ideal for your individual preferences or needs.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Pros of Living in New Mexico

There are many great benefits to living in New Mexico, and it is important to know as much as possible about all it offers for those considering moving to that state.

1. Plenty of Open Space

Anyone considering living in New Mexico will appreciate the wide-open spaces and abundance of land.

This is ideal for individuals who want to avoid the tightly compacted urban areas and want plenty of room to enjoy more personal space.

It also means the location is suitable for families with children who wish to have open places to play and explore.

2. Plenty of Outdoor Activities

When it comes to outdoor activities, New Mexico has plenty to offer.

New Mexico is known for having scenic desert landscapes, but lush valleys offer incredible hiking and outdoor activities for the whole family.

Anyone who enjoys nature and spending time outside for some adventure will love living in New Mexico.

3. Thriving Arts Scene

Those who appreciate a thriving arts scene will love the state of New Mexico.

Every city and town has a unique and close-knit community with colorful people and even more colorful art.

There is also an impressive Native American presence, bringing their culture and history to life with art.

Whether you enjoy recreationally or are a professional artist, there is a welcoming space in most communities across New Mexico.

4. Culturally Diverse

New Mexico is very culturally diverse because of the presence of Native Americans and Native inhabitants of Mexico who settled in the area many years ago.

Not only has there been a long-established presence for these cultures, but others from many walks of life have moved to Mexico to take advantage of its many benefits and opportunities.

Most cities in New Mexico have a wonderful mix of diversity with residents who represent many walks of life globally.

It is a great place to live for anyone who appreciates other cultures and is welcome in its environment.

5. Historically Fascinating

New Mexico is a culturally rich state that has a lengthy and fascinating history.

Anyone interested in history and the development of the states over time will discover many interesting facts and details about this historic area.

It has been settled by many cultures over the years, which has added to its unique story and place in American history.

6. Plenty of Sunshine

Unlike many states, New Mexico gets generous doses of sunshine on most days.

This state is ideal for settling if the individual suffers from seasonal affective disorder or wants to escape a gray area such as the northwest of the country.

The closer to the desert areas, however, the more intense the sun and exposure, which may concern some people.

7. Friendly People

New Mexico is a very friendly state, and there are very personable and warm people at every corner.

Individuals looking for an excellent place to settle in and make friends or raise a family will love the atmosphere and the people in this area.

8. Scenic

New Mexico is one of the most scenic states in the country.

It is well known for producing incredible sunsets, and the desert areas are otherworldly.

Anyone who loves the great outdoors and amazing natural features will love everything New Mexico offers.

Cons of Living in New Mexico

There are many reasons to live in New Mexico; there are just as many potential downsides or cons to consider.

Keep reading to find out more.

1. Poor Infrastructure

Unfortunately, New Mexico has a significant problem with its infrastructure and roads.

Many areas are difficult to traverse and do not function as they should.

It is important to know that anyone living in the area should keep their vehicle well-maintained and be aware of ever-changing conditions while on the road.

2. Poorly Performing Schools

Unfortunately, New Mexico has a history of poorly performing schools.

This fact has been a problem for many years, and finding a top-notch education can be quite challenging.

Anyone considering moving into this area must research to find the best fit for their children.

A good option would be to check out the private schools in the area because they tend to have better overall scores.

3. Extreme Summer Conditions

New Mexico is one of the hottest states in the country and has extreme summer conditions.

Temperatures can easily soar well above 100° East during the daytime in the summer months.

These extreme temperatures will last all the way through fall and can be a challenge for heat-sensitive people.

Anyone considering moving here must be prepared for the extreme heat and take precautions to ensure that themselves and their family members stay hydrated and protected from the sun during the daytime.

4. Requires a Vehicle

Most parts of New Mexico are spread out across a large area. Individuals moving to this state need a vehicle to transport them from one location to another. Some cities may have public transportation, but it may be limited to specific areas.

5. High Crime Rate in Areas

Due to generational poverty, drug abuse, and a poor job market, there are high crime rates across New Mexico, especially true in urban areas.

This issue can be a deterrent for those considering moving to the state.

Check on historical crime rates for any areas you consider moving to or settling into before you arrive.

6. Drug Problems

As mentioned previously, there is a huge generational drug problem in New Mexico.

Individuals who have grown up in poverty or whose families have a history of drug abuse will likely find themselves in a similar situation.

It is something to learn about and understand before moving to this area.

The best action for individuals considering a move to New Mexico is to avoid areas with statistics that point to a higher drug problem percentage or crime rates.

7. High Poverty Rate

Historically, New Mexico has a high poverty rate, which continues to be an issue.

Individuals who have moved to this area should be aware that some areas with a high poverty rate will likely also have drug issues and high crime rates.

It is essential to do research to learn which areas have particular problems and try to avoid them if possible.

It is also advised to familiarize oneself with areas with high poverty rates, such as Gallup, New Mexico, and stick to neighborhoods with a neighborhood watch or historically lower crime rates than the surrounding urban areas.

8. Poor Job Market

Despite the recent growth, there continues to be a relatively poor job market in New Mexico.

Before moving to New Mexico, be sure to have some job prospects lined up or secure a job to ensure you do not find yourself unable to find employment.

One way to combat issues with a career is to seek or secure stable work or a work-from-home job.

Securing a remote position before moving to New Mexico is a great way to ensure individuals who move there are not greatly impacted by the poor job market.

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Pros and Cons of Living in New Mexico – Summary Table

Pros of Living in New Mexico Cons of Living in New Mexico
1.Plenty of Open Space1. Poor Infrastructure
2. Plenty of Outdoor Activities2. Poorly Performing Schools
3. Thriving Arts Scene3. Extreme Summer Conditions
4. Culturally Diverse4. Requires a Vehicle 
5. Historically Fascinating5. High Crime Rate in Areas
6. Plenty of Sunshine6. Drug Problems
7. Friendly People 7. High Poverty Rate
8. Scenic8. Poor Job Market

New Mexico Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: New Mexico Safety Review

Safety Index:
New Mexico

Frequently Asked Questions

Which city in New Mexico has the largest population?

Albuquerque has the densest population of any city in Mexico, with just over five hundred and sixty thousand individuals residing in the town.

Although this is the largest city, others have similar population rates.

In order to save money and have the best job opportunities, it is advised to reside just outside the city and carefully research job opportunities and housing options before moving to New Mexico.

Which area of New Mexico has the highest crime rate?

Gallup New Mexico currently has the highest crime rate in the state.

The violent crime rate has risen to above 425%.

Anyone considering moving to New Mexico may want to weigh their options in avoiding moving to Gallup if possible.

There are many areas with safer neighborhoods outside of major cities.

What are the average summer temperatures in New Mexico?

The average summer temperatures in New Mexico range between 70 and 90 degrees.

However, in some areas, the temperatures can soar to well over a hundred degrees during the daytime.

These extreme temperatures last for nearly four months out of the year.

Anyone considering moving to the state should think about how they will handle the extreme temperatures and commuting outside during the summer months.

What are the average winter temperatures in New Mexico?

The average winter temperatures in New Mexico range between 25 degrees and 55 degrees.

There can be periods during the wintertime when the temperature stays between 25 and 35 degrees but increases over the next few months.

Although New Mexico does not have harsh winters, there are occasions when they can have ice and snow.

It is rare, however, to have a severe winter storm, and generally, winter is tolerable.

Does New Mexico have a high tax rate?

New Mexico has a higher tax rate of over 7% for state and local combined consumer product sales.

State taxes for New Mexico are a little over 5%, and local taxes are just over 4%.

This means New Mexico has a higher than average tax rate for states in the country.

Tax Information for the area and state is available online to those who consider doing the research before moving to New Mexico and purchasing a home and other consumer goods.

4 Comments on 16 Pros and Cons of Living in New Mexico

  1. R
    Rudy Montoya says:

    We have just moved from CA. to Las Cruces N.M. & love it, medical facilities are fantastic, Drs & Nurses treat you with respect no attitudes at all, neighbours came to wellcome us, cost of living’s very reasonable, weather’s beautiful, scenery gorgeous Organ mountains…No smog. No traffic jams, just wonderful to be in New Mexico..

    1. A
      Anonymous says:

      You’ve “just moved”? Give yourself some time.

      1. J
        Jerry Apodaca says:

        They will learn to love it even more!

  2. B
    BEV DAVIS says:

    i’ve been to las cruces five different times and my brother is a dr. of chemistry teachs at the university & my cousin’s & nephew live there. i love the wonderful climate & i don’t have the sinus problems i have in the north west near pittsburgh. we love the beautiful colors especially during the day of the dead parade. new mexico is full of beautiful colors makes you feel so cozy and comforting. the beautiful colored lights also i made friends already.
    the temperatures were 9o all the different times we visited our brother but no humidity & we loved it.
    we plan on moving there either in november or february.
    it doesn’t matter where you live each state has its pros and cons. we just so happen to love las cruces. took our parents there by amtrax we stayed a month. they loved it.💕
    so, its really what you make of it. lots and lots of restaurant’s & we love mesilla, new mexico. such a beautiful little town with lots of history.
    so, all in all you have to be careful no matter where you decide to live. i have family there so i can’t wait to move. 💕
    where i live now my family is all gone some moved away some deceased so i have no family here. i will have family in las cruces, new mexico and i can’t wait. lots of places to play your music. i sing & play guitar. here in pennsylvania they dont seem to care for music i’ve played since 8 yrs old so it’ll be a pleasure to have places to play your music.
    especially the farm and craft show down town open all year with electric posts all down the block you can plug in & play your music. my brother lives right where you can view the organ mountains with the sunset it shows different colors. really beautiful.
    don’t give up your dream. find a safe place in las cruces to settle.

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