New Mexico City Becomes the Most Racist City in the Entire State

New Mexico has a rich and varied cultural heritage, yet faces social and economic challenges, particularly the widespread problem of racism impacting various communities and individuals. Racism can occur in different places, and some cities like Española in Rio Arriba County have been identified for having increased racial tensions.

Recent findings from 24/7 Wall St., a financial news and opinion website, have pinpointed Española as the least attractive city to reside in New Mexico. The city has been designated due to its high levels of racial discrimination and inequality.

What Contributed to Española Earning the Title of the Most Racist City in New Mexico?

Utilizing information from the Census Bureau, FBI, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24/7 Wall St. developed a combined index covering economic, community, and quality of life factors for U.S. areas with populations over 8,000. These indicators included poverty rate, median home value, median household income, drug-induced mortality, violent crime rate, educational attainment, health insurance coverage, and access to amenities.

The report revealed that Española had a poverty rate of 19.9%, which was higher than the state average of 18.3%, and a median home value of $165,600, which was lower than the state average of $184,800. Moreover, the median household income in Española, at $42,611, was lower than the state average of $54,020. The city’s drug-induced mortality rate was 100.3 deaths per 100,000, which is over twice the state average of 40.5 per 100,000.

The report pointed out the large Hispanic population in Española, making up 82.6% of the total population, which is higher than the state’s 49.1%. It stated that Hispanic residents in Española experienced significant racial disparities and discrimination in income, education, health, and safety. As an example, the report highlighted that the median income for Hispanic households in Española was $41,250, while white households had a median income of $56,250¹. The report highlighted the disparity in educational attainment between Hispanic and white adults in Española.

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Comparing Española to Other Cities in New Mexico and the U.S.

There are other cities in New Mexico also facing allegations of racism and inequality, not just Española. The state struggles in various social and economic indicators, especially for its minority populations. New Mexico is ranked 48th out of 50 states by U.S. News & World Report based on factors such as poverty, housing affordability, equality, and upward mobility. Additionally, New Mexico’s education ranking is 49th, health care is 46th, and crime and corrections are 45th.

However, Española is particularly notable for its high levels of racism and discrimination, especially in comparison to other cities in New Mexico. For instance, in Santa Fe, the capital and largest city of the state, almost half of the population is Hispanic. On the other hand, Santa Fe has a poverty rate of 13.2%, a median home value of $321,900, and a median household income of $62,803. In Santa Fe, the drug-induced mortality rate is lower at 34.9 per 100,000, and the educational attainment rate for Hispanic adults is higher at 43.8%.

Española also performs less favorably than other cities in the U.S. known for racism or discrimination. Harrison, Arkansas, known as the “most racist town in America,” boasts a poverty rate of 15.9%, a median home value of $113,700, and a median household income of $41,019 higher than Española. Harrison has a lower drug-induced mortality rate of 23.1 per 100,000 and a reduced violent crime rate of 157.9 per 100,000 compared to Española.

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