New Mexico Residents Are Leaving the State. Here’s Where They’re Going, by City

New Mexico is a state with a rich cultural heritage, a diverse landscape, and a sunny climate. But despite these attractions, many residents are choosing to leave the state for various reasons. According to the United States Postal Service, New Mexico had a net loss of over 17,000 households between 2020 and 2021, ranking it among the top 10 states people are fleeing.

Why are they leaving?

One of the main reasons why New Mexicans are leaving the state is the lack of economic opportunities. The state has been struggling to recover from the recession and the pandemic, and has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. Many workers are looking for better jobs and higher wages in other states, especially in the fields of technology, health care, and education.

Another reason why New Mexicans are leaving the state is the high cost of living. The state has seen a surge in housing prices, taxes, and utility bills in recent years, making it harder for many residents to afford their homes. Some are also concerned about the quality of public services, such as education, health care, and infrastructure, which have been underfunded and understaffed for a long time.

A third reason why New Mexicans are leaving the state is the desire for a different lifestyle. Some are seeking a more urban or suburban environment, with more amenities, entertainment, and diversity. Others are looking for a more rural or natural setting, with less congestion, pollution, and crime. Some are also motivated by personal or family reasons, such as retiring, getting married, or caring for relatives.

Where are they going?

According to the United Van Lines annual national movers study, the top 10 states that New Mexicans are moving to are:

  1. Arizona
  2. Texas
  3. Colorado
  4. Florida
  5. California
  6. Oregon
  7. Washington
  8. Nevada
  9. Idaho
  10. Utah

These states offer a variety of benefits for New Mexicans, such as warmer weather, lower taxes, more job opportunities, and more recreational options. Some of these states also have similar cultural and historical ties to New Mexico, such as Arizona and Texas, which share a border and a large Hispanic population.

The most popular cities that New Mexicans are moving to are:

  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Denver, CO
  • Dallas, TX
  • Austin, TX
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Portland, OR
  • Seattle, WA
  • Boise, ID
  • Salt Lake City, UT

These cities are some of the fastest-growing and most dynamic in the country, offering a range of attractions for New Mexicans, such as vibrant nightlife, diverse cuisine, cultural events, and scenic views. Some of these cities also have a strong presence of industries that New Mexicans are interested in, such as technology, health care, and education.


New Mexico is a state with many strengths, but also many challenges. Many residents are leaving the state for various reasons, such as economic, financial, and lifestyle factors. They are moving to other states and cities that offer them more opportunities, benefits, and satisfaction. However, some residents are also staying in or moving to New Mexico, attracted by its unique culture, nature, and climate. The state’s population is changing, and so is its future.

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