Los Alamos, NM

Population: 11,733 livability score shield

Key findings

  • Los Alamos has a Livability Score of 82/100, which is considered exceptional
  • Los Alamos crime rates are 88% lower than the New Mexico average
  • Cost of living in Los Alamos is 16% higher than the New Mexico average
  • Los Alamos real estate prices are 72% higher than the New Mexico average
  • Rental prices in Los Alamos are 18% higher than the New Mexico average

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      Los Alamos Reviews

      Write a review about Los Alamos Tell people what you like or don't like about Los Alamos…
      Born and raised here, I look back upon it fondly.
      Everyone else is right - there's literally "nothing" to do here: no shops, no typical forms of entertainment that you would find in other towns or cities, only one grocery store, etc. HOWEVER, I am so so glad I got to grow up here. Now that I'm older and have experienced city life elsewhere, it would be very difficult to go back... but nothing could ever replace the experience of living in such a special and unique town. As a kid we played outside a lot (even when I had video games, it was never as fun as what we could do outside). Air soft guns in the arroyo, playing cops and robbers with a bunch of friends in their jeeps running from one end of town to the next, ducking and weaving to different checkpoints (like the schools, which are beautiful and have fun playgrounds and trails of their own). You can go hiking, explore the Jemez or hot springs nearby, go off-roading in the canyons near the Indian reservations, have a bonfire, hike down Hell's Hole and sign your name in the book (though I think that might have been closed up now), go skiing/snowboarding/biking, you name it. There's tons of wildlife in close proximity (bears, mountain lions, deer, etc.), fun local sledding spots to go to with your friends and get hot chocolate at Starbucks afterwards :D And at that elevation with crisp, mountain air, you're in tip top shape. I love how safe it is at night too. No matter what time it is, you can have a good time. We'd sneak out for some wholesome teenage "trouble" to play fire tennis, play on a playground out of nostalgia (like the dinosaur park near Barranca!), climb the fence and skinny dip in an outdoor pool, climb the roof of the school library or post office (it was a fun challenge), etc. etc. If you have an imagination, this town is the best "sandbox" to do whatever you want. Every year the graduating class would choose a spot in the mountains to have the final party at - '08 was legendary, and 11 was pretty great too. My favorite spot was the Ocean, because it was a fun drive and we would park my friend's monster of a van near the edge, talk for hours and look at the sea of lights of LA, White Rock, and Espanola shine like waves beneath us. The schools are challenging. They made me love science to my core and without the education I received, I seriously doubt I would be the critical thinker I am today, especially after going to college and seeing how everyone else grew up (and compared to high school, college was an absolute breeze). I love the blend of culture in all of New Mexico - the mix of Mexican and Indian roots gives you sights you can't go and see anywhere else like the burning of Zozobra with Indian fire dancers, or the balloon fiesta, or green/red chile (Mmm!). There may not be much of a sense of community for an adult, but as a kid you literally grow up alongside everyone else and they will always be your friends. It is a sad reality, though, that a handful of kids couldn't make the best of it. There were some, for sure, who turned to drugs and lost themselves in a brain dead crowd. Either the academics was too much, the family income gap was too wide, or there weren't enough resources for mental health (everyone kind of just expects you to figure it out yourself). There's truly no crime, not even over drugs, but there are a lot of young people losing their lives to overdoses or suicide. This town isn't for everyone, and perhaps the town's feeling of isolation is not healthy for those struggling to find friends or purpose. If you're young and you don't feel like you fit in, there's no way out for you (or so it feels). Los Alamos is such a bubble, which can be it's greatest strength and weakness at the same time.
      0 0
      Great Schools - Thats About It
      I Grew up here, 30 years in Los Alamos and it is painfully dull here. The schools are stellar, but there is so little to do most kiddos just resort to weed and pills for entertainment. There are two locations open after 8, both are bars, and they close at 10:30. As for neighbors, imagine a community of Sheldons from The Big Bang Theory; constantly judging, but never engaging with you. Families here tolerate each other at best, primarily if their kids play together, but there has never been a sense of community. Crime is nonexistent, but if something does happen, its usually a highschooler breaking into a home because they're bored or the rare (and I mean rare) meth lab. If you don't work for LANL, you may as well live elsewhere because that is the only big industry in the region, so there is a harsh divide in income. The town is attracting more people, but they are all lab workers, so don't expect the nightlife to blossom in the next 10 years. As for stores, we have a Smiths (Kroger-owned chain), and thats it. Seriously. There are no department stores, malls, clothing stores, boutiques, etc. We barely have 20+ places to eat and half of those, along with the movie theater shut down during covid.
      3 0
      One Of The Most Perfect Living Places in NM
      Living in Los Alamos, NM is living in the 96th percentile of NM. One of the better cities in NM, we have almost everything perfect besides a couple of things that are above average. We’ll start with the negatives, as there are less of them. First off, I pay way too much for my living situation. I’m fortunate to have a job that pays me enough to afford it, but unless you have multiple incomes assisting your rent or mortgage then you may find it a little tough. Lastly, our schools are just average, really. Not the top percentile, but not the bottom.

      Other than those two, everything else is either incredible or just above average. Amenities are decent enough to where I don’t feel bored on the weekends or wouldn’t want my out-of-state friends and family coming to visit me and my home. Our crime rate is so low, which is why I don’t mind paying so much to live here. Security always comes first in my mind. Employment opportunities are plentiful, if you walk around the corner there’s a help wanted sign so you never have to feel fear of losing a job and not having another one.
      11 -3
      Source: The Los Alamos, NM data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).