78 Facts About New Mexico


New Mexico is the fifth-largest of the fifty states, but with just over 2.

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One–third of New Mexico's land is federally owned, and the state hosts many protected wilderness areas and national monuments, including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the most of any state.

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New Mexico's economy is highly diversified, including cattle ranching, agriculture, lumber, scientific and technological research, tourism, and the arts, especially textiles and visual arts.

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In prehistoric times, New Mexico was home to Ancestral Puebloans, Mogollon, and the modern Comanche and Utes.

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Isolated by its rugged terrain and the relative dominance of its indigenous people, New Mexico was a peripheral part of the viceroyalty of New Spain.

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New Mexico's history has contributed to its unique demographic and cultural character.

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New Mexico is home to part of the Navajo Nation, 19 federally recognized Pueblo communities, and three different federally recognized Apache tribes.

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New Mexico received its name long before the present-day nation of Mexico won independence from Spain and adopted that name in 1821.

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The name "New Mexico" derives from Nahuatl and originally referred to the heartland of the Mexica, the rulers of the Aztec Empire, in the Valley of New Mexico.

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The indigenous cultures of New Mexico, however, proved to be unrelated to the Mexica and lacking in riches, but the name persisted.

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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".

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Confederate power in the New Mexico Territory was effectively broken after the Battle of Glorieta Pass in 1862.

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New Mexico has received large amounts of federal government spending on major military and research institutions in the state.

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The pattern continues into the 21st century, with New Mexico adding over 400, 000 residents between 2000 and 2020.

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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.

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The Colorado Plateau in the northwest corner of New Mexico is high desert with cold winters, featuring sagebrush, shadescale, greasewood, and other plants adapted to the saline and seleniferous soil.

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New Mexico was central to the early–20th century conservation movement, with Gila Wilderness being designated the world's first wilderness area in 1924.

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In January 2016, New Mexico sued the United States Environmental Protection Agency over negligence after the 2015 Gold King Mine waste water spill.

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The New Mexico government has responded with efforts to regulate industrial emissions, promote renewable energy, and incentivize the use of electric vehicles.

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The University of New Mexico estimates there are 118 colonias in the state, though the U S Department of Housing and Urban Development identifies roughly 150.

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New Mexico's population is among the most difficult to count, according to the Center for Urban Research at the City University of New York.

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Majority of live births in New Mexico are to Hispanic whites, with Hispanics of any race consistently accounting for well over half of all live births since 2013.

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New Mexico is one of six "majority-minority" states where non-Hispanic whites constitute less than half the population.

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New Mexico has the fourth largest Native American community in the U S, at over 200, 000.

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New Mexico is 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.

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In 1989, New Mexico became the first of only four states to officially adopt the English Plus resolution, which supports acceptance of non-English languages.

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In 2008, New Mexico was the first to officially adopt a Navajo textbook for use in public schools.

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Since the 1970s, New Mexico has been a leading center of the New Age movement, attracting adherents from across the country.

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New Mexico is the second largest crude oil and ninth largest natural gas producer in the United States; it overtook North Dakota in oil production in July 2021 and is expected to continue expanding.

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In common with other states in the Western U S, New Mexico receives royalties from the sale of federally owned land to oil and gas companies.

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Nevertheless, New Mexico has had recurring disputes and discussions with the U S government over management and revenue rights over federal land.

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New Mexico received $9, 624 per resident in federal services, or roughly $20 billion more than what the state pays in federal taxes.

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New Mexico is home to two major federal research institutions: the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories.

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New Mexico provides a number of economic incentives to businesses operating in the state, including various types of tax credits and tax exemptions.

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New Mexico is one of the largest tax havens in the U S, offering numerous economic incentives and tax breaks on personal and corporate income.

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New Mexico is one of the poorest states in the U S and has long struggled with poverty.

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New Mexico is one of only eight states without a billionaire; ranks 39th in the share of households with more than $1 million in wealth; and is among fourteen states without a Fortune 500 company.

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New Mexico government has enacted several policies to address chronic poverty, including approving a minimum wage increase in January 2021 and requiring paid sick leave.

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New Mexico Legislature is considering implementing a statewide guaranteed basic income program targeting poorer residents; if enacted, it would be only the second U S state after California with such a policy.

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New Mexico has long been an important corridor for trade and migration.

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Larger cities in New Mexico typically have some form of public transportation by road; ABQ RIDE is the largest such system in the state.

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New Mexico is plagued by poor road conditions, with roughly a third of its roadways suffering from "inadequate state and local funding".

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New Mexico has had a problem with drunk driving, but that has lessened.

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New Mexico has only three Interstate Highways: Interstate 10 travels southwest from the Arizona state line near Lordsburg to the area between Las Cruces and Anthony, near El Paso, Texas; Interstate 25 is a major north–south interstate highway starting from Las Cruces to the Colorado state line near Raton; and Interstate 40 is a major east–west interstate highway starting from the Arizona state line west of Gallup to the Texas state line east from Tucumcari.

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New Mexico currently has 15 United States Highways, which account for over 2, 980 miles of its highway system.

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The road crossed through northern New Mexico, connecting the cities of Albuquerque and Gallup, before being replaced by I-40 in 1985.

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Many existing and former highways in New Mexico are recognized for their aesthetic, cultural, or historical significance, particularly for tourism purposes.

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New Mexico is served by two of the nation's ten class I railroads, which denote the highest revenue railways for freight: the BNSF Railway and the Union Pacific Railroad.

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New Mexico has four primary commercial airports that are served by most major domestic and international airliners.

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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.

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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.

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Legislative branch consists of the bicameral New Mexico Legislature, comprising the 70-member House of Representatives and the 42-member Senate.

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New Mexico has 13 judicial districts with circuit courts of general jurisdiction, as well as various municipal, magistrate, and probate courts of limited jurisdiction.

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New Mexico is organized into a number of local governments consisting of counties, municipalities, and special districts.

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Since 2018, New Mexico has been led by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Lieutenant Governor Howie Morales, both of the Democratic Party.

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Until 2008, New Mexico was traditionally a swing state in presidential elections.

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New Mexico is notable for electing more women of color to public office than any other U S state.

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New 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.

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New Mexico arguably has some of the least restrictive firearms laws in the country.

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Additionally, New Mexico is a "shall-issue" state for concealed carry permits, thus giving applicants a presumptive right to receive a license without giving a compelling reason.

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The New Mexico State Police is a division of the DPS with jurisdiction over all crimes in the state.

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New Mexico has long pioneered loosening cannabis restrictions: In 1978, it was the first to pass legislation allowing the medical use of marijuana in some form, albeit restricted to a federal research program.

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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.

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The court 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.

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In January 2022, New Mexico became the first state in the U S to recruit national guardsmen and state workers to serve as substitute teachers due to staffing shortages caused by COVID-19.

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New Mexico has 41 accredited, degree-granting institutions; twelve are private and 29 are state-funded, including four tribal colleges.

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New Mexico is one of eight states that fund college scholarships through the state lottery.

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In September 2019, New Mexico announced a plan to make tuition at its public colleges and universities free for all state residents, regardless of family income.

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In March 2022, New Mexico became the first state to offer free college tuition for all residents, after the legislature passed a bipartisan bill allocating almost 1 percent of the state budget toward covering tuition and fees at all 29 public colleges, universities, community colleges, and tribal colleges.

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New Mexico Mexican culture is a unique fusion of indigenous, Spanish, Hispanic, and American influences.

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New Mexico is an important center of Native American culture, with an indigenous population close to 200, 000 in 2010, constituting roughly one-tenth of all residents.

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Many indigenous New Mexico Mexicans have moved to urban centers throughout the state, with some cities such as Gallup being major centers of Native American culture.

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Many New Mexico Mexicans speak a unique dialect known as New Mexico Mexican Spanish.

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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.

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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.

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The city hosts two soccer teams: New Mexico United, which began playing in the second-tier USL Championship in 2019, and Albuquerque Sol FC, which plays in the fourth-tier USL League Two.

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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.

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New Mexico is one of 20 states with a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and among only eight with more than one.

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