Rio Rancho is the fifth-safest city in New Mexico, according to SafeWise, an independent review website.
Last year, SafeWise rated Rio Rancho as the fourth-safest city.
The ratings are based on U.S. Census population numbers and FBI crime statistics, with 2020 rankings using 2018 crime data because it was the most recent available this year, according to the website. SafeWise evaluates cities that have populations above the median municipal population for the state and that turned in crime reports to the FBI for the relevant year.
When creating the rankings, SafeWise considered aggravated assault, murder, rape and robbery as violent crimes, and burglary, larceny and motor-vehicle theft as property crimes, according to the website. Property and violent crime were weighted equally, a change from last year, when only violent crime was used.
“If your town made a big jump — up or down — chances are this is the reason,” according to SafeWise.
For Rio Rancho, statistics indicated violent crime rose slightly from 1.7 incidents per 1,000 residents, as calculated last year, to two incidents per 1,000, as calculated this year. Property crime dropped from 20.4 incidents per 1,000 residents to 16.4.
Rio Rancho still beat the national rate of violent crimes, which was 3.7 incidents per 1,000 people, and the state violent-crime rate of 8.6 incidents. It’s also below the state property-crime rate of 34.2 incidents per 1,000, and the national property-crime rate of 22 incidents, according to SafeWise.
“Rio Rancho again, out of the largest cities with populations over 20,000, is the safest large city in the state,” said Mayor Gregg Hull.
He said city officials and employees would work hard to maintain the safety ranking. He congratulated the top four cities on their safety achievements.
Corrales was ranked as the safest city in New Mexico for the third year in a row.
This year, the latest numbers show the violent-crime rate in Corrales dropping from 0.6 incidents per 1,000 residents to 0.3 incidents. Property crime dropped from 8.9 incidents to five, according to SafeWise.
Bernalillo ranked 20th, having risen two ranks from last year. According to SafeWise, its violent crime rose from 8.4 incidents per 1,000 people to 11.2 incidents, but property crime dropped from 45.5 incidents per 1,000 residents to 28.2.
Los Alamos rose one place to rank No. 2 in safety, followed by Anthony, going up four places, and then Grants, with an improvement of eight places.
According to SafeWise, Santa Fe ranked 17th in safety, down seven places from last year, and Albuquerque was 28th.
Rio Rancho was the largest city in the top five by far, with SafeWise using a population estimate of almost 97,400. The next-most-populous municipality in the top five was Los Alamos, with almost 18,900 people.
Corrales was listed as having almost 8,600 people. Bernalillo has 9,800, according to SafeWise.
Rio Rancho fell in the middle of the median-income range for the top five, with SafeWise listing its median income at just more than $63,000. The website indicated Corrales has a median income of $84,600 and Bernalillo of $41,200.
The highest median income in the top five — and the whole list — was more than $101,000 in Los Alamos, according to SafeWise. The website showed Anthony as having the lowest median income in the entire list, at not quite $24,400.
According to the website, 45 percent of New Mexico municipalities dropped in rank this year, and 35 percent improved their ranking.
For more information about the rankings, visit safewise.com/blog/safest-cities-new-mexico/.