New Mexico General Information


Abbreviated as NM on ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG, New Mexico is a state in the southwest of the United States. The name comes from the Spanish conquerors who used it to designate the land west and north of the Rio Grande. New Mexico (NM for short) is also called the Land of Enchantment.

New Mexico Population


Land of Enchantment


Santa Fe

Biggest town



Rank (within the US): 5th out of 50 states

Total: 315,194 km²

Land: 314,590 km²

Water (%): 607 km² (0.2%)


Rank (within the US): 36th out of 50 states

Total (2000): 1,819,046

Density: 6 / km²

State membership

Place: 47th

Since: January 6, 1912

Yucca is the state flower of New Mexico


Time zone: Mountain: UTC –7 / –6

Latitude: 31 ° 20’N to 37 ° N

Longitude 103 ° W to 109 ° W

Width: 550 km

Length: 595 km

Highest position: 4,011 m

Average location: 1,735 m

Lowest position: 866 m

New Mexico State Flag


New Mexico borders Colorado to the north, Oklahoma to the northeast, Texas to the east and south and Arizona to the west. New Mexico borders Utah at only one point in the northwest, the so-called Four Corners. The state border with Mexico forms part of New Mexico’s southern border.


With an area of 315,334 km², New Mexico ranks 5th among the 50 US states. Only Alaska, Texas, California and Montana are bigger. This makes New Mexico about the same size as the Federal Republic of Germany without Baden-Württemberg.

National nature

New Mexico is a plateau crossed by the Rocky Mountains. Accordingly, the land between the mountain ranges is flat to undulating. It rises flat to the east from the Great Plains before the Rocky Mountains divide the country in several trains. Since the country is on the leeward side of the Rocky Mountains, large areas are arid. The drought characterizes the landscape in the plains as in the mountains. Exceptions are the mountains north of Santa Fe and the area to the west beyond the continental divide, where there are extensive forests. In the mountains north of Santa Fe, the amount of precipitation in winter is so great that a winter sports region has emerged there. There are also areas that are almost untouched by humans, such as the Gila Wilderness in the southwest.


The most important river is the Rio Grande. It rises in Colorado and flows through New Mexico from north to south, past Albuquerque and Las Cruces – mostly accompanied by Interstate Highway 25. From Texas, the Rio Grande forms the border with Mexico and flows into the Gulf of Mexico after 2,896 km. This makes the Rio Grande the second largest river in the USA after the Mississippi / Missouri. The Rio Grande is a real lifeline for agriculture, but it is also important for the energy industry. The Rio Pecos and the Canadian River are also important rivers. The Rio Pecos also flows north to south, irrigating the southeast from Roswell via Artesia and Carlsbad to the Texas border. The Canadian River flows through northeast New Mexico and then over the “Panhandle” from Texas until it flows into Arkansas in eastern Oklahoma. The Canadian River, however, only gains importance in Texas and Oklahoma. Because of the mainly dry climate, there are only insignificant natural lakes. Of the artificial reservoirs, the Elephant Butte is the most important.


Long before the area was “discovered” by Europeans, the area was inhabited by Indian tribes. They settled on rivers and in the hinterland. In the years between about 1000 and 1300 AD, important cultures emerged in the southwest of today’s USA, including the cultures of the Anasazi and the Chaco. These cultures ended in the 13th and 14th centuries, probably due to changes in climatic conditions. Century. When the Spanish conqueror Coronado crossed the country in search of the legendary seven golden cities of Cibola, Pueblo Indians lived there, especially Hopi and Zuñi.

Spanish missionaries and settlers followed the conquerors. As a result, there were repeated clashes between the Indians and the immigrants. As in Mexico, the Indians were soon suppressed and driven out by the Spaniards. After the Pueblo Indians allied themselves with the Apaches, in 1680 they succeeded in driving the Spaniards away for a short time, but ultimately the conquerors prevailed. New Mexico was under Spanish rule until 1821, then under Mexican rule until 1846. After the Mexican-American War, Mexico had to cede the area of New Mexico to the USA, which incorporated it as territory.

In 1878/1879 the Lincoln County War took place in Lincoln County, in which the cattle baron John S. Chisum and the banker Lawrence G. Murphy faced each other with his gunslingers, including Billy the Kid. New Mexico experienced its first boom with the construction of the Santa Fe Railway in the 1880s.

On January 6, 1912, the area was granted state status and became the 47th state in the United States.


With 1,819,046 residents (as of 2000), New Mexico is 36th among the 50 US states. And that as the fifth largest state in terms of area! The population density is correspondingly low: there are not even 6 residents per 1 km². For comparison: in Germany there are around 230 people per 1 km². Or to use a different picture: The area of Germany – excluding Baden-Württemberg – is just about the residents of the city of Hamburg.

The high proportion of people of Latin American / Spanish origin (42.1%) and Indian origin (9.5%) is remarkable. Compared to the US average, New Mexico recorded a disproportionately high population growth. In the period from 1990 to 2000 the increase was 20.1%. A sign of the high level of immigration from Mexico and other Latin American countries, but also of the positive economic development. A significant example of the legal and illegal immigration of people from the south is the city of Las Cruces, which is near the Mexican border. Thirty years ago there were less than 30,000 residents in the city, it is now around 75,000 – two and a half times as much. Las Cruces has grown to become the second largest city in New Mexico.

New Mexico Counties and County Seats

According to Countryaah, there are a total of 33 counties in the state of New Mexico.

  1. Bernalillo County (County Seat: Albuquerque)
  2. Catron County (County Seat: Reserve)
  3. Chaves County (County Seat: Roswell)
  4. Cibola County (County Seat: Grants)
  5. Colfax County (County Seat: Raton)
  6. Curry County (County Seat: Clovis)
  7. De Baca County (County Seat: Fort Sumner)
  8. Doña Ana County (County Seat: Las Cruces)
  9. Eddy County (County Seat: Carlsbad)
  10. Grant County (County Seat: Silver City)
  11. Guadalupe County (County Seat: Santa Rosa)
  12. Harding County (County Seat: Mosquero)
  13. Hidalgo County (County Seat: Lordsburg)
  14. Lea County (County Seat: Lovington)
  15. Lincoln County (County Seat: Carrizozo)
  16. Los Alamos County (County Seat: Los Alamos)
  17. Luna County (County Seat: Deming)
  18. McKinley County (County Seat: Gallup)
  19. Mora County (County Seat: Mora)
  20. Otero County (County Seat: Alamogordo)
  21. Quay County (County Seat: Tucumcari)
  22. Rio Arriba County (County Seat: Tierra Amarilla)
  23. Roosevelt County (County Seat: Portales)
  24. San Juan County (County Seat: Aztec)
  25. San Miguel County (County Seat: Las Vegas)
  26. Sandoval County (County Seat: Bernalillo)
  27. Santa Fe County (County Seat: Santa Fe)
  28. Sierra County (County Seat: Truth or Consequences)
  29. Socorro County (County Seat: Socorro)
  30. Taos County (County Seat: Taos)
  31. Torrance County (County Seat: Estancia)
  32. Union County (County Seat: Clayton)
  33. Valencia County (County Seat: Los Lunas)

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