Which New Mexico city is the safest?

New Mexicans all know its largest city, Albuquerque, is the deadliest in the state, according to World Population Review, but which New Mexico city is the safest?

Small towns are often celebrated for their close-knit communities and a sense of charm and safety. A recent analysis by MoneyGeek, a personal finance site, delved into FBI crime data from the past year to identify small towns and cities with populations ranging from 30,000 to 100,000 that excel in safety. The analysis aimed to calculate the cost of crime in each area, considering impacts on victims and the justice system. Violent crimes were weighed more heavily due to their typically higher costs.

Christmas on the Pecos in Carlsbad, NM. Photo: NM Department of Tourism.

Surprisingly, many of the safest small communities were concentrated in the Northeast. Monroe Township in New Jersey claimed the top spot, boasting low property and violent crime rates. Hillsborough Township, also in New Jersey, secured the second position. Other Northeastern towns like Wallingford, Connecticut; Shrewsbury, Massachusetts; Westfield, New Jersey; Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania; and Princeton, New Jersey, all ranked in the top 10.

Beyond the Northeast, Zionsville, Indiana; Mason, Ohio; and Lone Peak, Utah, also received high safety scores. Notably, California, often associated with high crime rates in larger cities, had two cities – Rancho Santa Margarita and Danville – in the top 15.

MoneyGeek further broke down the data to identify the small towns or cities with the lowest crime costs in each state. Notable mentions included Rancho Santa Margarita in California, Windsor in Colorado, and Shrewsbury in Massachusetts.

Carlsbad, New Mexico, emerged with a cost of crime per capita of $1,410, securing its place in the analysis as the safest city in New Mexico. This demonstrates the town’s commitment to maintaining a safe environment for its residents.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park Jirka Matousek, Wiki Commons.

Clovis had a crime cost per capita of $1,593, Santa Fe’s was $2,361, Hobbs’ was $2,841, Farmington’s was $3,006, and Roswell’s was $3,851, according to the study.

The nationwide crime landscape in 2022 revealed a drop in overall violent crime by 1.7%, with a significant 6.1% decline in the murder rate. However, property crimes surged by 7.1%, attributed in part to a notable increase in motor vehicle theft.

While small towns are often perceived as havens of safety, the study also highlighted exceptions. Monroe, Louisiana, for instance, experienced a higher crime cost in 2022 than the majority of large cities. Despite the overall trends, it’s evident that some small towns, like Carlsbad, are successfully prioritizing safety and community well-being.


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