New Mexico's crime rate
There were 82,719 crimes reported in New Mexico in 2019, the most recent year crime data is available. Adjusted for population, New Mexico's crime rate is 3,945 crimes per 100,000 residents.
How does New Mexico compare?
Crime is much more common in New Mexico than it is on average nationwide. In fact, New Mexico has the highest crime rate of all states. By comparison, the national crime rate of 2,489 per 100,000 people is 37% lower.
Crime rates nationwide range from 1,361 per 100,000 in Maine to 3,945 per 100,000 in New Mexico, the states with the lowest and highest crime rates, respectively.
Here are the crime rates for all 50 states.
What types of crimes are being committed?
The FBI's crime rate includes seven crime categories: three property crimes -- larceny, burglary, and motor vehicle theft, and four violent crimes -- aggravated assault, robbery, rape, and murder.
The vast majority of crimes in America are property crimes, accounting for 85% of total crimes in 2019. This share was lower in New Mexico, with property crimes accounting for 79% of all crimes reported in the state.
There were 65,269 property crimes reported in New Mexico in 2019, or 3,113 per 100,000 residents. This is much higher than the national rate of 2,110 property crimes per 100,000 people and is the second highest rate of the 50 states.
Larceny is by far the most common type of property crime. The 5,086,096 reported incidents nationwide in 2019 accounted for 73% of all property crime. New Mexico's rate of 1,989 reported larceny incidents per 100,000 residents is higher than the nationwide rate of 1,550 per 100,000 and is the seventh highest among states.
An estimated 14,610 break-ins were reported in New Mexico in 2019, or 697 per 100,000 state residents -- the highest rate among states. For reference, there were an estimated 1,117,696 break-ins nationwide, or 341 break-ins per 100,000 people.
Motor vehicle theft
Across the U.S., there were 721,885 reported motor vehicle thefts in 2019, a rate of 220 per 100,000 people. New Mexico's rate of 427 motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents was much higher than this national rate and the highest rate compared to all states.
Violent crimes make up a small share of crimes nationwide. In New Mexico, violent crimes account for 21% of total crimes, versus 15% nationwide.
While New Mexico has the 50th lowest total crime rate of all states, it has the 49th lowest violent crime rate. The state’s violent crime rate of 832 per 100,000 people is more than double the national rate of 379 per 100,000. There were 17,450 violent crimes reported to New Mexico law enforcement agencies in 2019.
Aggravated assault is by far the most common type of violent crime. Nationwide, there were 821,182 aggravated assaults in 2019, accounting for 66% of violent crimes across the country. In New Mexico, 13,640 aggravated assaults were reported in 2019. New Mexico's rate of aggravated assault of 651 per 100,000 people is more than double the national rate of 250 per 100,000 and is the highest of all states.
Robbery is the second most common type of violent crime in America. There were 2,341 robberies reported in New Mexico in 2019, or 112 robberies for every 100,000 residents. This is higher than the national rate of 82 robberies per 100,000 people, and the fourth highest robbery rate among states.
There were 1,288 reported rapes in 2019 in New Mexico. The state's rate of rape of 61.4 per 100,000 residents is higher than the national rate of 42.6 per 100,000 people. New Mexico has the eighth highest rate of rape.
In 2019, there were 181 murders reported to law enforcement in New Mexico. The state’s murder rate of 8.6 per 100,000 residents is much higher than the national rate of 5.0 per 100,000. New Mexico's murder rate is the seventh highest in the country.
Where are these crimes being committed?
Because crime is influenced by local circumstances, crime levels vary considerably within each state. Often a state’s dense urban areas will have higher crime rates than its rural areas. Even in a state with an exceptionally low crime rate, there is often at least one area where crime rates exceed the nation.
City with the highest crime rate in New Mexico
The city with the highest total crime rate in New Mexico is Gallup, with a crime rate of 8,361 per 100,000 residents. This excludes cities with a population below 5,000 and cities with incomplete FBI crime reports.
While the city may have the highest total crime rate in the state, the rate is driven by property crime. Therefore, Gallup is likely less dangerous than other cities in the state where more violent crimes are committed.
The most dangerous city in the state is Belen. This city has the highest violent crime rate in New Mexico, at 2,030 per 100,000 residents, more than double the statewide rate.
Crime over time
National historical trend
The FBI provides access to crime data by state dating back to 1960. This 60-year span, can be divided into three periods. Crime skyrocketed between 1960 and 1980, with the crime rate more than tripling in just 20 years from 1,887 crimes per 100,000 Americans to 5,950 crimes per 100,000 Americans.
Crime remained high in the 1980s and reached its second highest peak in 1991. Since that year, crime has fallen steadily nationwide, reaching its current rate of 2,489 per 100,000, a 58% decline in 28 years.
New Mexico's historical trend
In 1960, New Mexico's crime rate was 2,387 crimes per 100,000 residents. Crime peaked in the state in 1997 at 6,907 per 100,000, an increase of 189%.
Crime changes 2014-2019
Over the five years since 2014, the nationwide total crime rate has decreased by 15.2%, but this change varied dramatically between states. In New Hampshire, for example, the crime rate decreased by 37.0%, the largest decline of any state. The largest increase was in Alaska, where crime rose by 11.3% between 2014 and 2019.
With a decrease of 4.7%, New Mexico's crime rate has fallen much slower than the country as a whole. The crime rate declined in 48 states over this time period, and almost all of them declined faster than in New Mexico.
How New Mexico has compared to other states historically
Since 1960, New Mexico has always had a higher crime rate than the majority of states. Over these 60 years, the state has been among the 10 states with the highest crime rates in 45 of them, but never among the states with the lowest crime rates. Notably, New Mexico has been the state with the highest crime rate in the country in seven years since 1960.
All cities in New Mexico
Here are all New Mexico cities ranked by total crime rate. For a city to be included, it must have a complete 2019 FBI crime report and population of 5,000 or more. Click any bar or city name to see more about crime in that city.
Click here to see a list of all city crime pages.