New Mexico is a state with a colorful history centuries older than the country it is part of. Maybe even a history not of this world (the jury is still out on that). While the ancient cliff dwellings and otherworldly reputation are two reasons the state is so enchanting, New Mexico has more than just UFO sightings to offer.
For those who are thinking of a move to this desert state (as in sandy, not sweet), but aren’t sure what the deal is with this seemingly magical place, we’ve got you covered. What jobs are available? What’s the housing market like? Was there really an alien landing? We’ll try to answer these questions (aliens are still up for debate) and more in this quick and easy guide to moving to the Land of Enchantment.
People living in the New Mexico may not be quite so enchanted with the current job market. With an unemployment rate of 5.8%, the state is pretty high above the national average, which is hovering around 4.1%. Wallet Hub also ranked the state 43rd overall for the best states for jobs when taking into account economic opportunities and available jobs.
Out of the available jobs the state does have, many are in health services. According to Zippia, the top fastest-growing jobs are personal care assistant, home health aide, and physical therapist. The state’s leaders in employment are the New Mexico VA Health Care System, Lovelace Health System, and Presbyterian Healthcare Services. If you’re in the healthcare field, and you’re dead set on New Mexico, it may be your lucky day.
Besides health services, construction saw a 9.0% rise in employment in the last 12 months, while financial activities saw a 4.8% rise. The minimum wage is $7.50 an hour, while the cost of living was ranked 24th by U.S. News, which makes it just about average.
New Mexico has a population hovering around two million, and it doesn’t seem to be budging very much. The population is stagnant for a few reasons, the main one being that not many people are moving in, and more are moving out. Outsiders just aren’t seeing the enchanting side of the state, and housing is one reason.
Since people won’t be soaring into space anytime soon, the new construction homes are limited. What few they have are mostly concentrated around the metropolitan areas of Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The majority of homes in the state were built between 2000 and 2010, meaning most prehistoric dwellings are officially off the market. We did hear Airbnb is a good place to look, though.
Home prices for the state are hovering around the national average as well, and it’s predicted that the prices will go up 2.1% in the next year (state can’t catch a break). U.S. News ranked its housing affordability 33rd. Sources put the median home value for the state at $182,500, and the median rent price at $1,200.
The otherworldly natural landscapes of New Mexico only add to the alluring diversity seen throughout the state. While the Native American and Hispanic origins of the state go back millennia, there has been an eclectic mixing of ethnicities and cultures throughout the state over the years. No city represents that better than Santa Fe.
Home to more than 70 ethnicities, this multicultural capital city is home to not only Native American, Latino and Anglo cultures, but also African-American, Asian and Middle Eastern. It’s a smorgasbord of cultures all wrapped up in a charming southwestern vibe.
Outside of the state’s capital and other tourist destinations like Albuquerque , the state experiences substantial generational poverty. While the tourist centers represent the state’s lively culture and diversity well, the smaller villages dotting the landscape portray what life is really like for the majority of the state’s population. Warm friendly welcomes may not be as prevalent in the areas not so heavily tourist-driven.
While food scarcity, poor education, and high levels of unemployment and poverty are the main features of society in the rural areas, substantial elements of Hispanic and Native American cultures can still be felt through the destitution.
If you’re hoping for a welcoming dynamic urban center with chill southwestern vibes, and access to amenities and cultural events, the metropolitan areas are probably your best bet. If peaceful small-town living is more your style, there are plenty of nondescript towns dotting the landscape, but that life comes with the cost of economic security.
No state is without their crown jewels of tourism , and New Mexico is no exception. For all of the history buffs out there, hold onto your cowboy boots. New Mexico is filled with ancient and beautiful sights. Here are a few of those must-sees that every New Mexican would heartily advise putting on your list:
Apart from enchanting landscapes and the occasional UFO sighting, New Mexico has some pros and cons that should be considered before any move is taken.
Pros of living in New Mexico:
Cons of living in New Mexico:
Every state has them. While most are laugh-worthy, these could potentially land you in in jail overnight. Best be safe rather than sorry.
New Mexico is a special state, filled with some pretty cool cultures that are worlds away from what the rest of the country experiences. Shaped by its prehistoric (and otherworldly) past, this state is not one to be overlooked.
While it may be struggling in some important areas, you shouldn’t always judge a book by its cover. Yes, the state might be suffering from some of the highest levels of poverty in the U.S., but the great thing about states (and their people) is that they are always changing. As a cultural presence, New Mexico has been surviving and growing for a long time – since long before the rest of the states were even a thought on a map. Chances are it will stick around, and with some hope, thrive again.