May 4, 2017

In nationwide diversity study, NM cities rank high, with Hobbs the highest

Wallethub map after study of diversity in U.S. cities.

A new study found New Mexico has six of the 100 most diverse cities when put up against all 501 of the nation’s largest cities.

That comes from the latest Wallethub study, which examined not just racial and ethnic diversity as part of the “cultural diversity” section, but also socioeconomic diversity, economic diversity, household diversity and religious diversity.

The southeastern city of Hobbs ranked highest among all New Mexico cities at 47th overall. The city ranked highest in economic diversity, at 43rd.

The other New Mexico cities that ranked in the top 100 included Santa Fe (57th), Clovis (61st), Albuquerque (72nd), Las Cruces (81st) and Roswell (83rd).

The study also asked some experts about diversity and what it means for cities.

Tracy Xavia Karner, an associate professor and department chair at the University of Houston, said, “Diversity can fuel a vibrancy and dynamism that increases the quality of life for all residents.”

Anna C. Smedley-López agreed that there were many benefits, including “a lot of evidence that suggests that working in diverse teams fosters better problem solving skills, creativity and innovation.”

She cautioned that there is often “disparities across groups,” noting economic, educational, health and housing disparities as potential trouble spots.

The report found Hobbs had the third-most occupational diversity of any city in the nation, while Alamogordo had the fifth most “worker-class diversity.”

Hobbs ended up as the 15th most diverse small city, joined by Santa Fe (29th), Clovis (23rd) , Roswell (28th), Farmington (34th) and Rio Rancho (35th) in the top 50 of the 297 cities in the ranking.

Las Cruces ranked 25th in medium-sized cities while Albuquerque ranked 26th in big cities, sandwiched between Phoenix, Arizona and Raleigh, North Carolina.

Albuquerque, the state’s largest city, ranked highest in cultural diversity, at 91st. The city, like the others in New Mexico, ranked low in religious diversity, at just 237th.