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Facts about New Mexico

History | Symbols | Interesting Facts | Famous People

Statehood:  January 6, 1912, the 47th state

Capital:  Santa Fe

Total Area:  5th among states, 315,194 sq km (121,697 sq mi)

Water Area:  606 sq km (234 sq mi)

Highest Point:  Wheeler Peak, 4011 m (13,161 ft)

Total Population:  36th among states
2010 census -  2,059,179

Population Density in 2010:  17 people per sq mi

Distribution in 2000: 75% Urban, 25% Rural

Gross State Product - $75.5 billion (2010)
Personal income per Capita - $32,992 (2009)

Largest cities in 2010:  
Albuquerque:  545,852
Las Cruces:  97,618
Santa Fe:  87,521

  • Each October Albuquerque hosts the world's largest international hot air balloon fiesta.

  • Las Cruces makes the world's largest enchilada the first weekend in October at the "Whole Enchilada Fiesta". 

  • The world's first Atomic Bomb was detonated on July 16, 1945 on the White Sands Testing Range near Alamogordo.  North of the impact point a small placard marks the area known as Trinity Site.  The bomb was designed and manufactured in Los Alamos.

  • White Sands National Monument is a desert, not of sand, but of gleaming white gypsum crystals.

  • Hatch is known as the "Green Chile capital of the world". 

  • The largest fire in the state's history was ignited on May 4, 2000 in the National Park Service's Bandelier National Monument, when a controlled burn meant to clear away dry brush and prevent future wild fires leaped out of control due to high winds. 25,000 people, including all the residents of Los Alamos, were forced to evacuate their homes.

  • The Navajo, the Nation's largest Native American Group, have a reservation that covers 14 million Acres.

  • To a certain degree New Mexico's Indian Reservations function as states within a state where tribal law may supersede state law.

  • New Mexico's State Constitution officially states that New Mexico is a bilingual State, and 1 out of 3 families in New Mexico speak Spanish at home. 

  • The Palace of Governors in Santa Fe is the oldest Government Building in the United States. 

  • 1 out of 4 workers in New Mexico work directly for the Federal Government. State and local governments are also major employers.

  •  New Mexico has far more sheep and cattle than people. There are only about 12 people per square mile.  

  • Since New Mexico's climate is so dry 3/4 of the roads are left unpaved.  The roads don't wash away. 

  • On the same desert grounds where today's space age missiles are tested, ten-thousand-year-old arrowheads have been found. 
  • New Mexican history has ranged from arrows to atoms and has embraced Indian, Spanish and Anglo cultures.  Few states can claim such a distinctive past.
  • Santa Fe, the oldest capital city in the United States, was founded in 1610.

  • In 1986 governor Toney Anaya declared that New Mexico would serve as a sanctuary for Central American refugees.