New Mexico is the 3rd Most Dangerous State, Report Says

New Mexico has been ranked the 3rd most dangerous state in America, according to a recent report. This ranking is based on the state’s high rates of violent crime, including aggravated assaults, and non-violent crimes such as property crimes. The report highlights the urgent need for public safety initiatives to address these concerning crime rates and improve safety for all New Mexicans.

What is the Crime Rate in Belen, New Mexico

The crime rate in Belen, New Mexico, varies slightly across different sources. According to, the 2020 crime rate in Belen was 354, which is 1.4 times higher than the U.S. average. reports a violent crime rate of 88 compared to the U.S. average of 22.7. indicates a crime rate of 50.52 per 1,000 residents during a standard year. states a crime rate of 5,563 per 100,000 people, surpassing the national average by 139.35%. The most recent data from the article mentions a 17.98% drop in the overall crime rate in Belen in 2023 compared to 2022

What is the Crime Rate Trend in New Mexico Over the Past Decade

The crime rate in New Mexico has been a topic of concern over the past decade. According to the data, New Mexico has consistently ranked high in terms of property crime and violent crime rates compared to other states in the United States. For instance, in 2016, New Mexico had the highest rate of property crime among all U.S. states, and the second-highest rate for violent crime, following Alaska.

In 2018, the crime rate in New Mexico was 856.58 per 100,000 population, representing a 10.01% increase from the previous year. This increase in the crime rate indicates a growing concern for public safety and security in the state.

Furthermore, around 27% of the population resides in Albuquerque, but the city accounts for 42.7% of violent crime and 47% of property crime in New Mexico, highlighting the significant impact of crime on the state’s largest city.

However, there have been some positive trends in recent years. For instance, in Belen, the overall crime rate fell by 49% in 2020 compared to 2019, and the city has seen a decline in both violent crime and decreasing property crime over the past five years.

What Are the Factors That Contribute to New Mexico’s High Crime Rate

New Mexico’s high crime rate is influenced by a variety of factors, including socioeconomic issues, criminal justice system challenges, and geographical location.

Socioeconomic Factors:

New Mexico has a high poverty rate, with more than 18% of residents living below the poverty line. This is the third-highest rate in the U.S., and poverty is often linked to higher crime rates. Additionally, the state’s unemployment rate is among the highest in the country, with just over 8% of people unemployed in April 2021. These economic factors can contribute to a higher incidence of crime.

Criminal Justice System Challenges:

New Mexico’s criminal justice system has faced criticism for its handling of criminal cases, particularly in Albuquerque, which is responsible for almost half the state’s crimes with just over a quarter of the state’s population. The revolving door phenomenon, where individuals are released from jail with few consequences, has been identified as a significant issue contributing to the state’s crime crisis.

Geographical Location:

New Mexico’s location, with major interstate highways crisscrossing the state, can also contribute to higher crime rates. These highways can facilitate the movement of criminals and criminal activity within the state.

Healthcare and Infrastructure:

Research has identified healthcare, infrastructure, and policing as areas with the potential to prevent crime. For example, addressing mental health and substance abuse issues through healthcare interventions can help reduce crime rates. Additionally, investing in infrastructure, such as improving lighting and maintaining public spaces, can deter criminal activity.


Effective policing strategies, such as community policing and data-driven approaches, can also help prevent crime. Community policing fosters positive relationships between law enforcement and community members, promoting trust and cooperation in the fight against crime. Data-driven approaches allow law enforcement to allocate resources more effectively, targeting high-crime areas and individuals at a higher risk of engaging in criminal activity.

What Are the Most Effective Ways to Reduce Crime in New Mexico

To reduce crime in New Mexico, several strategies can be employed based on research and evidence. These strategies include:

Deterrence: Increasing the likelihood of getting caught is a crucial aspect of deterrence. This can be achieved by increasing police presence and using technology to track criminals.

Alternative Community-Based Programs: Channeling low-level, non-violent offenders into alternative community-based programs can provide better services that are proven to reduce crime, such as mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Healthcare: Increasing healthcare coverage, particularly through Medicaid, can reduce crime and recidivism by increasing access to mental healthcare and substance-use disorder treatment for vulnerable populations.

Infrastructure: Investing in infrastructure, such as improving lighting and maintaining public spaces, can deter criminal activity.

Policing: Effective policing strategies, such as community policing and data-driven approaches, can prevent crime by fostering positive relationships between law enforcement and community members and allocating resources more effectively.

Evidence-Based Policymaking: Implementing policies based on evidence and data can ensure that resources are used effectively and that interventions are tailored to the specific needs of the community.

Fiscal Responsibility: Ensuring that criminal justice policies are fiscally responsible can help alleviate the burden on taxpayers and ensure that resources are used efficiently.

Prevention: Focusing on prevention efforts, such as addressing the root causes of crime and providing rehabilitative services, can help reduce crime rates and improve public safety.

By implementing these strategies, New Mexico can work towards reducing crime and improving public safety for all residents.


New Mexico’s ranking as the 3rd most dangerous state in America is a cause for concern, but it also presents an opportunity for lawmakers and community members to work together to address the root causes of crime and improve safety for all residents.

By prioritizing funding for public safety initiatives, attracting law enforcement officers to the line of work, and addressing underlying causes such as poverty, New Mexico can strive towards creating a safer environment for all residents.

The city of Belen, like other communities in the state, must also take action to address crime and improve safety for its residents. By working together and taking data-driven actions, New Mexico and its cities can strive towards a safer future for all residents.

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