New Mexico State: Population, Rankings, and Facts

#43 in Overall Ranking out of 50 in 2021

New Mexico state (the abbreviation is NM) is a beautiful place adorned with several scenic landscapes and terrains. It has a rich and diverse cultural history, reflecting in the food, arts, and general lifestyle. There are several breathtaking national parks, forest reserves, festivals, and fairs for premium relaxation in NM. Hence, it attracts over 30 million tourists every year.

Updated: April 23, 2021
  • Area
    121,590 sq m
  • Capital
    Santa Fe
  • Population
  • Income
  • Home Value
  • Crime
  • Unemployment
  • Education
  • Medicine
  • Poverty
  • Environment
  • Infrastructure

New Mexico is the 5th-largest province in the United States. Located in the southwestern part of the country, it is a neighbor to Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, Colorado, and Mexican state, Chihuahua.

NM has a rich and diverse culture influenced by previous settlers in the land. First, the territory was home to Native Americans long before the Europeans arrived. Then, during the European exploration era, Spain colonized the area and named it Nuevo México (New Mexico). This happened centuries before the Latin American country, Mexico, was founded. In 1598, Spaniard explorers established the first Spanish settlement by the Rio Grande river.

By 1821, the province became part of the now established Mexico country. It was given autonomy which was threatened severally by the Mexican government. In that time, the region increasingly depended on the United States for trade and economic buoyancy. After the Mexican-American war in 1848, the U.S. claimed the province. It became the 47th American state on January 6, 1912.

The present economic pillars of NM are tourism, retail trade, and exportation of minerals: potash, gypsum, and pelter. Industries like lumber processing, arts, and textiles also provide a considerable share of the region’s annual revenue.

Furthermore, the geography of the territory is uniquely beautiful. It consists of several deserts, mountains, and rivers. Some significant mentions are the Sangre de Cristo Mountain and the Rio Grande River, the 4th-longest in America. Altogether, these influence excellent New Mexico weather: hot summers, short and cold winters, and a clear climate all year round.

Also, there are several other natural sites and state parks in the province: Santa Ros, Elephant Brute, and Bottomless lakes Living desert zoo, etc.

How We Figured Out Which Were the Best States To Live in

The relevance of this report on the best states to live in hinges essentially on its accuracy. Hence, all the data used were gathered from reliable and authoritative sources. They include reports from the National Census Bureau, departments of labor and health, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), etc.

The information gathered was then sorted and arranged into ten measurable metrics. These indicators covered areas like demography, education, poverty rate, unemployment, etc. On that premise, the states were ranked fairly according to their performances. 

New Mexico Rankings

  • Population
    Data: 2,096,829

    The population to surface area ratio is 17.2/sq mi, the 45th in America (U.S. Census estimates, 2019). Demographics analysis shows that 74.8% of the people living here are White, 9.6% are Native Americans, 2.1% are Blacks, and 1.6% are Asians.

  • Median Income
    Income in $
    Data: $46,744

    The median income value is pretty low compared to values seen in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey. However, it also has very friendly tax rates, which boosts its performance in this metric. For example, the property tax is 0.68%, and the sales tax is 5.13%.

  • Home Value
    Home Value
    Data: $229,947

    The housing and real-estate costs in the region are relatively cheap. About 67.7% of housing units are occupied by their owners. The remaining make up a median gross rent value of $844. Over the past year, the median home value of the index rose by 9.9%, and expert realtors predict another 11.4% rise by 2022.

  • Unemployment Rate
    Data: 8.6%

    In terms of unemployment, NM has the 4th-highest stats in the country. By census estimates, that amounts to over 82,423 New Mexicans out of 960,113 workers in the labor force. The education and health industries are the highest employers, providing 134,900 jobs. Following closely is the Trade and Transport industry with about 132,000 employments.

  • Poverty
    Data: 18.6%

    This region has alarming rates, which may be linked to the high number of uneducated residents, low median income, and a relatively small amount of multi-million-dollar companies. McKinley, Sorocco, and Cibola are the poorest counties in the area. Respectively, about 32.3%, 29.6%, and 28.6% of their population live below the poverty line.

  • Education
    Data: 26.9%

    There are 334 high schools in the area. About 14.40% of students dropped out before completing high school. Further analysis reveals that the University of New Mexico records about 44% graduation against 54% in 2019. A majority of the population did not complete a university education. Hence, it sits among the least rated in this metric.

  • Medicine
    Health Outcomes: 31

    The health care system is not excellent. Medical interventions and care quality are considerably low compared to neighbors, Colorado (#3) and Utah (#6). Research into the behaviors of New Mexicans showed that they are quite uncareful healthwise. As a result, heart diseases, respiratory illnesses, diabetes, and drug abuse are leading causes of death in the region.

  • Crime Rate
    Violent Crime: 17,450

    The crime rate here is the third-highest in the United States. Out of every one hundred thousand people, about 832.2 are victims of violent crimes. Cases involving property crimes (65,269), aggravated assaults (13,640), burglary (14,610), and rape (1,288) are also common. The most notorious districts within its boundaries are Deming, Belen, Albuquerque, Espanola, and Taos county.

  • Natural Environment
    Air: 3

    NM has a beautiful landscape with numerous vegetation, mountains, and rivers, and lakes. It records only a few pollution cases despite its slightly high drinking-water contamination reports. Statewide, there are five national forests, 15 national parks and monuments, 34 state parks, and 26 wilderness areas.

  • Infrastructure
    Poor Roads: 3%

    The road conditions are generally sound, with only a few bad ones. Likewise, the bridges, dams, and several other public properties. In this metric, NM ranks higher than neighbors Colorado (#23) and Oklahoma (#34). Statewide, the average travel time to work is 22.30 minutes, while the highway spending per driver is $662.

New Mexico Facts

  • The capital city, Santa Fe, has been the administrative seat since 1851 (when the region was still a colony).
  • The New Mexico flag was designed in 1920. It consists of a yellow background with a red sun symbol at its center.  
  • The state flower is Yucca.
  • There are 33 NM counties.
  • The map of the entire region is divided into 329 zip codes.
  • Wheeler Peak, near Taos, is the highest point in NM (13,161 feet above ground).
  • The Rio Grande is the 4th-longest river in the U.S. It flows through the region from north to south.
  • The largest city here is Albuquerque, both by the area and population of about 559,121 people. Santa Fe, the capital, has 84,683 residents.
  • The province has eight ski resorts, covering both the north and the south of the state.
  • During the 1940s, NM hosted the country’s first atomic bomb test at the White Sands Missile Range (55km from Socorro county).
  • The tax policy gives some credits and exemptions to favorable military workers and some selected industries.
  • 70% of the province’s population live within 40 miles of a New Mexico state park.
  • The Federal Government is the highest employer of labor.
  • The most common languages among local people are English, Spanish, and Navajo. 

New Mexico in Photos

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FAQ Section

  • Where Is New Mexico?

    The state is located in the mountainous region of the southwestern part of the United States. It is surrounded by several other American states plus Mexican provinces, Chihuahua and Sonata, which share its southern border lines. It shares a large part of its boundaries with Texas and a tiny portion with Oklahoma on its eastern side. Colorado and Arizona lie on the northern and western sides, respectively.

  • What Time Zone Is New Mexico?

    The entire state uses Mountain Time. This time zone, however, comes in variants according to the mean solar time. Here, the Mountain Daylight Time (UTC -6) runs almost all through the year. The Mountain Standard Time (UTC -7) for 2021 will commence in November.

  • What Is NM Known for?

    Famously called the Land of Enchantment, it has numerous scenic landscapes, lakes, and terrains. Added to that, it has several other eye-catching sites, including hundreds of caves, monasteries, landing saucers, etc.

    NM is unique for its diverse culture inspired by several European nations, including Mexico and Spain. The province has a variety of delicious cuisines and a renowned art scene (especially in Santa Fe County and Taos). It also has a popular flair for festivals and fairs, especially during the summer months.

  • What to Do In New Mexico?

    There are numerous exciting things to do in the Land of Enchantment. The art-rich museums are excellent places to visit. Also, several tourists can tour the numerous caves, parks, and wildlife reserves in the region.

    Individuals can also enjoy skiing, hiking, and mountain biking on the numerous terrains of its mountainous region. They can cruise the lakes while fishing, water rafting, swimming, or wakeboarding. Plus, also the option to go camping in the plains or forest areas.

  • What Is the State Bird of NM?

    The official bird is the Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus). Otherwise called the chaparral bird, it inhabits the southwestern part of the United States.

    The Greater roadrunner became the state bird in 1949. It also doubles as the province’s litter-control mascot.

  • How to Apply for Unemployment in the Land of Enchantment?

    Individuals can apply for their unemployment claims online. They can also do so over the telephone by calling this number between 7 am and 5 pm from Mondays to Fridays: +1-877-664-6984.

    The region’s policy mandates that only unemployed residents can be eligible for the benefit. Moreso, applicants, must actively search for a new job while receiving payments.

    The New Mexico unemployment benefits rate is 53.5% of the applicant’s weekly wage. The minimum wage is $10.50 per hour. That amounts to $420 for a 40-hour week and $21,840 per year.