U.S. News report reveals New Mexico’s decline to second-worst state

Despite improved rankings in fiscal stability, natural environment, and opportunity, New Mexico remains near the bottom of U.S. News & World Report’s 2024 Best States rankings. 

The state was ranked 49th overall, just above Louisiana, slipping from 47th in the previous year’s report to 48th in 2021.

The Best States report draws on thousands of data points in 71 metrics over the last three years, mainly sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau and other federal data. 

These metrics are organized into eight key categories: health care, education, economy, infrastructure, opportunity, fiscal stability, crime and corrections, and natural environment.

New Mexico showed strong performance in some areas, ranking 32nd overall in natural environment, primarily due to being fourth in the nation for low pollution levels. However, air and water quality issues dragged this score down, leaving the state 47th in that subcategory. 

The state’s opportunity ranking stood at 40th, but its affordability was a strong point, with a cost-of-living index nine points below the national average.

Education and crime/corrections were the state’s biggest challenges. Despite being 21st in higher education, New Mexico was last in Pre-K-12 education. While the state was eighth in corrections outcomes, it also ranked last in public safety. 

Healthcare and education were the most heavily weighted categories, contributing nearly 16% each to the final score.

The report ranked Utah as the best state, with strong showings in seven out of the eight categories, followed by Washington, Idaho, Nebraska, and Minnesota. 

The bottom five were West Virginia, New Mexico, Mississippi, Alaska, and Louisiana.

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28 thoughts on “U.S. News report reveals New Mexico’s decline to second-worst state”

    1. Marcello T Hinojosa

      If you’ve been following the history of New Mexico none of this should come as a surprise. Do your own research on Crime , Poverty level, and Education. My family has been here in Southern New Mexico since it was a territory. Until it becomes a conservative state nothing will change for the best. We’ve learned to plan and roll with it.

      1. And the generations of people who roll with it, as you say, hold NM down. Unfortunate that some of you 3rd and 4th generations have never challenged the lackadaisical yet rich state leaders.
        The crime, HS graduates who can barely read, unskilled adults are a shame.

      2. Sorry, but conservatives have a bad track record when it comes to governance. When Ronald Reagan’s term ended the economy was so bad that Bush I could not revive it and lost to Clinton, who balanced the budget. Then came Bush II and the 2008 financial disaster, which Obama fixed. Trump barged in on the scene and left us 6 trillion in debt because he wanted a tax break. The Biden administration has the economy on track and the lowest unemployment in years. Why would you think conservatives would do any better in NM?

        1. inflation 1.4% when Biden took office. Went to 9%. We are now 34 Trillion in debt. How are we better off now with Biden? Unemployment is terrible! Just ask those in Mortgage, or in Tech. Employment numbers look pumped up due to many individuals no longer looking, other individuals taking on 2 or 3 extra jobs just to get by.

        2. Yes, conservatives would bring in fresh air and some honesty.
          You proud of the behaviors of this governor?
          But keep voting in demos, and this will make NM the bottom of every category.

  1. When Cartels take over New Mexican terrain, and nothing is done about it…
    When disgusting drag performers are invited to display lewd and sexually inappropriate behavior to minors…
    When kids see rampant crime, homelessness, and drug use out in the open daily, they feel unsafe and do things to place themselves in jeopardy. When kids see chaos, they no longer trust adults!
    When the New Mexico Gov. cares more about her weed than all the above, of course New Mexico will be in the cesspool. There are consequences to sin.

    1. And the NM’s who say they’re proud of living here just roll with it like tumbleweed. And vote Democrat like great grandpapa always did.

  2. Not just drill baby, but also get Control of our Southern Border. Then get the Cops some help in Albq., and the rest of our cities and towns in our states. Which means putting criminals in jail. I don’t mean over night either.

  3. You are all correct. You would think NM’s would realize they are really conservative because there believes are, the Democratic Party of their Grandparents has left the station with a trade off to communists and Marxism, and finally that conservatives are more that 2/3rds of the state if not 3/4ths of the state. Let us all pull our heads out of the sand and vote Right because they track with our beliefs. We want less gov, two parents in the family, limited abortions, the Gov out of the child raising business, we want our gas and diesels vehicles and it is not the gov’s job to tell us what to drive. I could go on but you got the picture.

    1. Except that it’s always about the money. What you (they) get. Follow it. And the Communists know that so they’ll get the vote. But yes, we have to change that. That means it will take some work on YOUR part.

  4. Aggie Sentinel

    Why do so many New Mexicans accept this mediocrity? Why have expectations been lowered so much?

  5. Stop electing liberal Democrat Socialists and leftists. Those people are the root of the problem in this state. For those who insist on voting for those people and hate all things conservative and Republican, what do you have to lose by voting for Republican candidates? You sure can’t get any worse in the rankings!

  6. Good points Mario and Mike. Also I’d like to add that NM being #1 in the Nation with abortions curses it. God doesn’t approve of that..and I believe everyone here knows it, because we really are a most conservative state. We need to live like we are, the Democratoic party has really gone to shits.

  7. One more thing, EV’s won’t work at all for anyone, do the researcy, batterries cost an arm and leg, they will wear out fast, like all batteries do recharge after recharge, plus other things in them, will make them high maintenance!

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