Most Dangerous Cities in New Mexico

Jun 9th 2024
New Mexico's rich culture, stunning landscapes, and vibrant history are undeniable draws. But before you visit or move to the state, you should consider that not all cities in New Mexico are safe. Read on as we reveal the ten most dangerous cities in New Mexico based on the latest local and FBI crime reports.

hash-markIs New Mexico Dangerous?

New Mexico has a notably high crime rate compared to national averages, making it one of the most dangerous states in the US. The violent crime rate stands at 7.80 incidents per 1,000 residents, which is approximately double the national average. 

Additionally, the property crime rate in New Mexico is 29.84 per 1,000 residents, also surpassing the national average by a considerable margin. These statistics highlight the state's challenges with both violent and property crimes, indicating a higher risk for residents and visitors alike.

hash-mark10 Most Dangerous Cities in New Mexico

  1. Taos 
  2. Gallup
  3. Albuquerque
  4. Hobbs
  5. Belen
  6. Espanola
  7. Silver City
  8. Roswell
  9. Bernalillo
  10. Clovis


Taos is the most dangerous city in New Mexico. Taos is located in Taos County and has a population of 5,716. It is known for its historic churches, museums, Taos Plaza, and the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. Despite these attractions, Taos is the most dangerous city in New Mexico. 

Crime rates are 204% higher than the national average, and there is a 1 in 15 chance of becoming a victim of crime. High poverty, socioeconomic resentment, rampant alcoholism, drunk drivers, and racism contribute to the high crime rates.


Gallup is a city in McKinley County, New Mexico, with a population of 21,899. Once known as Na'Nizhoozhi, or "The Bridge" among the Navajo/Dine people, it is another dangerous city in New Mexico. Gallup's crime rates are 173% higher than the national average, and residents have a 1 in 16 chance of becoming a victim of crime. 

In 2012, violent crime in Gallup was nearly five times the national average. The medical care in Gallup is below average for the state. Despite being a small town, the cost of housing in Gallup is very high.


Next on our list of the most dangerous cities in New Mexico is Albuquerque, also known as ABQ, Burque, and Duke City. It is the most populous city in the state, with a population of 564,559. Albuquerque is a hub for technology, fine arts, and media companies. It is home to several historic landmarks and the University of New Mexico. 

However, the city faces major issues such as poverty, homelessness, and people struggling with mental health and addiction. Albuquerque's crime rates are 171% higher than the national average. In Albuquerque, you have a 1 in 17 chance of becoming a victim of crime.


Another one of the worst cities for crime in New Mexico is Hobbs, a city with a population of 40,508. Hobbs has a crime rate that is 149% higher than the national average. In Hobbs, you have a 1 in 18 chance of becoming a victim of crime. The air quality in Hobbs is extremely toxic, and the frequent winds make asthma and allergies a big problem. 

The schooling system is very poor. There is a lot of drug activity in the area. The economy of Hobbs relies solely on the oilfield industry.


Belen, also known as "The Hub City," sits near the center of New Mexico. It's the second most populated city in Valencia County, with around 7,360 residents. Despite its strategic location and transportation access via rails and Interstate Highway 25, Belen is unfortunately plagued by high crime rates, standing at 139% higher than the national average. Residents face a 1 in 18 chance of becoming victims of crime, a concerning statistic. 

Moreover, the city grapples with drug usage as a prevalent issue. Unfortunately, some residents describe the atmosphere as unfriendly, with individuals displaying rude, arrogant, and condescending behavior, making Belen a city to avoid in New Mexico.


Espanola, found in Rio Arriba County, is a dangerous city in New Mexico you might want to skip. It began as a small village connected to railroads. Around 10,495 people live there. But watch out—crime rates here are way higher than the rest of the country, like 78% higher! So, there's a 1 in 25 chance you could be a crime victim. 

Drugs, especially opiates and meth, are a big issue, just like in other parts of northern NM. And it's not just drugs; alcoholism is a big problem, too.

hash-markSilver City

Silver City, located in Grant County, New Mexico, is a town with a small population of around 9,704 people. Unfortunately, it's gained a reputation as another city to steer clear of in the state. Crime rates here soar, sitting at 72% higher than the national average, making it risky to wander its streets. 

With a staggering statistic of 1 in 26 individuals facing the possibility of becoming a victim of crime, safety is a major concern. Homicides and homelessness top the list of common crimes, painting a bleak picture for this poverty-stricken community. Despite being home to Western New Mexico University, the town struggles with issues of safety and socioeconomic challenges.


Roswell, a city in New Mexico, is famous for a UFO incident in 1947. It's also home to the New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI), established in 1891. With a population of 48,422, it attracts tourists intrigued by its extraterrestrial connection. 

However, Roswell faces challenges; its crime rates are 66% higher than the national average, with a 1 in 26 chance of being a victim. Poverty is prevalent, with significant impoverished communities residing within its boundaries.


Bernalillo, nestled near the majestic Sandia Mountains, is a town steeped in history and natural beauty. Founded in 1695 by Don Diego de Vargas, it boasts scenic vineyards and ancient Anasazi Trails. With a population of around 8,977, it's a vibrant community. However, Bernalillo does face challenges, with crime rates 53% higher than the national average, making it one of the worst towns in New Mexico. 

Visitors should be cautious, especially during events like the local wine festival, as there's a 1 in 29 chance of falling victim to crime. Despite this, the town retains its charm, offering a glimpse into New Mexico's rich heritage and stunning landscapes.


Clovis is also one of the most dangerous cities in New Mexico. Clovis is nestled near the Texas border and thrives on agriculture and music, boasting a population of 38,567. However, its charm is marred by concerning crime statistics; rates are 33% higher than the national average, leaving residents with a 1 in 33 chance of falling victim. 

Unfortunately, it's known as a drug-riddled community where idle youth often find trouble, leading to senseless acts of crime. Additionally, the relentless wind and dust, along with frequent hail storms, add further challenges, causing damage to both property and vehicles.