Money's list of America's best small cities


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59. Rio Rancho, NM
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Rio Rancho
WINNER
Top 100 rank: 59
Population: 93,100
Compare Rio Rancho to Top 10 Best Places
Once a sleepy suburb of Albuquerque, Rio Rancho is coming into its own with employers like Hewlett-Packard and Intel helping add almost 2,500 jobs in the past couple of years. There's now nightlife downtown in addition to many bike paths, parks, and horseback trails. The real estate market is still shaking off the doldrums of the housing downturn; while sales are picking up briskly, foreclosed homes dot the streets. Those on the buying side of the equation, however, can expect to find good deals. --E.R.
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Rio Rancho stats
  City stats Best places avg.
Median family income
(per year)
$74,075 $96,825
Job growth %
(2000-2011)*
90.83% 25.01%
See jobs near Rio Rancho
Median home price $165,128 $269,768
See Rio Rancho homes for sale
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
28.4% 28.2%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
30.7% 29.2%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 2 2
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 16 20
Restaurants
(within 15 miles)
1,350 3,134
High temp in July ° F 90.0° 86.8°
Low temp in Jan ° F 19.7° 18.4°
Median age 36.1 35.2
Financial City stats Best places avg.
Median family income
(per year)
$74,075 $96,825
Family purchasing power
(annual, cost-of-living adjusted)
$78,221 $93,218
State sales tax 5.13% 5.57%
State income tax rate
(highest bracket)
4.90%I 7.31%
State income tax rate
(lowest bracket)
1.70%I 3.08%
Auto insurance premiums
(Average price quotes, for the state)
$1,896 $1,596
Job growth %
(2000-2011)*
90.83% 25.01%
See jobs near Rio Rancho
Housing
Median home price $165,128 $269,768
Average property taxes N.A. $6,517
See Rio Rancho homes for sale
Education
Colleges, universities and
professional schools (within 30 miles)
3 8
Test scores reading
(% above/below state average)
28.4% 28.2%
Test scores math
(% above/below average)
30.7% 29.2%
% students attending public/private
schools (located within town limits)
97.6/2.4 91.5/8.5
Quality of life
Air quality index*
(% of days AQI ranked as good)
67.9% 77.3%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 2 2
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 16 20
Median commute time (in minutes) 25.0 22.2
% population with commute
45 mins. or longer
17.3% 14.9%
% population walk or bike to work 1.1% 3.2%
Leisure and culture
Movie theaters
(within 15 miles)
20 33
Restaurants
(within 15 miles)
1,350 3,134
Bars
(within 15 miles)
56 199
Public golf courses
(within 30 miles)
29 169
Libraries
(within 15 miles)
30 70
Museums (accredited by AAM;
within 30 miles)
3 10
Ski resorts (within 100 miles) 4 6
Arts funding (Dollars per person of state funds spent on arts) 1.4 1.4
Weather
Annual rainfall
(inches)
9.28 34.21
% clear days in the area 46 32
High temp in July ° F 90.0° 86.8°
Low temp in Jan ° F 19.7° 18.4°
Median age 36.1 35.2
Completed at least some college
(% of residents)
65.0% 72.6%
Married % 59.1% 57.9%
Divorced % 11.4% 8.0%
Racial diversity index
(100 is national average; higher numbers indicate greater diversity)
100.8 118.4
From the September 2012 issue
Notes: *County data
Due to erroneous job, cost-of-living, and test score stats for a small number of places, this city's rank changed slightly from an earlier version. Details.

Due to an error by our data provider, an earlier version listed incorrect stats for this city's number of colleges.

(I) Income tax notes:
The income brackets reported for New Mexico are for single individuals. For married couples filing jointly, the same tax rates apply to income brackets ranging from $8,000, to $24,000.
These states use the personal exemption amounts provided in the federal Internal Revenue Code.

(II) Sales tax notes:
The sales taxes in Hawaii and New Mexico have broad bases that include many services.
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