Skip Header

2017 New Mexico State Population Trends

Component ID: #ti543827855

New Mexico is known as the “Land of Enchantment” and those living in New Mexico have a sense of the distinctive socioeconomic characteristics that define it. In New Mexico, we recognize that culture and natural landscapes are very attractive assets. However, New Mexicans are also faced with income disparities, economic development difficulties, and slow community development.

The question is how do we quantify our uniqueness and capitalize on our strengths and improve on our weaknesses? Where can we look to find data that tells us where we are now and where we are lacking in order to spark creative ideas and plan for our future?

Enter the American Community Survey (ACS), which is conducted annually by the US Census Bureau. The survey is comprehensive, with a total of 48 unique questions covering topics of employment, wages, income, commute times, housing, marriage, disability, education, sex, age, and race. ACS data are released in 1-year estimates for areas with populations over 65,000. Small areas all the way down to Census Tracts are released as 5-year estimates to keep individual information confidential. The most recent for 2016 was released last December. The data allow us to analyze socioeconomic characteristics for small localities across New Mexico and help quantify our distinctive populations. The comparison discussion in this blog are for 2012-2016 to 2007-2011 estimates.

POPULATION CHARACTERISTICS

  • Race and Ethnicity

In many ways, New Mexico is the definition of diversity. Statewide, 47.8 percent of the population identifies as Hispanic or Latino (of any race). That’s an increase of 1.9 percentage points from 45.9 percent in 2007-2011. New Mexico had the highest percentage of Hispanics of any state. California and Texas tied for second at 38.6 percent.

New Mexico counties with the highest share of Hispanic population include Mora (79.9 percent), San Miguel (77.6 percent), Rio Arriba (71.4 percent), and Dona Ana (71.4 percent). McKinley County had the lowest percentage of  Hispanic population at 13.7 percent.

Both McKinley and San Juan counties had two of the highest shares of Native American populations, .75.6 percent and 37.8 percent respectively.

  • Age.

New Mexico’s median age increased to 37.2 in the 2016 estimates, up from 36.5 in the 2011 ACS 5-Year Estimates, mirroring a national trend. Some counties in New Mexico have a much higher median age, such as Catron County (58.1), Sierra County (56), Lincoln County (50.9), Colfax County (48.3), and Taos County (47.6). Sierra County had more than 50 percent of households with one or more people 65 years and over. The three youngest counties are Roosevelt County (29.7), Curry County (30.8), McKinley County (30.8), and Lea County (31.8)

2012-2016 Estimates Race and Age Percentage of Population

Area

White

Black or African American

American Indian and Alaska Native

Asian

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander

Some other race

Two or more races

Hispanic or Latino (of any race)

2012-2016 Est. Median age (years)

2007-2011 Est. Median age (years)

Difference

New Mexico

73.5

2

9.3

1.4

0.1

10.5

3.3

47.8

37.2

36.5

0.7

Bernalillo

72.3

2.9

4.6

2.4

0.1

13.5

4.2

49.1

36.8

35.8

1

Catron

97.1

0.8

0.3

0.3

0

0.0

1.4

19.3

58.1

57.4

0.7

Chaves

80.3

1.8

1.4

0.8

0.1

13.1

2.6

54.9

35.1

34.9

0.2

Cibola

43.9

1

40.1

0.6

0.1

11

3.3

37.9

35.8

36.6

-0.8

Colfax

85.2

0.5

2.2

0.5

0

8.2

3.4

49

48.3

46

2.3

Curry

70.3

6.2

1.1

1.6

0.2

17.2

3.3

40.4

30.8

31.6

-0.8

Debaca

71.6

0.0

0.0

0.2

0

0

1.4

19.3

49.7

48.2

1.5

Doña Ana

89

1.7

1.1

1

0

5.2

1.9

67.2

32.6

32.3

0.3

Eddy

90.8

1.4

1.2

0.5

0.1

4.6

1.4

46.7

36.4

37.3

-0.9

Grant

91

0.6

1.7

0.2

0

3.8

2.7

49.6

46.4

45.6

0.8

Guadalupe

84.1

1.5

1.7

0.0

0

10.1

2.6

77.5

41.1

40

1.1

Harding

92

0.0

0.2

0.0

0

1.9

5.8

41.9

58

52.2

5.8

Hidalgo

93.9

0.3

0.1

0.0

0

2.6

3.1

57.2

42.3

36.4

5.9

Lea

87.6

3.4

0.8

0.2

0

5.5

2.5

55.8

31.8

31.6

0.2

Lincoln

88.9

0.6

1.7

0.4

0

5.6

2.8

31.5

50.9

48.9

2

Los Alamos

86.5

0.5

1.3

5.9

0.1

3.5

2.4

16.8

43.5

43.7

-0.2

Luna

90.9

1.2

1.1

0.4

0

4.6

1.7

65

38.4

38.7

-0.3

McKinley

16

0.5

75.6

1

0

3.8

3

13.7

30.8

30.3

0.5

Mora

53.5

0.1

0.1

0

0

45.5


79.9

41.3

46.1

-4.8

Otero

77

3.6

7

1.3

0.1

7.2

3.9

36.8

35.7

36.2

-0.5

Quay

89.4

2

0.5

0.8

0.2

4.9

2.2

44.3

46.5

45.4

1.1

Rio Arriba

58.3

0.6

15.6

0.4

0

22.3

2.8

71.4

39.8

38.9

0.9

Roosevelt

74.1

2.6

1

0.4

0

17.9

4

40.6

29.7

29.6

0.1

Sandoval

70

2.1

12.4

1.4

0.1

9.8

4.2

37.3

39.4

37.7

1.7

San Juan

53.5

0.4

37.8

0.6

0.1

4.6

3

19.8

34.8

32.5

2.3

San Miguel

50

1.9

1.3

1

0.2

42.4

3.1

77.6

42.2

41

1.2

Santa Fe

83.4

0.8

3.4

1.2

0.1

8.6

2.6

51.1

45

42.6

2.4

Sierra

91.7

0.6

0.8

0.2

0

3.8

2.8

29.6

56

53.8

2.2

Socorro

78.2

0.2

12.3

1.1

0

4.9

3.3

49.4

35.8

36.2

-0.4

Taos

75.7

0.3

6.8

0.8

0

14.3

2.1

56.6

47.6

45

2.6

Torrance

91.6

1.8

1.4

0.2

0

1.4

3.6

41.2

43.7

41.3

2.4

Union

78

1.8

3.3

0.1

0

13.5

3.3

40.8

40.4

44.3

-3.9

Valencia

77.3

1.1

4.3

0.5

0

13.8

3

59.7

38.9

36.7

2.2

Source: US Census Amereican Community Survey



Table B02001 Race 
https://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/16_5YR/B02001/0400000US35.05000 


Table S0101 Age and Sex https://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/16_5YR/S0101/0400000US35.05000



Component ID: #ti1551936882

  • Income and Poverty.

The median household income for New Mexico was $45,674. This represents a decrease of $1,838 from the $47,512 median household income from the previous 5-year estimates for 2011, a consequence of the continuing impact of the Great Recession on New Mexicans.

A few important data caveats: Income is more than just wages or earnings. It could also include social security, retirement, interest dividends and other sources of income. Also, households with more than one worker often report higher incomes.

The counties with the highest median household incomes in 2016 ACS 5 Year Estimates include, Los Alamos ($105,902), Sandoval ($60,158), and Eddy ($59,625). The counties with the lowest median household incomes were Mora ($21,190), Guadalupe ($26,692) and San Miguel ($27,000).

The counties with the greatest decline in median household income included Colfax, Los Alamos , Rio Arriba and San Miguel. The five counties which show median household income increases include Chaves, Eddy, Lea, Otero and Sierra (see table below).

Another way to measure income is per capita.  In New Mexico, per capita income in the 2016 5-year ACS was $24,459, a decrease of $652 from 2011 ACS 5 Year Estimates. Per capita income numbers often feel more real when talking about earnings, but earnings alone doesn’t always paint the complete picture.

Poverty is a concept related to “not enough money” to purchase the basics needed for life such as food, clothing, housing and transportation. New Mexico’s percentage of families and people whose income in the past 12 months is below the poverty level was 15.9 in the 2016 estimates, up 1.5 percentage point from 2011. ACS 5 Year Estimates.. The counties with the highest poverty estimates were McKinley (32.5%), Luna (23.2%), and Cibola (23%).

Income and Poverty American Community Survey 2012-2016 Estimates & 2007-2011 Estimates

Area

2012-2016 Est; INCOME AND BENEFITS (IN 2016 INFLATION-ADJUSTED DOLLARS) – Total households – Median household income (dollars)

2007-2011 Est; INCOME AND BENEFITS (IN 2016 INFLATION-ADJUSTED DOLLARS) – Total households – Median household income (dollars)

Difference

2012-2016 Est; INCOME AND BENEFITS (IN 2016 INFLATION-ADJUSTED DOLLARS) – Per capita income (dollars)

2007-2011 Est; INCOME AND BENEFITS (IN 2016 INFLATION-ADJUSTED DOLLARS) – Per capita income (dollars)

Difference

2012-2016 Est; PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES AND PEOPLE WHOSE INCOME IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS IS BELOW THE POVERTY LEVEL – All families

2007-2011 Est; PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES AND PEOPLE WHOSE INCOME IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS IS BELOW THE POVERTY LEVEL – All families

Difference

New Mexico

45,674

47,512

-1,838

24,459

25,111

-652

15.9

14.4

1.5

Bernalillo

48,994

51,407

-2,413

27,402

28,419

-1,017

14.5

12.5

2

Catron

38,142

N/A

20,762

N/A

10.3

10


Chaves

41,356

39,785

1,571

21,015

20,018

997

17.6

15.7

1.9

Cibola

36,160

38,404

-2,244

16,885

15,853

1,032

23

18.9

4.1

Colfax

32,693

40,610

-7,917

20,911

22,979

-2,068

16.9

13.8

3.1

Curry

42,170

43,036

-866

21,502

21,928

-426

18.1

15.8

2.3

Debaca

31,197

N/A

28,232

N/A

8.00

14.10


Doña Ana

38,636

39,696

-1,060

20,143

20,352

-209

21.7

20.6

1.1

Eddy

59,625

50,950

8,675

27,974

27,833

141

10.1

8.7

1.4

Grant

38,890

39,414

-524

24,882

23,178

1,704

14.8

12.5

2.3

Guadalupe

26,692

N/A

16,034

N/A

12.10

27.10

-15

Harding

32,404

N/A

23,339

N/A

6.40

11.40

-5

Hidalgo

34,528

N/A

18,077

N/A

20.20

20.60

-0.4

Lea

58,152

49,711

8,441

24,126

21,954

2,172

12.8

13.1

-0.3

Lincoln

40,065

47,691

-7,626

25,230

27,362

-2,132

12.6

9

3.6

Los Alamos

105,902

112,000

-6,098

51,066

53,208

-2,142

3.1

1.6

1.5

Luna

27,326

32,754

-5,428

15,650

17,370

-1,720

23.2

23.6

-0.4

McKinley

29,272

34,227

-4,955

12,882

14,078

-1,196

32.5

25.5

7

Mora

21,190

N/A

13,826

N/A

19.10

10.50

8.6

Otero

41,502

41,108

394

20,652

21,409

-757

19.4

15.8

3.6

Quay

28,159

31,915

-3,756

18,285

19,350

-1,065

14.4

12.1

2.3

Rio Arriba

33,972

42,906

-8,934

19,600

21,276

-1,676

16.5

15.8

0.7

Roosevelt

34,933

38,341

-3,408

18,447

18,872

-425

19.8

19.6

0.2

Sandoval

60,158

61,397

-1,239

27,060

28,546

-1,486

10

9.3

0.7

San Juan

48,624

52,294

-3,670

22,927

22,907

20

16.2

15.5

0.7

San Miguel

27,000

34,430

-7,430

16,990

20,409

-3,419

21.4

17.5

3.9

Santa Fe

55,370

57,560

-2,190

34,176

34,865

-689

10.9

11.3

-0.4

Sierra

29,679

29,397

282

20,495

18,172

2,323

14.6

11.7

2.9

Socorro

34,542

36,074

-1,532

17,277

19,424

-2,147

14.7

20.4

-5.7

Taos

35,323

38,687

-3,364

22,302

23,605

-1,303

15.7

16.6

-0.9

Torrance

32,067

34,420

-2,353

18,967

18,225

742

21.5

17.3

4.2

Union

36,420

N/A

21,091

N/A

16.40

4.40

12

Valencia

41,788

44,068

-2,280

19,842

21,332

-1,490

18.6

17.4

1.2

Source: US Census Bureau American Community Survey Table DP03 https://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/16_5YR/DP03/0400000US35.05000

By looking at six measures of the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey -- race/ethnicity, language spoken at home, age, median household income, per capita income and poverty -- we are able to not only quantify New Mexico’s population but also identify the characteristics of the people who live here and the economic challenges they face. Each community can use this information to help inform business decisions and public policy making. The data reviewed in this article is a small fraction of what is available from the ACS. There are many activities that ACS data should be used for such as:

  • Where to locate new businesses based on potential customers for a specific service or product and the workforce needed.
  • Local government providing better transportation services such as highways and streets cutting down on commute times to work.
  • Improved broadband access for rural communities and other deserving neighborhoods.
  • Affordable housing.
  • Better school outcomes for New Mexicans.

The ACS annually collects social and economic information on our states population. You can see an example of the 2017 American Community Survey Questionnaire and Instruction guide here: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/methodology/questionnaire-archive.html . There is information on why each question is asked available on the Census website at https://www.census.gov/acs/www/about/why-we-ask-each-question/  as well as other technical documentation form the Census ACS website at https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/

If you or someone you know receive an ACS packet, it is vital that it be completed for the future of New Mexico. Completing the packet takes approximately 40 minutes and can be completed via paper, phone, over secure encrypted website or by an in-person interview. This annual survey replaces the long-form which was sent to 1 in 6 households during the 2000 Census. The move to this annual survey allows for more current information between Decennial Censuses.

The Data Bank at UNM’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) is available to assist anyone in need of access to ACS data and providing instruction on Census data in general. Please feel free to call the BBER Data Bank at 277-3038.

The Bureau of Business & Economic Research employs a diverse staff with a wide range of specializations and interests. The views and opinions expressed on this blog belong to the individual authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of BBER or UNM.

X
  Is this page helpful?
Thumbs Up Image Yes    Thumbs Down Image No
X
Comments or suggestions?
No, thanks
255 characters remaining
X
Thank you for your feedback.
Comments or suggestions?
Back to Header