Moving to Los Alamos? The census designated place is located about 33 miles northwest of Santa Fe. Los Alamos is known as the birthplace of the atomic bomb. The name Los Alamos means “the cottonwoods” in Spanish. In Los Alamos, you’ll find ancient villages, amazing scenery, a diverse culture, great neighborhoods, plenty to see and do, and lots of summer and winter outdoor activities. Los Alamos was incorporated in 1969 and sits high up on the Pajarito Plateau, about 7,300 feet above sea level. Los Alamos is a good place to live, where many families and young professionals reside.
Where Is Los Alamos New Mexico?
Los Alamos is in Los Alamos County, which is the smallest county by area in the state. There are only two census-designated places in the county: Los Alamos and White Rock. Los Alamos is 33.3 miles northwest of Santa Fe. Other nearby cities include Espanola to the northeast, and Bernalillo, Corrales, and Rio Rancho to the south. Los Alamos has limited public transportation through Atomic City. You can see the Los Alamos public transportation schedule here.
Los Alamos NM Population & Demographics
The Los Alamos population is 13,179 people according to the 2020 Census, which is about an 8% increase from 12,019 in 2010. The median household income for Los Alamos is $118,293, which is about $50,000 higher than the national average. Notable people from Los Alamos include Kevin R. Johnson, the CEO of Starbucks, and Michelle Lujan Grisham, the current governor of New Mexico.
The racial demographics of Los Alamos are 77.3% White, 19.1% Hispanic, 10.2% of two or more races, 7.2% Asian, 1.1% Black or African American, and 1.0% American Indian.
Additional Los Alamos demographics:
- Median age: 41.7
- Sex ratio: 48.6% female to 51.4% male
- Homeownership rate: 67.2%
- Educational attainment: 69.0% bachelor’s degree or higher, 97.6% high school grad or higher
- Foreign-born population: 10.6%
- Veteran population: 6.0%
Los Alamos is a very safe place to live. The Los Alamos crime rates are 82% lower than the national average, and violent crimes in Los Alamos are 85% lower than the national average. The city is safer than 89% of the cities in the United States. The Los Alamos crime rate is 432 crimes per 100,000 people and 57 violent crimes per 100,000. These statistics are well below the New Mexico average of 3,620 crimes per 100,000 and 778 violent crimes per 100,000. With 33 sworn officers, the Los Alamos Police Department endeavors to maintain the highest level of customer service while honoring its commitment to those they serve.
Cost of Living in Los Alamos
The cost of living in Los Alamos is 16% higher than the New Mexico average. The cost of healthcare is 1% higher than the national average, while the cost of goods and services, transportation, and utilities are 7% lower, and groceries are 1% lower. According to the Economic Policy Institute Calculator, the monthly cost for two adults and two children is $7,313.
Housing is one of the biggest expenses you will face while living in Los Alamos. Los Alamos housing is 35% higher than the national average. Los Alamos median home price is $460,750, which is a 3.2% decrease from the previous year. The Los Alamos housing market is very competitive. Homes sell after about 8 days on the market. You can check out Los Alamos, NM homes for sale to get an idea of how much homes cost in the Los Alamos area.
According to RentCafe, the average rent for an apartment in Los Alamos is $1,416 for an 857-square-foot apartment.
Typical Los Alamos Living Expenses
- Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant: $15.00
- Meal at McDonald’s (or Equivalent Combo Meal): $9.50
- Domestic Beer (1 pint draught): $8.00
- Water (12 oz small bottle): $1.00
- Local Cheese (1 lb): $12.00
- Average Los Alamos utility bill per month: $112.00
Best Neighborhoods in Los Alamos, NM
There are very nice neighborhoods in Los Alamos for you to choose from. Here are some of the best neighborhoods to live in Los Alamos:
Quemazon | Secluded Living with Breathtaking Views
Quemazon sits on a plateau overlooking Los Alamos, with beautiful vistas of the surrounding mountains and mesas. It’s no wonder that Quemazon is one of the most desirable Los Alamos neighborhoods to live in. The homes are mostly single-family and custom-built, but you can also find apartments and townhouses here. The community is quiet and peaceful.
Barranca Mesa | Older Established Neighborhood
The Barranca Mesa is an older, established neighborhood that’s been around since 1958 when a lottery awarded 68 residents the first round of privately held lots in Los Alamos. Homes in Barranca Mesa are mostly single-family homes with a variety of styles, including ranch homes on large, sweeping lots to homes with stunning views from the canyon rim. You can access the Bayo Canyon, Pajarito, Western Perimeter, Rendija Canyon, Otowi Mesa, and Deertrap Mesa trails from the community.
North Mesa | Great Planned Developments
North Mesa started in 1976. The community is a series of planned developments that include Loma Vista, Hawks Landing, and Broadview. You will find a wide variety of home styles in North Mesa, such as the Canyon Rim Properties, where you’ll have stunning views of the surrounding mountains. North Mesa features ball fields, rodeo grounds, stables, and a serene, forested picnic ground.
Los Alamos, NM Weather & Climate
The Köppen climate classification for Los Alamos is Marine West Coast Climate. Winters are very cold, snowy, and mostly clear, while the summers are warm and partly cloudy. July is typically the warmest month, with an average high of 81°F and a low of 55°F. The coldest month on average is January, where the average high is 40°F, and the average low is 19°F. The best time to visit is May through September.
The cold season lasts for about three months, from mid-November to mid-February, and the average daily high temperature is below 48°F. The warm season runs about three and a half months, from late May to mid-September, with an average daily high temperature above 73°F.
Los Alamos gets an average of 16 inches of rain each year. It snows an average of 39 inches yearly in Los Alamos, higher than the US average of 28 inches.
Things to Do in Los Alamos
Los Alamos is a small town with diverse cultural and entertainment opportunities. Within 45 miles, you can visit 8 Indian pueblos and get a unique look into the area’s ancient American cultures. There are plenty of fun things to do in Los Alamos, especially if you love the outdoors.
If you like shopping, check out the Central Shopping Center. Los Alamos also has many unique shops like Bennett’s Fine Jewelry and Gifts, L.A. Bootery, and Fusion Multisport. Find groceries and other essentials at Smith’s Food and Drug. Here are some of the most popular attractions in Los Alamos:
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At the Los Alamos Historical Society, you can learn all about the history of Los Alamos, its people, and community life on the Pajarito Plateau. Through photographs, artifacts, artwork, and stories, you’ll discover the unique history and world-changing events that shaped Los Alamos. The museum also has lots of resources for teachers and educators, events throughout the year, and a lecture series.
The Los Alamos Nature Center features interactive exhibits where you can learn about the natural history of northern New Mexico. Talk to experts in the fields of geology, biology, ecology, astronomy, nature photography, and more at regularly scheduled programs or explore the solar system in the state-of-the-art planetarium. This family friendly activity lets kids spend hours exploring the Children’s Discovery Area or have fun in the outdoor Nature Play Area!
Los Alamos Nature Center, 2600 Canyon Rd, Los Alamos, NM 87544, (505) 662-0460
The Los Alamos County Golf Course is a fun and challenging course, located at the base of the Jemez Mountains on the Pajarito Plateau. The 6,500-yard, par 72, 18-hole layout will test your skills and provide plenty of fun. The golf course was built in 1947 by the Atomic Energy Commission and is one of the oldest 18-hole golf courses in New Mexico.
Additional Attractions in Los Alamos:
The local public library is Mesa Public Library, where you can check out books and use the internet for free. The Los Alamos Parks and Recreation Department includes 29 parks and 20 playgrounds. Check out the city event calendar here.
Los Alamos NM Restaurants
You don’t have to go far for a quick and delicious bite to eat! Here are some top restaurants in Los Alamos.
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This top-rated breakfast restaurant features the best donuts anywhere in the county, made fresh every morning. But don’t come just for the donuts. Morning Glory serves pies, lunch, burgers, and their famous breakfast burrito. For more than 10 years, Morning Glory has been serving up the highest quality food for their customers.
Morning Glory, 1377 Diamond Dr, Los Alamos, NM 87544, (505) 662-4000
For more than 40 years, the Blue Window Bistro has been delighting customers every Monday through Friday. They serve lunch and dinner, and their food is always fresh, made from scratch using the highest quality ingredients, and sourced locally and seasonally when possible. This is the perfect restaurant for couples for date night.
Blue Window Bistro, 1789 Central Ave, Los Alamos, NM 87544, (505) 662-6305
Since 1988, Viola’s Restaurant has served the best in Mexican cuisine to the people of Los Alamos. They feature perfectly cooked chili, huevos rancheros, and pozole. In the mornings, stop by for some scrumptious French toast and tasty pancakes with a hot cup of coffee or tea. Viola’s is famous for its exceptional service and friendly staff.
Viola’s Restaurant, 1360 Trinity Dr, Los Alamos, NM 87544, (505) 662-5617
Jobs in Los Alamos
The city of Los Alamos employs 7,177 people, and most of the jobs are in professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation & food services, and public administration. Many residents of Los Alamos commute to Santa Fe for a variety of different job positions.
Major employers in Los Alamos:
- Los Alamos National Laboratory
- Smith’s Food and Drug
- Los Alamos National Bank
- Los Alamos Medical Center
- Los Alamos County
- Los Alamos Public Schools
- Del Norte Credit Union
Los Alamos Schools & Higher Education
Los Alamos Public Schools is the highest-rated school district in New Mexico and is comprised of 5 elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. The University of New Mexico also has a branch campus in Los Alamos.
Los Alamos Statistics & Information
- County: Los Alamos
- Los Alamos Area: 11.11 square miles
- Los Alamos Zip Codes: 87544, 87547
- Los Alamos Area Code: 505
- Los Alamos Elevation: 7,320 feet
- Los Alamos Time Zone: Mountain Standard Time (MST)
- Closest airport: Santa Fe Airport (SAF), about 30 miles away
Los Alamos NM Map
Check out more activities, places to eat, and amenities with this Los Alamos map!
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