New Mexico


New Mexico

New Mexico is a state in the Western United States. It has the highest percentage of people who identify themselves as "Latino" and the lowest percentage of water area to land area of any state. The capital of New Mexico is Santa Fe. The most populous city is Albuquerque followed by Las Cruces and Santa Fe. It is the among the twenty least populous states in the nation with a population of 1,819,046 according to the 2000 census.

The state name is an anglicized version of "Nuevo Mexico," the Spanish name for the upper Rio Grande. Mexico, may be derived from "Mexitli" an Aztec god.


The state is in the Mountain census region. It has a surface area of 121,589 square miles, and 0.19% of the surface area is covered by water. It is the fifth largest state in area. New Mexico has an arid steppe climate. The Spanish province of Neuvo Mexico included all of present day New Mexico, most of Colorado and Arizona, and parts of Utah, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Wyoming. The American Territory of New Mexico created in 1850 included all of New Mexico and Arizona as well as some of Colorado, Nevada, and Utah. To the north is Colorado, to the east are Oklahoma and Texas, to the south is Mexico, and to the west is Arizona. The highest point in the state is Wheeler Peak with an elevation of 13,161 feet.


The Hopi, Zuni, Tiwa and Tewa were some of the native American tribes living in the area that would become New Mexico during the initial European exploration and settlement. The first documented European exploration of the area was by Cabeza de Vaca (1536). In 1598 Juan de Onate attempted a settlement at San Juan de los Caballeros north of present day Espanola Gov. Pedro de Peralta founded the first permanent colony at Santa Fe in 1609.

The land that would later become New Mexico was acquired from Mexico as part of the Mexican Cession after the Mexican-American war and territory ceded to the United States by the State of Texas. New Mexico’s enabling act passed Congress on the 20th of June, 1910 authorizing formation of a State government and Admission thereafter. New Mexico was admitted as the 47th state on January 6, 1912 upon proclamation by President William Howard Taft.

The word "Pueblo" describes a culture, a people, a town, and an architectural style. There are 19 different Pueblo groups that speak 4 distinct languages. The pueblos of New Mexico are some of the oldest continuously inhabited locations in the United States. The Anasazi were a sophisticated Native American civilization that were likely the ancestors of the Pueblo. More than 25,000 Anasazi sites have been identified in New Mexico.

Business and Economy

The economic product (GSP or gross state product) of the state in 2003 was 56,523 million dollars. The state produces various commodities including dairy products, cattle, hay and pecans. Electronic equipment, electronics manufacturing and petroleum are notable industries. From 2000 to 2003 the GSP increased by 10.63%. New Mexico's GSP represents 0.52% percent of the combined GSP of the fifty states and the District of Columbia.

Society and Culture

A person from New Mexico is called a New Mexican. The state is nicknamed the The Land of Enchantment, The Colorful State. Its tourism slogan is “Land of Enchantment”.


The population was 1,515,069 at the time of the 1990 census. The State's population in 2003 was estimated to be 1,874,614 by the US Census Bureau. The state experienced an estimated growth of 3.1% between 2000 and 2003.

New Mexico's population is relatively diverse with more than 40% Latino and 9% American Indian. According to the 2003 census, the ethnic breakdown of the state is:
White: 66.8%
Black: 1.9%
Indian: 9.5%
Asian: 1.1%
Pacific Islander: 0.1%
Other Races: 17%
Two or more races: 3.6%

The state's Latinos represent 42.1% of the total population. 44.7% of the population classifies itself as non-Latino white.

Regional Area
Surface: 121,593 square miles
Population: 1,819,046
Located in: United States
Area Code: 505
President/Governor: Gary E. Johnson (R)
Flag/Coat of Arms: