People Are Leaving 7 Towns In New Mexico As Quickly As Possible


The state of New Mexico is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, rich history, and diverse culture. But not every one of its towns is as charming as the others. A few of them struggle with high rates of crime, low salaries, inadequate education, and environmental problems. Various sources and statistics indicate that these are the towns that people are trying to get out of as quickly as possible.

1. Gallup


Due to its close vicinity to multiple Native American reservations, Gallup, a small community in western New Mexico, is referred to as the “Heart of Indian Country.” Nonetheless, with a violent crime rate of 1,537 per 100,000 residents—more than four times the national average—it is also among the most hazardous locations in the state. In addition, Gallup has a low median household income of $34,558, a high percentage of 37% poverty, and a low percentage of 66% graduation. For many years, the city has struggled with homelessness, alcoholism, and unemployment.

2. Deming


Deming is a town in southwest New Mexico, close to the Mexican border. Due to its significant role as a hub for illegal immigration and drug trafficking, it has a high crime rate of 1,026 per 100,000 population. Deming also boasts a low graduation rate of 71%, a high poverty rate of 32%, and a low median household income of $25,428. With one of the highest infection rates in the state, the town has been severely affected by the COVID-19 epidemic.

3. Espanola


The town of Espanola is situated in the Rio Grande Valley in northern New Mexico. In addition to its creative legacy and diversity of culture, it is well-known for its drug abuse and violent past. With 42.5 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 people, more than eight times the national average, Espanola has the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the country. In addition, Espanola has a low median family income of $31,717, a high percentage of poverty (28%), a high crime rate of 966 per 100,000 population, and a low graduation rate (74%).

4. Hobbs


The city of Hobbs is located close to the Texas border in southeast New Mexico. It is a hub not only for the production of gas and oil but also for crime and corruption. Hobbs has a low median household income of $46,729, a high poverty rate of 22%, a low graduation rate of 77%, and a high crime rate of 948 per 100,000 population. Because of the oil and gas sector, Hobbs also has a high rate of air pollution, water contamination, and environmental damage.

5. Grants


Located along the famous Route 66 in western New Mexico is the town of Grants. It was formerly a thriving mining town, but it was reduced to a ghost town in the 1980s when the uranium business collapsed. Grants have a low median household income of $32,895, a high poverty rate of 27%, a low graduation rate of 76%, and a high crime rate of 921 per 100,000 persons. Due to radiation exposure from uranium mining, Grants also has a high risk of cancer, birth abnormalities, and other health issues.

6. Belen


South of Albuquerque in central New Mexico sits the town of Belen. In addition to being a historic railroad town, it is also a haven for poverty and crime. Belen has a low median household income of $32,031, high poverty rate of 26%, low graduation rate of 78%, and high crime rate of 915 per 100,000 population. Because there are few options and resources in Belen, there is also a high rate of teen pregnancy, domestic violence, and substance misuse.

7. Raton


The community of Raton is located close to the Colorado border in northern New Mexico. It’s an area of decay and hopelessness as well as the entryway to the Rocky Mountains. Raton has a low median household income of $29,792, a high poverty rate of 25%, a low graduation rate of 79%, and a high crime rate of 905 per 100,000 persons. Due to the decline of tourism and industry, Raton also has a high unemployment rate, a declining population, and a high number of company closures.

Statistical Data:

Town Location Crime Rate (per 100,000) Median Household Income Poverty Rate Graduation Rate Notable Issues/Characteristics
Gallup Western New Mexico 1,537 $34,558 37% 66% High crime rate, low median income, high poverty, homelessness, alcoholism, unemployment
Deming Southwest New Mexico 1,026 $25,428 32% 71% High crime rate (related to illegal immigration, drug trafficking), low income, high poverty
Espanola Northern New Mexico 966 $31,717 28% 74% Highest rate of drug overdose deaths, low median income, high poverty, high crime rate
Hobbs Southeast New Mexico 948 $46,729 22% 77% Low income, high poverty, high crime, environmental issues from oil and gas sector
Grants Western New Mexico 921 $32,895 27% 76% Low median income, high poverty, low graduation rate, high crime, health risks from uranium mining
Belen Central New Mexico 915 $32,031 26% 78% Low income, high poverty, high crime, social issues like teen pregnancy, domestic violence, substance misuse
Raton Northern New Mexico 905 $29,792 25% 79% Low income, high poverty, high crime, unemployment, declining population, company closures

Read More: People Are Leaving 7 Texas Towns As Quickly As Possible

In Summary

People are leaving these New Mexico towns as quickly as possible because of high rates of violence, low salaries, inadequate educational opportunities, and environmental problems. To raise the standard of living and prospects of these towns, immediate action and funding are required. But not everywhere in New Mexico is depressing and forlorn. For individuals who would want to reside in the Land of Enchantment, numerous municipalities are prospering and expanding.

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