Best counties to live in New Mexico

Written by:
June 17, 2021
Asaavedra32 // Wikimedia

Best counties to live in New Mexico

What makes a particular county the best? Oftentimes, it's a good mix of opportunities for fun outdoor activities and cultural attractions. Throw in some historical sites, good schools, job opportunities, and affordable housing, and the county will most likely have happy residents.

Stacker compiled a list of the best counties to live in New Mexico using rankings from Niche. Niche ranks counties by a variety of factors including: public schools, educational attainment, cost of living, and housing.

Many counties on the list are experiencing growth due to their job opportunities, education, or home values. Others are adored for their historic or well-designed value, or devotion to cultural opportunities. Keep reading to see if your county made the list.

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#11. Socorro County

- Population: 16,858
- Median home value: $124,100 (73% own)
- Median rent: $715 (27% rent)
- Median household income: $42,083
- Top public schools: Cottonwood Valley Charter School (B+), Midway Elementary School (B), San Antonio Elementary School (B)
- Top private schools: Alamo Navajo Community School (B)
- Top places to live: Socorro (B+), Magdalena (B), Lemitar (C)
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#10. Grant County

- Population: 27,669
- Median home value: $125,100 (68% own)
- Median rent: $671 (32% rent)
- Median household income: $37,843
- Top public schools: Jose Barrios Elementary School (B), Cliff Elementary School (B), Aldo Leopold High School (B)
- Top private schools: Calvary Christian Academy (B), Agape Academy (unavailable), Guadalupe Montessori School (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Silver City (B), Bayard (B), Santa Clara (C+)
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#9. Otero County

- Population: 66,137
- Median home value: $112,400 (64% own)
- Median rent: $792 (36% rent)
- Median household income: $41,988
- Top public schools: Cloudcroft Middle School (A), Cloudcroft Elementary School (A), Holloman Middle School (A)
- Top private schools: Legacy Christian Academy (A), Imago Dei Academy (A), Father James B. Hay School (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Alamogordo (B), Tularosa (B), Boles Acres (B)
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#8. Chaves County

- Population: 65,144
- Median home value: $108,700 (69% own)
- Median rent: $771 (31% rent)
- Median household income: $43,359
- Top public schools: Sidney Gutierrez Middle School (A), Del Norte Elementary School (B+), New Mexico Military Institute (B+)
- Top private schools: Gateway Christian School (B), All Saints Catholic School of Roswell (unavailable), Immanuel Lutheran School (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Roswell (B), Hagerman (B), Lake Arthur (C+)
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#7. Sandoval County

- Population: 142,704
- Median home value: $200,900 (79% own)
- Median rent: $1,117 (21% rent)
- Median household income: $63,802
- Top public schools: Mountain View Middle School (A), Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School (A), Jemez Day School (A)
- Top private schools: Sandia View Academy (B+), Gospel Light Baptist Academy (A), St. Thomas Aquinas School (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Corrales (A), Rio Rancho (A), Placitas (B)
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#6. Doña Ana County

- Population: 216,069
- Median home value: $147,400 (63% own)
- Median rent: $754 (37% rent)
- Median household income: $40,973
- Top public schools: Arrowhead Park Early College High School (A), White Sands Elementary School (A), J. Paul Taylor Academy (A)
- Top private schools: Mesilla Valley Christian Schools (A), Las Cruces Catholic School (A), Mission Lutheran School (unavailable)
- Top places to live: San Ysidro (A), Mesilla (A), Las Cruces (B+)
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#5. Roosevelt County

- Population: 18,888
- Median home value: $118,200 (58% own)
- Median rent: $778 (42% rent)
- Median household income: $42,702
- Top public schools: Dora Elementary School (A), Elida Elementary School (A), Portales Junior High School (B+)
- Top private schools:
- Top places to live: Portales (B), Elida (B), Floyd (B)
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#4. Eddy County

- Population: 57,732
- Median home value: $155,900 (69% own)
- Median rent: $946 (31% rent)
- Median household income: $65,328
- Top public schools: Carlsbad Early College High School (A), Yeso Elementary School (A), Artesia Zia Intermediate School (A)
- Top private schools: St. Edward School (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Artesia (B), Carlsbad (B), Atoka (B)
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#3. Bernalillo County

- Population: 677,858
- Median home value: $199,300 (63% own)
- Median rent: $874 (37% rent)
- Median household income: $53,329
- Top public schools: La Cueva High School (A), Cottonwood Classical Preparatory Academy (A), Albuquerque Institute of Math & Science (A)
- Top private schools: Albuquerque Academy (A+), Sandia Preparatory School (A+), Bosque School (A+)
- Top places to live: Nob Hill (A+), Sandia Heights (A), Eastside (A)
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#2. Santa Fe County

- Population: 149,293
- Median home value: $291,800 (71% own)
- Median rent: $1,048 (29% rent)
- Median household income: $61,200
- Top public schools: New Mexico School for the Arts (A), Academy for Technology & the Classics (A), Turquoise Trail Charter School (A)
- Top private schools: Santa Fe Preparatory School (A+), Santa Fe Waldorf School (A), St. Michael's High School (A)
- Top places to live: Eldorado at Santa Fe (B+), Santa Fe (B+), Edgewood (B)
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#1. Los Alamos County

- Population: 18,625
- Median home value: $302,800 (74% own)
- Median rent: $1,062 (26% rent)
- Median household income: $121,324
- Top public schools: Mountain Elementary School (A+), Los Alamos Middle School (A), Pinon Elementary School (A)
- Top private schools: Ponderosa Montessori School (unavailable)
- Top places to live: Los Alamos (A+)

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