Crime in New Mexico

New Mexico's crime rate

There were 89,606 crimes reported in New Mexico in 2018, the most recent year crime data is available. Adjusted for population, New Mexico's crime rate is 4,276 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 2,580 per 100,000 people is 40% lower.

Crime rates nationwide range from 1,422 per 100,000 in New Hampshire to 4,276 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.

Property crime

The vast majority of crimes in America are property crimes, accounting for 85% of total crimes in 2018. This share was slightly lower in New Mexico, with property crimes accounting for 80% of all crimes reported in the state.

There were 71,657 property crimes reported in New Mexico in 2018, or 3,420 per 100,000 residents. This is much higher than the national rate of 2,200 property crimes per 100,000 people and is the highest rate of the 50 states.

Larceny

Larceny is by far the most common type of property crime. The 5,217,055 reported incidents nationwide in 2018 accounted for 72% of all property crime. New Mexico's rate of 2,166 reported larceny incidents per 100,000 residents is higher than the nationwide rate of 1,595 per 100,000 and is the third highest among states.

Burglary

An estimated 16,088 break-ins were reported in New Mexico in 2018, or 768 per 100,000 state residents -- the highest rate among states. For reference, there were an estimated 1,230,149 break-ins nationwide, or 376 break-ins per 100,000 people.

Motor vehicle theft

Across the U.S., there were 748,841 reported motor vehicle thefts in 2018, a rate of 229 per 100,000 people. New Mexico's rate of 486 motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents was more than double this national rate and the second highest rate compared to all states.

Violent crime

Violent crimes make up a small share of crimes nationwide. In New Mexico, violent crimes account for 20% 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 857 per 100,000 people is more than double the national rate of 381 per 100,000. There were 17,949 violent crimes reported to New Mexico law enforcement agencies in 2018.

Aggravated assault

Aggravated assault is by far the most common type of violent crime. Nationwide, there were 807,410 aggravated assaults in 2018, accounting for 65% of violent crimes across the country. In New Mexico, 13,598 aggravated assaults were reported in 2018. New Mexico's rate of aggravated assault of 649 per 100,000 people is more than double the national rate of 247 per 100,000 and is the highest of all states.

Robbery

Robbery is the second most common type of violent crime in America. There were 2,830 robberies reported in New Mexico in 2018, or 135 robberies for every 100,000 residents. This is much higher than the national rate of 86 robberies per 100,000 people, and the third highest robbery rate among states.

Rape

There were 1,354 reported rapes in 2018 in New Mexico. The state's rate of rape of 64.6 per 100,000 residents is much higher than the national rate of 42.6 per 100,000 people. New Mexico has the seventh highest rate of rape.

Murder

In 2018, there were 167 murders reported to law enforcement in New Mexico. The state’s murder rate of 8.0 per 100,000 residents is much higher than the national rate of 5.0 per 100,000. New Mexico's murder rate is the fourth 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 8,430 per 100,000 residents. This excludes cities with a population below 5,000 and cities with incomplete FBI crime reports.

Interestingly, even though they comprise the total crime rate, Gallup neither has the highest property crime rate nor the highest violent crime rate in the state. Taos has the highest property crime rate, while Belen has the highest violent crime rate.

The violent crime rate of 2,280 per 100,000 in Belen -- the most dangerous city in New Mexico -- is more than two and a half times the statewide rate.

Crime over time

National historical trend

The FBI provides access to crime data by state dating back to 1960. This nearly 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 2,580 per 100,000, a 56% decline in 27 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 2013-2018

Over the five years since 2013, the nationwide total crime rate has decreased by 16.8%, but this change varied dramatically between states. In New Hampshire, for example, the crime rate decreased by 43.6%, the largest decline of any state. The largest increase was in Alaska, where crime rose by 19.0% between 2013 and 2018.

With a decrease of 2.9%, New Mexico's crime rate has fallen much slower than the country as a whole. The crime rate declined in 47 states over this time period, but of those states, it declined the slowest 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 59 years, the state has been among the 10 states with the highest crime rates in 44 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 six 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 2018 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.

Click here to see a list of all state crime pages.