EtymologyNew Mexico received its name long before the present-day nation of won independence from Spain and adopted that name in 1821. The name "Mexico" derives from and originally referred to the heartland of the ( in the , far from the area of New Mexico. Following their conquest of the Aztecs in the early 16th century, the Spanish began exploring what is now the western United States, using "Mexico" in 1563 to name the region of New Mexico (Spanish: '). In 1581, the Chamuscado and Rodríguez Expedition named the region north of the Rio Grande ''San Felipe del Nuevo México''. The Spaniards had hoped to find wealthy indigenous cultures similar to those of the in central Mexico. The indigenous cultures of New Mexico, however, proved to be unrelated to the Mexicas and lacking in riches, but the name persisted. Before statehood in 1912, the name "New Mexico" loosely applied to various configurations of territories in the same general area, which evolved throughout the Spanish, Mexican, and American periods, but typically encompassed most of present-day New Mexico along with sections of neighboring states.
GeographyWith a total area of , New Mexico is the List of U.S. states and territories by area, fifth-largest state, after Alaska, Texas, California, and Montana. Its eastern border lies along 103°W longitude with the state of , and west of 103°W longitude with (due to a 19th-century surveying error). On the southern border, Texas makes up the eastern two-thirds, while the Mexico, Mexican states of and make up the western third, with Chihuahua making up about 90% of that. The western border with runs along the 32nd meridian west from Washington, 109° 03'W longitude. The southwestern corner of the state is known as the New Mexico Bootheel, Bootheel. The 37th parallel north, 37°N parallel forms the northern boundary with Colorado. The states of New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah come together at the Four Corners in New Mexico's northwestern corner. Its surface water area is about . Despite its popular depiction as mostly arid desert, New Mexico has one of the most diverse landscapes of any U.S. state, ranging from wide, auburn-colored deserts and Prairie, verdant grasslands, to broken mesas and high, snow-capped peaks. Close to a Forest cover by state and territory in the United States, third of the state is covered in timberland, with heavily forested mountain wildernesses dominating the north. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the southernmost part of the , run roughly north–south along the east side of the , in the rugged, pastoral north. The Great Plains extend into the eastern third of the state, most notably the Llano Estacado ("Staked Plain"), whose westernmost boundary is marked by the Mescalero Ridge Caprock Escarpment, escarpment. The northwestern quadrant of New Mexico is dominated by the Colorado Plateau, characterized by unique volcanic formations, dry grasslands and shrublands, open pinyon-juniper woodland, and mountain forests. The Chihuahuan Desert, which is the largest in North America, extends through the south. Over four–fifths of New Mexico is higher than 4,000 feet (1,250 meters) above sea level. The average elevation ranges from up to 8,000 feet (2,500 metes) above sea level in the northwest, to less than 4,000 feet in the southeast. The highest point is Wheeler Peak at over 13,160 feet (4,011 meters) in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, while the lowest is the Red Bluff Reservoir at around 2,840 feet (866 meters), in the southeastern corner of the state. In addition to the Rio Grande, which is tied for the List of rivers of the United States, fourth-longest river in the U.S., New Mexico has four other major river systems: the Pecos River, Pecos, Canadian River, Canadian, San Juan River (Colorado River), San Juan, and Gila River, Gila. Nearly bisecting New Mexico from north to south, the Rio Grande has played an influential role in the region's history; its fertile floodplain has supported human habitation since prehistoric times, and European settlers initially lived exclusively in its valleys and along its tributaries. The Pecos, which flows roughly parallel to the Rio Grande at its east, was a popular route for explorers, as was the Canadian River, which rises in the mountainous north and flows east across the arid plains. The San Juan and Gila lie west of the Continental Divide of the Americas, Continental Divide, in the northwest and southwest, respectively. With the exception of the Gila, all major rivers are dammed in New Mexico and provide a major water source for irrigation and flood control. Aside from its rivers, New Mexico has few sizeable natural bodies of water; there are several artificial lakes and reservoirs, the largest being Elephant Butte Reservoir, which was created by the damming of the Rio Grande. At its height in the early 20th century, the reservoir was the largest man-made lake in the world.
ClimateNew Mexico has long been reputable for its pleasant, temperate climate. Overall the state is semiarid to arid, with areas of continental and alpine climates at higher elevations. New Mexico's statewide average precipitation is a year, with average monthly amounts peaking in the summer, particularly in the more rugged north-central area around Albuquerque and in the south. Generally, the eastern third of the state receives the most rainfall, while the western third receives the least. Higher altitudes receive around 40 inches (1,000 mm), while the lowest elevations see as little as 8 to 10 inches (200–250 mm). Annual temperatures can range from in the southeast to below in the northern mountains, with the average being the mid-50s °F (12 °C). During the summer, daytime temperatures can often exceed at elevations below ; the average high temperature in July ranges from at the lower elevations down to 78°F (26°C) at the higher elevations. In the colder months of November to March, many cities in New Mexico can have nighttime temperature lows in the teens above zero, or lower. The highest temperature recorded in New Mexico was at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Loving, New Mexico, Loving on June 27, 1994; the lowest recorded temperature is at Gavilan, New Mexico, Gavilan (near Lindrith, New Mexico, Lindrith) on February 1, 1951. Due to the state's stable climate, which provides for clearer skies, and relative isolation, which mitigates light pollution, there are several major :Astronomical observatories in New Mexico, astronomical observatories in New Mexico, including the Apache Point Observatory, the Very Large Array, the Magdalena Ridge Observatory, and others.
Flora and faunaOwing to its varied topography, New Mexico has six distinct Vegetation zone (latitude), vegetation zones that provide diverse sets of habitats for many plants and animals. The Upper Sonoran Zone is by far the most prominent, constituting about three-fourths of the state; it includes most of the plains, foothills, and valleys above 4,500 feet, and is defined by prairie grasses, low piñon pines, and juniper shrubs. The Llano Estacado in the east features Shortgrass Prairie, shortgrass prairie with Bouteloua gracilis, blue grama, which sustain American bison, bison. The Chihuahuan Desert in the south is characterized by shrubby Larrea tridentata, creosote. The Colorado Plateau in the northwest corner of New Mexico is high desert with cold winters, featuring Artemisia tridentata, sagebrush, Atriplex confertifolia, shadescale, Sarcobatus, greasewood, and other plants adapted to the Soil salinity, saline and Selenium, seleniferous soil. The mountainous north hosts a wide array of vegetation types corresponding to elevation gradients, such as Pinyon-juniper woodland, piñon-juniper woodlands near the base, through evergreen Pinophyta, conifers, spruce-fir and aspen forests in the transitionary zone, and Krummholz, and alpine tundra at the very top. The Madrean Region, Apachian zone tucked into the southwestern bootheel of the state has high-calcium soil, Madrean pine-oak woodlands, oak woodlands, Cupressus arizonica, Arizona cypress, and other plants that are not found in other parts of the state. The southern sections of the Rio Grande and Pecos valleys have 20,000 square miles (52,000 square km) of New Mexico's best grazing land and irrigated farmland. New Mexico's varied climate and vegetation zones consequently support diverse wildlife. American black bear, Black bears, bighorn sheep, bobcats, cougars, deer, and elk, which live in habitats above 7,000 feet, while coyotes, jackrabbits, kangaroo rats, Peccary, javelina, porcupines, pronghorn, pronghorn antelope, Crotalus atrox, western diamondbacks, and wild turkeys live in less mountainous and elevated regions. The iconic greater roadrunner, roadrunner, which is the state bird, is abundant in the southeast. Endangered species include the Mexican wolf, Mexican gray wolf, which is being gradually reintroduced in the world, and Rio Grande silvery minnow.
ConservationNew Mexico and 12 other western states account for 93% of all federally owned land in the U.S. Roughly one–third of the state, or 24.7 million of 77.8 million acres, is held by the U.S. government, the tenth-highest percentage in the country. More than half this land is under the Bureau of Land Management, while another third is managed by the United States Forest Service, U.S. Forest Service. New Mexico was central to the early–20th century conservation movement, with Gila Wilderness being designated the world's first wilderness area in 1924. The state also hosts nine of the country's 84 National monument (United States), national monuments, the most of any state after Arizona; these include the second oldest monument, El Morro National Monument, El Morro, which was created in 1906, and the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, Gila Cliff Dwellings, proclaimed in 1907. Areas managed by the National Park Service include: * Aztec Ruins National Monument at Aztec, New Mexico, Aztec * Bandelier National Monument in Los Alamos, New Mexico, Los Alamos * Capulin Volcano National Monument near Capulin, New Mexico, Capulin * Carlsbad Caverns National Park near Carlsbad, New Mexico, Carlsbad * Chaco Culture National Historical Park at Nageezi, New Mexico, Nageezi * El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail * El Malpais National Monument in Grants, New Mexico, Grants * El Morro National Monument in Ramah, New Mexico, Ramah * Fort Union National Monument at Watrous, New Mexico, Watrous * Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument near Silver City, New Mexico, Silver City *Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument * Old Spanish National Historic Trail * Organ Mountains—Desert Peaks National Monument near Las Cruces * Manhattan Project National Historical Park * Pecos National Historical Park in Pecos, New Mexico, Pecos * Petroglyph National Monument near Albuquerque * Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument at Mountainair, New Mexico, Mountainair * Santa Fe National Historic Trail * White Sands National Park near Alamogordo, New Mexico, Alamogordo * Rio Grande del Norte National Monument near Taos, New Mexico, Taos * Valles Caldera National Preserve in the Jemez Mountains Areas managed by the New Mexico State Parks Division: * Bluewater Lake State Park * Bottomless Lakes State Park * Brantley Lake State Park * Cerrillos Hills State Park * Caballo Lake State Park * Cimarron Canyon State Park * City of Rocks State Park * Clayton Lake State Park * Conchas Lake State Park * Coyote Creek State Park * Eagle Nest Lake State Park * Elephant Butte Lake State Park * El Vado Lake State Park * Heron Lake (New Mexico), Heron Lake State Park * Hyde Memorial State Park * Leasburg Dam State Park * Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park * Manzano Mountains State Park * Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park * Morphy Lake State Park * Navajo Lake ''(Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, Rio Arriba, NM and San Juan County, New Mexico, San Juan, NM)'' * Oasis State Park * Oliver Lee Memorial State Park * Pancho Villa State Park * Percha Dam State Park * Rio Grande Nature Center State Park *Rio Grande Valley State Park * Rockhound State Park * Santa Rosa Lake State Park * Storrie Lake State Park * Sugarite Canyon State Park * Sumner Lake State Park * Fenton Lake State Park * Ute Lake State Park * Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park * Villanueva State Park
Environmental issuesIn January 2016, New Mexico sued the United States Environmental Protection Agency over negligence after the 2015 Gold King Mine waste water spill. The spill had caused heavy metals such as cadmium and lead and toxins such as arsenic to flow into the Animas River, polluting water basins of several states. The state has since implemented or considered stricter regulations and harsher penalties for spills associated with resource extraction. New Mexico is a major producer of greenhouse gases. A study by Colorado State University showed that the state's oil and gas industry generated 60 million metric tons of greenhouse gases in 2018, over four times greater than previously estimated. The fossil fuels sector accounted for over half the state's overall emissions, which totaled 113.6 million metric tons, about 1.8% of the country's total and more than twice the national average per capita. The New Mexico government has responded with efforts to regulate industrial emissions, promote renewable energy, and incentivize the use of electric vehicles.
PrehistoryThe first known inhabitants of New Mexico were members of the Clovis culture of Paleo-Indians. Later inhabitants include American Indians of the Mogollon and Ancestral Puebloans, Ancestral Pueblo peoples cultures.
Seven Cities of Cibola and Nuevo MéxicoFrancisco Vásquez de Coronado assembled an enormous expedition at Compostela, Mexico, Compostela in 1540–1542 to explore and find the mythical Seven Golden Cities of Cibola as described by Fray Marcos de Niza. The name ''New Mexico'' was first used by a seeker of gold mines named Francisco de Ibarra, who explored far to the north of New Spain in 1563 and reported his findings as being in "a New Mexico". Juan de Oñate officially established the name when he was appointed the first governor of the new Province of New Mexico in 1598. The same year, he founded the ''Española, New Mexico, San Juan de los Caballeros'' capital at ''San Gabriel de Yungue-Ouinge'', the first permanent European settlement in New Mexico, on the Rio Grande near Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo. Oñate extended ''El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro'', Royal Road of the Interior, by from Santa Bárbara, Chihuahua, to his remote colony. The settlement of ''Santa Fe, New Mexico, La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asís'' was established as a more permanent capital at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in 1610. As a result of the Pueblo Revolt, these early cities were occupied by the Puebloan peoples until the Spanish returned with an offer of better cultural and religious liberties for the Pueblos. After the death of the Pueblo leader Popé, Diego de Vargas restored the area to Spanish rule. The returning settlers founded ''Albuquerque, New Mexico, La Villa de Alburquerque'' in 1706 at Old Town Albuquerque as a trading center for existing surrounding communities such as Barelas, Pueblo of Isleta, Isleta, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, New Mexico, Los Ranchos, and Sandia Pueblo, Sandia, naming it for the viceroy of New Spain, Francisco Fernández de la Cueva, 10th Duke of Alburquerque. As a part of New Spain, the claims for the province of New Mexico passed to independent Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. The Republic of Texas claimed the portion east of the when it seceded from Mexico in 1836 when it incorrectly assumed the older Hispanic settlements of the upper Rio Grande were the same as the newly established Mexican settlements of Texas. Texas's only attempt to establish a presence or control in the claimed territory was the failed Texan Santa Fe Expedition. Their entire army was captured and jailed by the Hispanic New Mexico militia. At the turn of the 19th century, the extreme northeastern part of New Mexico, north of the Canadian River and east of the spine of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains was still claimed by France, which sold it in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. When the Louisiana Territory was admitted as a state in 1812, the U.S. reclassified it as part of the Missouri Territory. The region (along with territory that makes up present-day southeastern Colorado, the Texas Panhandle, Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles, and southwestern Kansas) was ceded to Spain under the Adams-Onis Treaty in 1819. By 1800, the population of New Mexico had reached 25,000.
Territorial phaseFollowing the victory of the United States in the Mexican–American War (1846–48), the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo resulted in Mexico ceding its northern holdings to the U.S., including the territories of California, Texas, and New Mexico. The American government vowed to accept the residents' claims to their lands and to accept them as full citizens with rights of suffrage. After Texas was admitted as a state in 1845, it continued to claim a northeastern portion of New Mexico east of the Rio Grande. Under the Compromise of 1850, it was forced by the U.S. government to drop these claims in exchange for $10million in federal funds. Pursuant to the compromise, Congress established the separate in September of that year; it included most of present-day Arizona and New Mexico, along with the Las Vegas, Nevada, Las Vegas Las Vegas Valley, Valley and what would later become Clark County, Nevada, Clark County in Nevada. In 1853, the U.S. acquired the mostly desert southwestern bootheel of the state, along with Arizona land south of the Gila River, in the Gadsden Purchase, which was needed for the right-of-way to encourage construction of a transcontinental railroad. When the U.S. Civil War broke out in 1861, both the Confederate States of America, Confederate and Union (American Civil War), Union governments claimed ownership and territorial rights over New Mexico Territory. The Confederacy claimed the southern tract as its own Arizona Territory (Confederate States of America), Arizona Territory, and as part of the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the American Civil War, Trans-Mississippi Theater of the war, waged the ambitious New Mexico Campaign to control the American Southwest and open up access to Union California. Confederate power in the New Mexico Territory was effectively broken after the Battle of Glorieta Pass in 1862. However, the Confederate territorial government continued to operate out of Texas, and Confederate troops marched under the Arizona flag until the end of the war. More than 8,000 men from New Mexico Territory served in the Union Army. During the American frontier, many of the folklore characters of the Western (genre), Western genre had their origins in New Mexico, most notably businesswoman Maria Gertrudis Barceló, outlaw Billy the Kid, as well as lawmen Pat Garrett and Elfego Baca. In the late 19th century, the majority of officially European-descended residents in New Mexico were ethnic mestizos of Native Mexican and Native American (Pueblo, Navajo, Apache, Genízaro, and Comanche) ancestry, many of whom had deep roots in the area from early Spanish colonial times; this distinctly New Mexican ethnic group became referred to as the Hispanos of New Mexico. Politically, they still controlled most of the town and county offices through area elections, and wealthy sheepherder families commanded considerable influence, preferring business, legislature, legislative, and judiciary, judicial relations with fellow indigenous New Mexican groups. The Anglo Americans (which included recent African American arrivals) tended to have more ties to the territorial governor and judges, who were appointed by officials outside of the region. The Anglo minority was "outnumbered, but well-organized and growing".Charles Montgomery, "Becoming 'Spanish-American': Race and Rhetoric in New Mexico Politics, 1880–1928"
StatehoodThe United States Congress admitted New Mexico as the List of U.S. states by date of admission to the Union, 47th state on January 6, 1912. It had been eligible for statehood 60 years earlier but was delayed due to its majority of the population being "alien" (i.e. Mexican-American). European-American settlers in the state had an uneasy relationship with the large Native American tribes, most of whose members lived on Indian reservation, reservations at the beginning of the 20th century. Although Congress passed a law in 1924 that granted all Native Americans U.S. citizenship, as well as the right to vote in federal and state elections, New Mexico was among several states with Jim Crow laws, e.g. those who do not pay taxes cannot vote.Willard Hughes Rollings, "Citizenship and Suffrage: The Native American Struggle for Civil Rights in the American West, 1830–1965"
PopulationThe United States Census Bureau, 2020 Census recorded a population of 2,117,522, an increase of 2.8% from 2,059,179 in the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census. This was the lowest rate of growth in the western U.S. after Wyoming, and among the slowest nationwide. By comparison, between 2000 United States Census, 2000 and 2010, New Mexico's population increased by 11.7% from 1,819,046—among the fastest growth rates in the country. A report commissioned by the New Mexico Legislature attributed the slow growth to a Net migration rate, negative net migration rate, particularly among those 18 or younger, and to a 19% decline in the birth rate. However, growth among the Hispanic and Native American communities remained healthy. More than half of New Mexicans (51.4%) were born in the state; 37.9% were born in another state; 1.1% were born in either Puerto Rico, an Territories of the United States, island territory, or abroad to at least one American parent; and 9.4% were foreign born (compared to a national average of roughly 12%). Almost a quarter of the population (22.7%) was under the age of 18, and the state's median age of 38.4 is List of U.S. states and territories by median age, slightly above the national average of 38.2. New Mexico's somewhat older population is partly reflective of its popularity among retirees: It ranked as the most popular retirement destination in 2018, with an estimated 42% of new residents being retired. Hispanics and Latinos constitute nearly half of all residents (49.3%), giving New Mexico the highest proportion of Hispanic ancestry among the fifty states. This broad classification includes Spanish American, descendants of Spanish colonists who settled between the 16th and 18th centuries as well as recent immigrants from Latin America (particularly Mexico and Central America). From 2000 to 2010, the number of persons in poverty increased to 400,779, or approximately one-fifth of the population. The latest 2020 census recorded a slightly reduced poverty rate of 18.2%, albeit the List of U.S. states and territories by poverty rate, third-highest among the U.S. states, compared to a national average of 10.5%. Poverty disproportionately affects minorities, with about one-third of African-Americans and Native Americans living in poverty, compared with less than a fifth of whites and roughly a tenth of Asians; likewise, New Mexico ranks 49th among states for education equality by race and 32nd for its racial gap in income.Why New Mexicans are Fleeing the State
Birth dataThe majority of live births in New Mexico are to non-Hispanic whites, with Hispanics of any race consistently accounting for well over half of all live births since 2013.
SettlementsWith just 17 people per square mile (6/km2), New Mexico is one of the List of states and territories of the United States by population density, least densely populated states, ranking 45th out of 50. By contrast, the overall population density of the U.S. is 90/mi2 (35.5/km2 ). The state is divided into 33 counties and 106 municipalities, which include cities, towns, villages, and a City-County, consolidated city-county, Los Alamos County, New Mexico, Los Alamos. Only two cities have at least 100,000 residents: Albuquerque and Las Cruces, whose respective metropolitan areas together account for the majority of New Mexico's population. Residents are concentrated in the north-central region of New Mexico, anchored by the state's largest city, Albuquerque. Centered in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, Bernalillo County, the Albuquerque metropolitan area includes New Mexico's third-largest city, Rio Rancho, New Mexico, Rio Rancho, and has a population of over 918,000, accounting for one-third of all New Mexicans. It is adjacent to , the capital and fourth-largest city. Altogether, the Albuquerque–Santa Fe–Las Vegas combined statistical area includes more than 1.17 million people, or nearly 60% of the state population. New Mexico's other major center of population is in south-central area around Las Cruces, New Mexico, Las Cruces, its second-largest city and the largest city in both Doña Ana County and the southern region of the state. Its metropolitan area includes roughly 214,000 residents, but with neighboring El Paso, Texas forms a El Paso–Las Cruces, Texas–New Mexico, combined statistical area, combined statistical area numbering over 1 million. The state hosts 23 federally recognized tribal reservations, of which 11 hold off-reservation trust lands. The vast majority are concentrated in the northwest, followed by the north-central region. Like several other southwestern states, New Mexico hosts numerous Colonia (United States), ''colonias'' along the U.S.-Mexico border, Mexico-U.S. border, a type of Unincorporated area, unincorporated, low-income, slum. These areas are characterized by abject poverty, the absence of basic services such as water and sewage, and scarce housing and infrastructure. The University of New Mexico estimates there are 118 colonias in the state, though the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development identifies roughly 150.
Race and ethnicityNew Mexico is one of six Majority minority in the United States, "majority-minority" states where non-Hispanic whites constitute less than half the population. As early as 1940, roughly half the population was estimated to be nonwhite. According to the 2020 United States Census Bureau, census, the majority of Hispanics in New Mexico claim descendance from Spanish colonists who settled between the 16th and 18th centuries, when the state was part of New Spain. Most remaining Hispanics are first and second generation immigrants from Mexico and Central America New Mexico has the fourth largest Native American community in the U.S., at over 200,000. Comprising roughly one-tenth of all residents, this is the second largest population by percentage after Alaska. New Mexico is also the only state besides Alaska where indigenous people have maintained a stable proportion of the population for over a century: In 1890, Native Americans made up 9.4% of New Mexico's population, roughly the same percentage as in 2020."Historical Census Statistics on Population Totals By Race, 1790 to 1990, and By Hispanic Origin, 1970 to 1990, For The United States, Regions, Divisions, and States".
LanguagesNew Mexico ranks third after California and Texas in the number of multilingual residents. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 28.45% of the population age5 and older speak Spanish at home, while 3.50% speak . Some speakers of New Mexican Spanish are descendants of pre-18th century Spanish settlers. Contrary to popular belief, New Mexican Spanish is not an archaic form of 17th-century Castilian Spanish; though some archaic elements exists, linguistic research has determined that the dialect "is neither more Iberian nor more archaic" than other varieties spoken in the Americas. Nevertheless, centuries of isolation during the colonial period insulated the New Mexican dialect from "standard" Spanish, leading to the preservation of older vocabulary as well as its own innovations. Besides Navajo, which is also spoken in Arizona, several other Indigenous languages of the Americas, Native American languages are spoken by smaller groups in New Mexico, most of which are endemic to the state. Native New Mexican languages include Mescalero-Chiricahua language, Mescalero Apache, Jicarilla language, Jicarilla Apache, Tewa language, Tewa, Southern Tiwa language, Southern Tiwa, Northern Tiwa, Jemez language, Towa, (Eastern and Western), and Zuni. Mescalero and Jicarilla Apache are closely related Southern Athabaskan languages, and both are also related to Navajo. Tewa, the Tiwa languages, and Towa belong to the Tanoan languages, Kiowa-Tanoan language family, and thus all descend from a Language family, common ancestor. Keres and Zuni are language isolates with no relatives outside of New Mexico.
Official languageNew Mexico's original state constitution of 1911 required all laws be published in both English and Spanish for twenty years after ratification; this requirement was renewed in 1931 and 1943, with some sources stating the state was officially bilingual until 1953. Nonetheless, the constitution does not declare any language "official".''Constitution of the State of New Mexico''.
ReligionLike most U.S. states, New Mexico is predominantly Christian, with Roman Catholicism and Protestantism each constituting roughly a third of the population. According to Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA), the largest denominations in 2010 were the Catholic Church (684,941 members); the Southern Baptist Convention (113,452); The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (67,637), and the United Methodist Church (36,424). Approximately one-fifth of residents are Irreligion, unaffiliated with any religion, which includes atheists, agnostics, deists. Catholicism is deeply rooted in New Mexico's history and culture, going back to its settlement by the Spanish in the early 17th century. The oldest Christian church in the continental U.S., and the third oldest in any U.S. state or territory, is the San Miguel Mission in Santa Fe, which was built in 1610.Within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, New Mexico belongs to the ecclesiastical province, Ecclesiastical Province of Santa Fe. The state has three diocese, ecclesiastical districts: the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, the Diocese of Gallup, and the Diocese of Las Cruces. Since the 1970s, New Mexico has been a leading center of New Age, New Age faith, attracting adherents from across the U.S. The state's "thriving New Age network" encompasses various schools of alternative medicine, Holistic Health, holistic health, Energy medicine, psychic healing, and New religious movement, new religion churches; it also hosts many celebrations, festivals, and pilgrimage sites. New Mexico's popularity among practitioners of alternative medicine and religion has been linked to the ancient spirituality of its indigenous population, which emphasized spiritual connections to nature and the land. According to a 2017 survey by the Pew Research Center, New Mexico ranks 18th out of the 50 U.S. states in religiosity, with 63% stating they believe in God with certainty and 59% considering religion to be important in their lives.
EconomyOil and gas production, tourism, and federal government spending are important drivers of the state economy. The state government has an elaborate system of tax credits and technical assistance to promote job growth and business investment, especially in new technologies.
Economic indicatorsAs of 2021, New Mexico's was over $95 billion, compared to roughly $80 billion in 2010. State GDP peaked in 2019 at nearly $99 billion, but declined in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the per capita income, per capita personal income was slightly over $45,800, compared to $31,474 in 2007; it was the third lowest in the country after West Virginia and Mississippi. The percentage of persons below the poverty level has largely plateaued in the 21st century, from 18.4% in 2005 to 18.2% in 2021. Traditionally dependent on resource extraction, ranching, and railroad transportation, New Mexico has become increasingly reliant on tourism. The state tourism department estimates that in the 2006 fiscal year, the travel industry in New Mexico generated expenditures of $6.5 billion. In 2014, visitors contributed close to $8.6 billion in direct and indirect spending.
Oil and gas productionNew Mexico is the third-largest crude oil and ninth-largest natural gas producer in the United States. The Permian Basin (North America), Permian and San Juan Basin, San Juan Basins, which are located partly in New Mexico, account for some of these natural resources. In 2000 the value of oil and gas produced was $8.2 billion, and in 2006, New Mexico accounted for 3.4% of the crude oil, 8.5% of the dry natural gas, and 10.2% of the natural gas liquids produced in the United States. However, the boom in hydraulic fracturing and directional drilling, horizontal drilling since the mid-2010s led to a large increase in the production of crude oil from the Permian Basin and other U.S. sources; these developments allowed the United States to again become the world's largest producer of crude oil by 2018. New Mexico's oil and gas operations contribute to the state's above-average release of the greenhouse gas methane, including from a national Four Corners Methane Hot Spot, methane hot spot in the area. In common with other Western United States, states in the Western U.S., New Mexico receives royalties from the sale of federally owned land to oil and gas companies. It has the highest proportion of federal land with oil and gas, as well as the most lucrative: since the last amendment to the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, U.S. Mineral Leasing Act in 1987, New Mexico had by far the lowest percent of land sold for the minimum statutory amount of $2 per acre, at just 3%; by contrast, all of Arizona's federal land was sold at the lowest rate, followed by Oregon at 98% and Nevada at 84%. The state had the fourth-highest total acreage sold to the oil and gas industry, at about 1.1 million acres, and the second-highest number of acres currently leased fossil fuel production, at 4.3 million acres, after Wyoming's 9.2 million acres; only 11 percent of these lands, or 474,121 acres, are idle, which is the lowest among Western states. Nevertheless, New Mexico has had recurring disputes and discussions with the U.S. government over management and revenue rights over federal land.
Federal governmentFederal government spending is a major driver of the New Mexico economy. In 2005, the federal government spent $2.03 on New Mexico for every dollar of tax revenue collected from the state, higher than any other state in the Union. By 2017, federal expenditure per state tax dollar increased to $2.34, the third highest after Virginia and Kentucky. New Mexico received $9,624 per resident in federal services, or roughly $20 billion more than what the state pays in federal taxes. The state governor's office estimated that the federal government spends roughly $7.8 billion annually in services such as healthcare, infrastructure development, and public welfare. Federal employees make up 3.4% of New Mexico's labor force. Many federal jobs in the state relate to the military: the state hosts three air force bases (Kirtland Air Force Base, Holloman Air Force Base, and Cannon Air Force Base); a testing range ( ); and an army proving ground (Fort Bliss's McGregor Range). A 2005 study by New Mexico State University estimated that 11.65% of the state's total employment arises directly or indirectly from military spending. New Mexico is also home to two major federal research institutions: the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories. The former alone accounts for 24,000 direct and indirect jobs and over $3 billion in annual federal investment.
Economic incentivesNew Mexico provides a number of economic incentives to businesses operating in the state, including various types of tax credits and tax exemptions. Most incentives are based on job creation: state and local governments are permitted to provide land, buildings, and infrastructure to businesses that will generate employment. Several municipalities impose an Economic Development Gross receipts tax, Gross Receipts Tax (a form of Municipal Infrastructure GRT) to pay for these infrastructure improvements and for marketing their areas. The New Mexico Finance Authority operates the New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) to provide greater access to financing for new, expanding, or relocating businesses in "highly distressed" areas (defined by metrics such as poverty above 30% and median family income below 60% of the statewide median).
Media and filmThe state provides financial incentives for film production. One such program, enacted in 2019, provides benefits to media companies that commit to investing in the state for at least a decade and that utilize local talent, crew, and businesses. The New Mexico Film Office estimated at the end of 2007 that the incentive program had brought more than 85 film projects to the state since 2003 and had added $1.2 billion to the economy. Data for 2021 found direct spending for film production at close to $624 million. In 2018, Netflix chose New Mexico for its first U.S. production hub, pledging to spend over $1 billion over the next decade to create one of the largest film studios in North America. NBCUniversal followed suit in 2019 with the opening of its own film studio and plans to employ New Mexican actors and crew members.
TaxationNew Mexico is one of the largest tax havens in the U.S., offering numerous economic incentives and tax breaks on Personal income in the United States, personal and Corporate tax in the United States, corporate income. It does not levy taxes on inheritance tax, inheritance, Estate tax in the United States, estate, or sales tax, sales. Personal income tax rates range from 1.7% to 5.9% within five income brackets; the top marginal rate was increased from 4.9% in 2021 per a 2019 law. Active duty, Active-duty military salaries are exempt from state income tax, as is income earned by Native American members of federally recognized tribes on tribal land. New Mexico imposes a Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) on many transactions, which may even include some governmental receipts. This resembles a sales tax but, unlike the sales taxes in many states, it applies to services as well as tangible goods. Normally, the provider or seller passes the tax on to the purchaser, however legal incidence and burden apply to the business, as an excise tax. GRT is imposed by New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department, the state and by some counties and municipalities. As of 2021, the combined tax rate ranged from 5.125% to 9.063%. Property tax is imposed on real property by the state, by counties, and by school districts. In general, personal-use personal property is not subject to property taxation. On the other hand, property tax is levied on most business-use personal property. The taxable value of property is one-third the assessed value. A tax rate of about 30 mill (currency), mills is applied to the taxable value, resulting in an effective tax rate of about 1%. In the 2005 tax year, the average millage was about 26.47 for residential property, and 29.80 for non-residential property. Assessed values of residences cannot be increased by more than 3% per year unless the residence is remodeled or sold. Property tax deductions are available for military veterans and heads of household. A 2021 analysis by the nonprofit Tax Foundation placed New Mexico 23rd in business tax climate; its property taxes were found to be the least burdensome in the U.S., while taxation for unemployment insurance and on corporations each ranked as the ninth least burdensome.
Wealth and povertyNew Mexico is one of the poorest states in the U.S. and has long struggled with poverty. Its poverty rate of roughly 18% is among the highest in the country, exceeded only by Louisiana and Mississippi. Nearly 30% of New Mexico's children were in poverty, which is 40% higher than the national average. The vast majority of births (72%) were financed by Medicaid, a federal healthcare program for the poor, the highest of any state. As of May 2021, around 44% of residents were enrolled in Medicaid. New Mexico is one of only six states List of U.S. states by the number of billionaires, without a billionaire; ranks 39th in the List of U.S. states by the number of millionaire households, share of households with more than $1 million in wealth (5%); and is among fourteen states without a Fortune 500 company. The state has a relatively high level of List of U.S. states by Gini coefficient, income disparity, with a Gini coefficient of 0.4769, albeit below the national average of 0.486. Household income is slightly less than $47,000, which is the fourth lowest in the U.S. The unemployment rate for June 2021 is 7.9%, tied with Connecticut as the highest in the country, and close to the peak of 8.0% for June–October 2010, following the Financial crisis of 2007–2008, 2007-2008 financial crisis. The New Mexico government has enacted several policies to alleviate chronic poverty, including approving a minimum wage increase in January 2021 and requiring paid sick leave. The state's minimum wage of $10.50 is Minimum wage in the United States#State laws, higher than that of the federal government and 34 other states; it is set to increase to $11.50 on January 1, 2022, and $12.00 on January 1, 2023. Additionally, counties and municipalities have set their own minimum wages; Santa Fe County enacted a "Living Wage Ordinance" on March 1, 2021, mandating $12.32. The New Mexico Legislature is considering implementing a statewide Universal basic income, guaranteed basic income program targeting poorer residents; if enacted, it would be only the second U.S. state after California with such a policy. In August 2021, Santa Fe announced a one-year pilot program that would provide a "stability stipend" of $400 monthly to 100 parents under the age of 30 who attend Santa Fe Community College; the results of the program will determine whether the state government follows suit with its own basic income proposals. Las Cruces, the state's second largest city, is officially discussing the enactment of a similar program.
TransportationNew Mexico has long been an important corridor for trade and human migration, migration. The builders of the ruins at Chaco Canyon also created a radiating network of roads from the mysterious settlement. Chaco Canyon's trade function shifted to Casas Grandes in the present-day Mexican state of Chihuahua; however, north–south trade continued. The pre-Christopher Columbus, Columbian trade with Mesoamerican cultures included northbound exotic birds, seashells and copper. Turquoise, pottery, and salt were some of the goods transported south along the . Present-day New Mexico's pre-Columbian trade is especially remarkable for being undertaken on foot. The north–south trade route later became a path for horse-drawn colonists arriving from as well as trade and communication; later called ''El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro,'' it was among the four "royal roads" that were crucial lifelines to Spanish colonial possessions in North America. The Santa Fe Trail was the 19th-century territory's vital commercial and military highway link to the Eastern United States. All with termini in Northern New Mexico, the Camino Real, the Santa Fe Trail and the Old Spanish Trail (trade route), Old Spanish Trail are all recognized as National Historic Trails. New Mexico's latitude and low passes made it an attractive east–west transportation corridor. As a territory, the Gadsden Purchase increased New Mexico's land area for the purpose of constructing a southern transcontinental railroad, that of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Another transcontinental railroad was completed by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. The railroads essentially replaced the earlier trails, but brought on a population boom. Early transcontinental auto trails later crossed the state, bringing more migrants. Railroads were later supplemented or replaced by a system of highways and airports. Today, New Mexico's Interstate Highways approximate the earlier land routes of the Camino Real, the Santa Fe Trail and the transcontinental railroads.
RoadNew Mexico has had a problem with drunk driving, but that has lessened. According to the ''Los Angeles Times'', for years the state had the highest alcohol-related crash rates in the US, but ranked 25th in alcohol-related fatal crash rates . New Mexico had 59,927 route miles of highway , of which 7,037 receive federal aid. In that same year there were of freeways, of which a thousand were the route miles of Interstate Highways Interstate 10 in New Mexico, 10, Interstate 25 in New Mexico, 25 and Interstate 40 in New Mexico, 40. The former number has increased with the upgrading of roads near Pojoaque, New Mexico, Pojoaque, and Las Cruces, New Mexico, Las Cruces to freeways. The highway traffic fatality rate was 1.9 fatalities per million miles traveled in 2000, the 13th highest rate among U.S. states. Notable bridges include the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge near Taos, New Mexico, Taos. , 703 highway bridges, or one percent, were declared "structurally deficient" or "structurally obsolete". Larger cities in New Mexico typically have some form of public transportation by road; ABQ RIDE is the largest such system in the state. Rural and intercity public transportation by road is provided by Americanos USA, LLC, Greyhound Lines and several government operators. Personal automobiles remain the primary means of transportation for most New Mexicans, especially in rural areas.
HighwaysNew Mexico has only three List of Interstate Highways in New Mexico, Interstate Highways: Interstate 10 in New Mexico, Interstate 10 travels southwest from Arizona, the Arizona state line near Lordsburg, New Mexico, Lordsburg to the area between Las Cruces, New Mexico, Las Cruces and Anthony, New Mexico, Anthony, near El Paso, Texas; Interstate 25 in New Mexico, Interstate 25 is a major north–south interstate highway starting from Las Cruces to the state line near Raton, New Mexico, Raton; and Interstate 40 in New Mexico, Interstate 40 is a major east–west interstate highway starting from the Arizona state line west of Gallup, New Mexico, Gallup to the Texas state line east from Tucumcari, New Mexico, Tucumcari. In Albuquerque, I-25 and I-40 meet at a stack interchange called Big I, The BigI. The state is tied with Delaware, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, and Rhode Island in having the fewest primary interstate routes, which is partly a reflection of its rugged geography and sparse population. New Mexico currently has List of U.S. Routes in New Mexico, 15 United States Highways, which account for over 2,980 miles (4,797 km) of its highway system. All but seven of its 33 counties are served by U.S. routes, with most of the remainder connected by Interstate Highways. Most routes were built in 1926 by the state government and are still managed and maintained by state or local authorities. The longest is U.S. Route 70 in New Mexico, U.S. 70, which spans over 448 miles (721 km) across southern New Mexico, making up roughly 15% of the state's total U.S. Highway length; the shortest is U.S. Route 160 in New Mexico, U.S. 160, which runs just 0.86 miles (1.38 km) across the Four Corners, northwestern corner of the state, between the and borders. The most famous route in New Mexico, if not the United States, was U.S. Route 66, U.S. 66, colloquially known as the nation's "Mother Road" for its scenic beauty and importance to migrants fleeing West from the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. The road crossed through northern New Mexico, connecting the cities of Albuquerque and Gallup, New Mexico, Gallup, before being replaced by I-40 in 1985. Much of U.S. 66 remains in use for tourism and has been preserved for historical significance. Another famous route was US 666, U.S. 666, which ran south to north along the eastern portion of the state, serving the Four Corners area. It was known as the "Devil's Highway" due to the number 666 (number), 666 denoting the "Number of the beast, Number of the Beast" in Christianity; this numerical designation, as well as its high fatality rate was subject to controversy, superstition, and numerous cultural references. U.S. 666 was subsequently renamed U.S. Route 491 in 2003. Many existing and former highways in New Mexico are recognized for their aesthetic, cultural, or historical significance, particularly for tourism purposes. The state hosts ten out of 184 "America's Byways", which are federally designated for preservation due to their scenic beauty or national importance.
RailThere were 2,354 route miles of railroads in the year 2000; this number increased by a few miles with the opening of the New Mexico Rail Runner Express, Rail Runner's extension to Santa Fe in 2006.U.S. Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Table 1-9: Freight Railroads in New Mexico and the United States: 200
AerospaceNew Mexico has four List of airports in New Mexico, primary commercial airports that are served by most major domestic and international airliners. Albuquerque International Sunport is the state's main Port of entry, aerial port of entry and by far the largest airport: It is the only one designated a medium-sized hub by the Federal Aviation Administration, serving millions of passengers annually. The only other comparatively large airports are Lea County Regional Airport, Roswell International Air Center, and Santa Fe Regional Airport, which have varying degrees of service by major airlines. Most airports in New Mexico are small, general aviation hubs operated by municipal and county governments, and usually served solely by local and regional Regional airliner, commuter airlines. Due to its sparse population and many isolated, rural communities, New Mexico ranks among the states most reliant on Essential Air Service, a federal program that maintains a minimal level of scheduled air service to communities that are otherwise unprofitable.
Spaceport AmericaNew Mexico hosts the world's first operational and purpose-built commercial spaceport, Spaceport America, located in Upham, New Mexico, Upham, near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, Truth or Consequences. It is operated by the state-backed New Mexico Spaceport Authority, New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA). Rocket launches began in April 2007, with the spaceport officially opening in 2011. Tenants include HAPSMobile, UP Aerospace, SpinLaunch, and Virgin Galactic. Over 300 suborbital flights have been successfully launched from Spaceport America since 2006, with the most notable being Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity, VSS ''Unity'' on May 22, 2021, which made New Mexico the third U.S. state to launch humans into space, after California and Florida. On October 22, 2021, Spaceport America was the site of the first successfully tested vacuum-sealed "suborbital accelerator", which aims to offer a significantly more economical alternative to launching satellites via rockets. Conducted by Spaceport tenant SpinLaunch, the test is the first of roughly 30 demonstrations being planned.
Government and politicsThe Constitution of New Mexico was adopted by referendum in 1911 and establishes a republican form of government based on popular sovereignty and separation of powers. It includes a bill of rights with greater protections and freedoms in some areas than its federal counterpart; for example, victims of certain crimes have specific rights, such as to privacy, dignity, and timely adjudication of their case. Major state issues may be decided by popular votes, and the constitution may be amended a majority vote of both lawmakers and the electorate.
Governmental structureArticle Four of the United States Constitution, Mirroring the federal system, the New Mexico government consists of executive, legislative, and judicial departments. The executive is led by the Governor of New Mexico, governor and other popularly elected officials, including the Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico, lieutenant governor (elected on the same ticket as the governor), Attorney General of New Mexico, attorney general, Secretary of State of New Mexico, secretary of state, New Mexico State Auditor, state auditor, New Mexico State Treasurer, state treasurer, and New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands, commissioner of public lands. New Mexico's governor is granted more authority than those of other states, with the power to appoint most high-ranking officials in the cabinet and other state agencies. The legislative branch consists of the bicameral , comprising the 70-member and the 42-member . Members of the House are elected to two-year terms, while those of the Senate are elected every four years. The judiciary is headed by the , the state's highest court, which primarily appellate court, adjudicates appeals from lower courts or government agencies. It is made up of five judges popularly elected every eight years with overlapping terms. Below the state supreme court is the New Mexico Court of Appeals, which has intermediate appellate jurisdiction statewide. New Mexico has 13 judicial districts with circuit courts of general jurisdiction, as well as various municipal, State court magistrate judge, magistrate, and probate courts of limited jurisdiction. New Mexico is organized into a number of local governments consisting of counties, municipalities, and special districts.
PoliticsSince 2018, New Mexico has been led by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Lieutenant Governor Howie Morales, both of the Democratic Party (United States), Democratic Party. All constitutional officers are currently Democrats, including Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, Attorney General Hector Balderas , State Auditor Brian Colón, State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard, and State Treasurer Tim Eichenberg. Both chambers of the New Mexico State Legislature have Democratic majorities: 26 Democrats and 16 Republicans in the Senate, and 47 Democrats and 23 Republicans in the House of Representatives. Likewise the state is represented in the United States Senate, U.S. Senate by Democrats Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján. The state's three delegates to the United States House of Representatives, U.S. House of Representatives are Democrat Melanie Stansbury, Republican Yvette Herrell, and Democrat Teresa Leger Fernandez, representing the first, second, and third districts, respectively. Until 2008, New Mexico was traditionally a swing state in presidential elections. The 1992 United States presidential election, 1992 election of Bill Clinton marked the first time the state was won by a Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. Al Gore narrowly carried the state in 2000 United States presidential election, 2000 by 366 votes, and George W. Bush won in 2004 United States presidential election, 2004 by less than 6,000 votes. The election of Barack Obama in 2008 United States presidential election, 2008 marked the state's transition into Red states and blue states, a reliably Democratic stronghold in a largely Republican region; Obama was also the first Democrat to win a majority of New Mexico votes since Johnson. Obama won again in 2012, followed by Hillary Clinton in 2016, and Joe Biden in 2020. Since achieving statehood in 1912 United States presidential election, 1912, New Mexico has been carried by the national popular vote winner in every presidential election of the past 104 years, except 1976 United States presidential election, 1976, when Gerald Ford won the state by 2% but lost the national popular vote by 2%. In all but three elections—1976 United States presidential election in New Mexico, 1976, 2000 United States presidential election in New Mexico, 2000, and 2016 United States presidential election in New Mexico, 2016—the candidate who won New Mexico won the presidency. State politics, while decidedly Democratic leaning, have also been idiosyncratic. While registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by nearly 200,000, New Mexico voters have historically favored moderate to conservative candidates of both parties at the state and federal levels, but recent election cycles within the past decade have seen moderate incumbents replaced by progressive Democrats in urban areas like Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces; and conservative Republicans being elected in the state's rural areas. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Grisham succeeded Republican Susana Martinez on January 1, 2019, after she served two terms as governor from 2011 to 2019. Gary Johnson was governor from 1995 to 2003 as a Republican, but in 2012 United States presidential election, 2012 and 2016 United States presidential election, 2016 ran for president from the Libertarian Party (United States), Libertarian Party. Republican Congresswoman Herrell of the state's Second District narrowly lost to Democratic Party (United States), Democrat Xochitl Torres Small in 2018 but retook her seat in 2020. Democrats in the state are usually strongest in the area, parts of the Albuquerque metro area (such as the southeast and central areas, including the affluent Nob Hill neighborhood and the vicinity of the University of New Mexico), Northern and West Central New Mexico, and most of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Native American reservations, particularly the . Republicans have traditionally had their strongholds in the eastern and southern parts of the state, the Farmington, New Mexico, Farmington area, Rio Rancho, New Mexico, Rio Rancho, and the newly developed areas in the northwest mesa. Albuquerque's Northeast Heights have historically leaned Republican, but have become a key swing area for Democrats in recent election cycles.
Local governmentLocal government in New Mexico consists primarily of List of counties in New Mexico, counties and List of settlements in New Mexico, municipalities. There are 33 counties, of which the most populous is Bernalillo County, New Mexico, Bernalillo, which contains the state's largest city, Albuquerque. Counties are usually governed by an elected five-member county commission, sheriff, assessor, clerk and treasurer. A municipality may call itself a village, town, or city, with no distinction in law and no correlation to any particular form of government. Municipal elections are non-partisan. In addition, limited local authority can be vested in special districts and landowners' associations.
Female and minority representationNew Mexico is notable for electing more women of color to public office than any other U.S. state. Research by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University found that two-thirds of all nonwhite women who have ever been elected governor in the U.S. are from New Mexico, including the current governor, Grisham. The state also accounts for nearly one-third of the women of color who have served in any statewide executive office, such as lieutenant governor and secretary of state, a distinction shared by only ten other states. New Mexico also has a relatively high percentage of state legislators who are women of color, which at 16% is the sixth-highest in the country. While the trend is partly reflective of the state's disproportionately high Hispanic and indigenous populations, it also reflects longstanding cultural and political trends; in 1922, Soledad C. Chacón, Soledad Chávez Chacón was the first woman elected secretary of state of New Mexico, and the first Hispanic woman elected to statewide office in the United States.
LawNew Mexico is one of 23 states without the death penalty; on March 18, 2009, then-Governor Bill Richardson signed the law abolishing capital punishment following the legislature's vote the week before, making New Mexico the 15th U.S. state to do so. The law went into effect July 1, 2009 and does not apply retroactively, meaning those currently awaiting execution are not affected by the ban. New Mexico arguably has some of the least restrictive firearms laws in the country. Its constitution explicitly enshrines the right to bear arms, while state law preempts all local gun control ordinances. New Mexico residents may purchase any firearm deemed legal under federal law. There are no waiting periods under state law for picking up a firearm after it has been purchased, and there are no restrictions on magazine capacity. Additionally, New Mexico is a "shall-issue" state for concealed carry permits. Before December 2013, New Mexico law was silent Same-sex marriage in the United States, same-sex marriage. The issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples was determined at the county level, with some county clerks issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and others not. In December 2013, the issued a unanimous ruling directing all county clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, thereby making New Mexico the 17th state to recognize same-sex marriage statewide. Based on 2008 data, New Mexico had 146 law enforcement agencies at the state, county, and municipal levels.Brian A Reaves, "2008 Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies", US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 2011 State law enforcement is statutorily administered by the Department of Public Safety (DPS). The New Mexico State Police is a division of the DPS with jurisdiction over all crimes in the state. As of 2008, New Mexico had over 5,000 sworn police officers, a ratio of 252 per 100,000 residents, which is roughly the same as the nation.
Fiscal policyOn a per capita basis, New Mexico's government has one of the largest state budgets, at $9,101 per resident. As of 2017, the state had an S&P Global Ratings, S&P Global Rating of AA+, denoting a very strong capacity to meet financial commitments alongside a very low credit risk.
EducationDue to its relatively low population, in combination with numerous federally funded research facilities, New Mexico had the highest concentration of Doctor of Philosophy, Ph.D. holders of any state in 2000. Los Alamos County, New Mexico, Los Alamos County, which hosts the Los Alamos National Laboratory, eponymous national laboratory, leads the state in the most post secondary degree holders, at 38.7% of residents, or 4,899 of 17,950. However, the state routinely ranks near the bottom in studies of the quality of primary and secondary school education. It places 34th in public education spending, but by some metrics ranks last in overall performance and quality, with some of the highest dropout rates and lowest math and reading scores. By national standards, New Mexico has one of the highest concentrations of persons who did not finish high school or have some college education, albeit by a low margin. A little over 14% of residents did not have a high school diploma, compared to the national rate of 11.39%, the fifth lowest out of 52 U.S. states and territories. Almost a quarter of people over 25 (23.9%) have not completed college, compared with 21% of the nation as a whole. New Mexico ranks among the bottom ten states in the proportion of residents with bachelor's degrees or higher (27.67%), but 21st in Ph.D. earners (12.15%); the national average is 33.13% and 12.79%, respectively. In 2018, a state judge issued a landmark ruling that "New Mexico is violating the constitutional rights of at-risk students by failing to provide them with sufficient education", in particularly those with indigenous, non-English-speaking, and low-income backgrounds. The court had ordered the governor and Legislature to provide an adequate system by April 2019; in response, New Mexico increased teacher salaries, funded an extended school year, and expanded prekindergarten childhood education programs, while developing budget formula for delivering more funding to schools that serve at-risk and low-income students. Nevertheless, many activists and public officials contest the sufficiency of these efforts, particularly with respect to Native American schools and students.
Primary and secondary educationThe New Mexico Public Education Department oversees the operation of primary and secondary schools; individual school districts directly operate and staff said schools.
Postsecondary educationNew Mexico has roughly one dozen four-year, degree-granting institutions. Additionally, select students can attend certain institutions in Colorado, at in-state tuition rates, pursuant to a reciprocity program between the two states.
Major research universities* University of New Mexico, University of New Mexico at Albuquerque * New Mexico State University, New Mexico State University at Las Cruces * New Mexico Tech, New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology at Socorro
Regional state universities* Eastern New Mexico University, Eastern New Mexico University at Portales * New Mexico Highlands University, New Mexico Highlands University at Las Vegas * Western New Mexico University, Western New Mexico University at Silver City
Lottery scholarshipNew Mexico is one of eight states that fund college scholarships through the state lottery. The state of New Mexico requires that the New Mexico Lottery, lottery put 30% of its gross sales into the scholarship fund. The scholarship is available to residents who graduated from a state high school, and attend a state university full-time while maintaining a 2.5 GPA or higher. It covered 100% of tuition when it was first instated in 1996, decreased to 90%, then dropped to 60% in 2017. The value slightly increased in 2018, and new legislation was passed to outline what funds are available per type of institution.
CultureNew Mexican culture is a unique fusion of indigenous, Spanish, Hispanic, and American influences. In addition to thousands of years of indigenous heritage, the state was among the earliest territories in the Americas to be settled by Europeans; centuries of Spanish and then Mexican settlement, often intermingled with an enduring indigenous presence, are reflected in the state's demographics, Toponymy, toponyms, cuisine, dialect, and identity. The uniqueness of New Mexico's culture and image, relative to the rest of the United States, is reflected in part by the fact that many Americans are unaware the state is part of the country. This phenomenon is variably treated with frustration, amusement, or even as a source of pride as evidence of the state's distinct character and heritage. The state is an important center of Native American culture, with a Native American population of close to 200,000 in 2010. Both the Navajo Nation, Navajo and Apache Tribe, Apache share Athabaskan origin. The Apache and some Ute Tribe, Ute live on federal Native American reservation, reservations in the state. With 16 million acres (6,500,000hectare, ha), mostly in neighboring , the reservation of the ranks as the largest in the United States. Pueblo Indians live in Puebloans, pueblos scattered throughout the state. Almost half of New Mexicans claim Hispanic origin; many are descendants of colonial settlers called Hispanos of New Mexico, Hispanos or Neomexicanos, who settled mostly in the north of the state between the 16th and 18th centuries. By contrast, the majority of Mexican immigrants reside in the southern part of the state. Some percentage Hispanos claim Who is a Jew?#New Mexico's Crypto-Jews, Jewish ancestry through descendance from ''conversos'' or Crypto-Judaism, Crypto-Jews among early Spanish colonists. Many New Mexicans speak a unique dialect of Spanish. Because of the historical isolation of New Mexico from other speakers of the Spanish language, some of the vocabulary of New Mexican Spanish is unknown to other Spanish speakers. It uses numerous Native American words for local features and includes anglicized words that express American concepts and modern inventions. Albuquerque has the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, the National Hispanic Cultural Center, and the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, as well as hosts the famed annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta every fall.
Art and literatureThe earliest New Mexico artists whose work survives today are the Mimbres Indians, whose black and white pottery could be mistaken for modern art, except for the fact that it was produced before 1130 CE. See Mimbres culture. Many examples of this work can be seen at the Deming Armory, Deming Luna Mimbres Museum and at the Western New Mexico University Museum. A large artistic community thrives in , and has included such people as Bruce Nauman, Richard Tuttle, John Connell and Steina Vasulka. The capital city has several art museums, including the New Mexico Museum of Art, Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, SITE Santa Fe and others. Colonies for artists and writers thrive, and the small city teems with art galleries. In August, the city hosts the annual Santa Fe Indian Market, which is the oldest and largest juried Native American art showcase in the world. Performing arts include the renowned Santa Fe Opera which presents five operas in repertory each July to August, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival held each summer, and the restored Lensic Theater a principal venue for many kinds of performances. Santa Fe is also home to Frogville Records, an indie record label. The weekend after Labor Day boasts the burning of Zozobra, a fifty-foot (15m) marionette, during Fiestas de Santa Fe. Art is also a frequent theme in Albuquerque, New Mexico's largest city. The National Hispanic Cultural Center has held hundreds of performing arts events, art showcases, and other events related to Spanish culture in New Mexico and worldwide in the centerpiece Roy E Disney Center for the Performing Arts or in other venues at the 53-acre facility. New Mexico residents and visitors alike can enjoy performing art from around the world at Popejoy Hall on the campus of the University of New Mexico. Popejoy Hall hosts singers, dancers, Broadway shows, other types of acts, and Shakespeare. Albuquerque also has the unique and memorable KiMo Theater built in 1927 in the Pueblo Revival Style architecture. The KiMo presents live theater and concerts as well as movies and simulcast operas. In addition to other general interest theaters, Albuquerque also has the African American Performing Arts Center and Exhibit Hall which showcases achievements by people of African descent and the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center which highlights the cultural heritage of the First Nations people of New Mexico. New Mexico holds strong to its Spanish heritage. Old Spanish traditions such zarzuelas and flamenco are popular; the University of New Mexico is the only institute of higher education in the world with a program dedicated to flamenco. Flamenco dancer and native New Mexican María Benítez founded the Maria Benítez Institute for Spanish Arts "to present programs of the highest quality of the rich artistic heritage of Spain, as expressed through music, dance, visual arts, and other art forms". There is also the Festival Flamenco Internacional de Alburquerque held each year in which native Spanish and New Mexican flamenco dancers perform at the University of New Mexico. In the mid-20th century, there was a thriving Hispanos, Hispano school of literature and scholarship being produced in both English and Spanish. Among the more notable authors were: Angélico Chávez, Adelina Otero-Warren, Nina Otero-Warren, Fabiola Cabeza de Baca, Aurelio Espinosa, Cleofas Jaramillo, Juan Bautista Rael, and Aurora Lucero-White Lea. As well, writer D. H. Lawrence lived near Taos, New Mexico, Taos in the 1920s, at the D. H. Lawrence Ranch, where there is a shrine said to contain his ashes. New Mexico's strong Spanish, Native American, and Wild West frontier motifs have provided material for many authors in the state, including the internationally recognized Rudolfo Anaya and Tony Hillerman. Silver City, New Mexico, Silver City, originally a mining town, is now a major hub and exhibition center for large numbers of artists, visual and otherwise. Another former mining town turned art haven is Madrid, New Mexico, which was brought to national fame as the filming location for the 2007 movie ''Wild Hogs''. Las Cruces, in southern New Mexico, has a museum system affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program, and hosts variety of cultural and artistic opportunities for residents and visitors. Owing to a combination of financial incentives, low cost, and geographic diversity, New Mexico has long been a popular setting or filming location for various films and television series. In addition to ''Wild Hogs'', other movies filmed in New Mexico include ''Sunshine Cleaning'' and ''Vampires (1998 film), Vampires''. Various seasons of the A&E (TV channel), A&E/Netflix series ''Longmire (TV series), Longmire'' were filmed in several New Mexico locations, including Las Vegas, New Mexico, Las Vegas, , Eagle Nest, New Mexico, Eagle Nest, and Red River, New Mexico, Red River. The widely acclaimed TV show ''Breaking Bad'' and its spin-off ''Better Call Saul'' were both set and filmed in and around Albuquerque.
SportsNo major league professional sports teams are based in New Mexico, but the Albuquerque Isotopes are the Triple-A West baseball affiliate of the MLB Colorado Rockies. The state hosts several baseball teams of the Pecos League: the Roswell Invaders, Ruidoso Osos, Santa Fe Fuego and the White Sands Pupfish (baseball), White Sands Pupfish. The Duke City Gladiators of the Indoor Football League (IFL) plays their home games at Tingley Coliseum in Albuquerque. The city also hosts two soccer teams: New Mexico United, which began playing in the United States soccer league system, second-tier USL Championship in 2019, and Albuquerque Sol FC, which plays in the fourth-tier USL League Two. Collegiate athletics are the center of spectator sports in New Mexico, namely the rivalry between various teams of the New Mexico Lobos, University of New Mexico Lobos and the New Mexico State Aggies. The intense competition between the two teams is often referred to as the "Rio Grande Rivalry" or the "Battle of Interstate 25 in New Mexico, I-25" in recognition of the campuses' both being located along that highway. NMSU also has a rivalry with the University of Texas at El Paso which is called "The Battle of I-10". The winner of the NMSU-UTEP football game receives the Silver Spade trophy. Olympic gold medalist Tom Jager, who is an advocate of controversial high-altitude training for swimming, has conducted training camps in Albuquerque at 5,312 feet (1,619m) and Los Alamos, New Mexico, Los Alamos at 7,320 feet (2,231m). New Mexico is a major hub for various shooting sports, mainly concentrated in the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, which is largest and most comprehensive competitive shooting range and training facility in the U.S.
Historic heritageOwing to its millennia of habitation and over two centuries of Spanish colonial rule, New Mexico features a significant number of sites with historical and cultural significance. Forty-six locations across the state are listed by the U.S. National Historic Landmark, U.S. National Register of Historic Places, the 18th highest of any state. New Mexico has nine of the country's 84 national monuments, which are sites federally protected by presidential proclamation; this is the second-highest number after Arizona. The monuments include some of the earliest to have been created: El Morro National Monument, El Morro and Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, Gila Cliff Dwellings, proclaimed in 1906 and 1907, respectively, both of which preserve the state's ancient indigenous heritage. New Mexico is one of 20 states with a List of World Heritage Sites in the United States, UNESCO World Heritage Site, and among only eight with more than one. Excluding sites shared between states, New Mexico has the most World Heritage Sites in the country, with three exclusively within its territory.
See also* Climate change in New Mexico * Economy of New Mexico * Geology of New Mexico * Government of New Mexico ** Governor of New Mexico ** List of counties in New Mexico ** List of municipalities in New Mexico * History of New Mexico ** Timeline of New Mexico history * Index of New Mexico-related articles * List of mountain peaks of New Mexico * List of rivers of New Mexico * Outline of New Mexico * Paleontology in New Mexico
Further reading* Beck, Warren and Haase, Ynez. ''Historical Atlas of New Mexico'' 1969. * Carleton, William, R. "Fruit, Fiber and Fire: A history of Modern Agriculture in New Mexico. Lincoln, University of Nebraska, 2021, * Chavez, Thomas E. ''An Illustrated History of New Mexico'', 267 pages, University of New Mexico Press 2002, * Bullis, Don. ''New Mexico: A Biographical Dictionary, 1540–1980'', 2 vol, (Los Ranchos de Albuquerque: Rio Grande, 2008) 393 pp. * Erlinda Gonzáles-Berry, Gonzales-Berry, Erlinda, David R. Maciel, eds. ''The Contested Homeland: A Chicano History of New Mexico'', University of New Mexico Press 2000, , 314 pp. * Gutiérrez, Ramón A. ''When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away: Marriage, Sexuality, and Power in New Mexico, 1500–1846'' (1991) * Hain, Paul L., F Chris Garcia, F. Chris Garcia, Gilbert K. St. Clair; ''New Mexico Government'' 3rd ed. (1994) * Paul Horgan, Horgan, Paul, ''Great River, The Rio Grande in North American History'', 1038 pages, Wesleyan University Press 1991, 4th Reprint, , Pulitzer Prize 1955 * Larson, Robert W. ''New Mexico's Quest for Statehood, 1846–1912'' (1968) * Nieto-Phillips, John M. ''The Language of Blood: The Making of Spanish-American Identity in New Mexico, 1880s–1930s'', University of New Mexico Press 2004, * Simmons, Marc. ''New Mexico: An Interpretive History'', University of New Mexico Press 1988, , 221 pp, good introduction * Szasz, Ferenc M., and Richard W. Etulain, eds. ''Religion in Modern New Mexico'' (1997) * Trujillo, Michael L. ''Land of Disenchantment: Latina/o Identities and Transformations in Northern New Mexico'' (2010) 265 pp; an experimental ethnography that contrasts life in the Espanola Valley with the state's commercial image as the "land of enchantment". * Weber; David J. ''Foreigners in Their Native Land: Historical Roots of the Mexican Americans'' (1973), primary sources to 1912
Primary sources* Ellis, Richard, ed. ''New Mexico Past and Present: A Historical Reader''. 1971. primary sources * Tony Hillerman, ''The Great Taos Bank Robbery and other Indian Country Affairs'', University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1973, trade paperback, 147 pages, (), fiction