Capital city Santa Fe
Population 2,120,220 (2020)
Surface 315,194 km²
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D)
Member of the US since 1912

A map of New Mexico

New Mexico is one of the fifty states of the United States. The state is located in the south of the country. The abbreviation for New Mexico is NM. Its nickname is Land of Enchantement (Land of Enchantment). New Mexico is bordered to the north by Colorado, to the east by Oklahoma and Texas, to the west by Arizona and to the south by neighboring Mexico. The capital of New Mexico is Santa Fe. The state has just over 2 million inhabitants. Several peoples used to live in New Mexico, including Navajo. Many of the remains can still be found. The area was colonized by the Spanish in the 16th century. They named it Nuevo México (New Mexico). After Mexico’s independence in 1821, the area became part of Mexico. This continued until the American-Mexican War of 1848, when the area was handed over to the United States. New Mexico was governed as a territory and did not become a state until 1912 (ranking 47th). This makes New Mexico one of the youngest states in the country. Only Arizona, Alaska and Hawaii joined later. New Mexico consists largely of desert and is therefore very dry. Many Latinos and Indians also live in the state. The culture is also heavily influenced by neighboring Mexico. This makes New Mexico a mix between Mexican and American culture. The economy is also very versatile. There is a lot of agriculture, mining and industry, but also a lot of tourism and other services. New Mexico is now considered a blue state, which means that the Democratic Party has a large following.


The Remains of the Former Peoples of New Mexico


New Mexico is one of four states bordering the Four Corners (the four-state point), where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado meet. Although New Mexico is known for its arid deserts, it also has other landscapes. The state has several expanses of grassy plains and snow-covered mountain ranges. One third of the state is covered by forests. New Mexico is also home to the Rocky Mountains that run all the way to the north of Canada. The eastern portion of the state belongs to the Great Plains. The highest point in the state is Wheeler Peak with an elevation of 4,011 meters. Several rivers flow through the state, including the Canadian River, the Pecos, the San Juan, and the Gila. The Rio Grande also flows through the state. These rivers provide much of the water in the state. Many rivers have dams with lakes to store water for drinking and irrigation.

Largest Cities in New Mexico

Number City Inhabitants County
1. Albuquerque 558.545 Bernalillo County
2. Las Cruses 101.712 Dona Ana County
3. Rio Rancho 96.159 Sanoval County
4. Santa Fe 83,776 Santa Fe County
5. Roswell 47.775 Chaves County
6. Farmington 45.450 San Juan County
7. Clovis 38.962 Curry County
8. Hubbs 37.764 Lea County
9. Alamogorido 31,248 Otero County
10. Carlsbad 28,774 Eddy County


New Mexico largely has a desert climate, but with lower temperatures than in other deserts. Despite this, the state has to deal with little rainfall. In some places there is a steppe climate or a Mediterranean maritime climate. There is more precipitation in these places. Northern New Mexico has a continental climate with cold winters and hot summers.

The White Sands National Park



Built in 1610, the San Miguel Chapel is the oldest church in the United States

New Mexico has just over 2 million inhabitants. The state’s population is still growing, but growth has slowed in recent years. This is mainly due to immigration from Mexico. 56% of the state is made up of Latinos or people with ancestry from Latin America. New Mexico has the highest number of Latinos in the entire United States. 26% of residents are white, 11% are Native American, 2% are Asian, and 2% are African American. New Mexico also has the highest number of Native Americans after Alaska. One of these peoples are the Navajo, one of the largest indigenous peoples of the United States.


Under the constitution, New Mexico has no official language. Still, English is considered the official language of the state, as it is used by the government and most residents. 64% of the inhabitants speak only English. The second language is Spanish, which is the mother tongue of 28% of the population. Most Spanish speakers also speak English as a second language. Spanish is also often taught as a foreign language in schools. 8% of the inhabitants speak an indigenous language as their mother tongue. About half of these speak Navajo. Other native languages ​​in the state are Tewa, Apache and Keres.


75% of New Mexico’s population is Christian. Of these, 38% are Protestant, 34% Catholic, 2% Mormon and 1% Jehovah’s Witness. 21% of the population has no religion or is non-believer. 4% of the state has a different faith.


State politics

The Parliament of New Mexico

The day-to-day management of New Mexico is in the hands of a governor. The current governor of New Mexico is Michelle Lujan Grisham of the Democratic Party. The governor is aided by a governor general, who is elected along with the governor. The governor is elected every four years by direct election. Many positions in the New Mexico government are also elected through elections. The Parliament of New Mexico is called the New Mexico Legislature. It consists of two rooms:

  • The House of Representatives, consisting of 70 members. These are elected every two years through elections.
  • The Senate, consisting of 42 members. These are elected every four years through elections.

The Democratic Party has a majority in both chambers. The rest of the seats are taken by the Republican Party.

Administrative division

How many counties in New Mexico? New Mexico has 33 counties. These are:

  • Bernalillo County
  • Catron County
  • Chaves County
  • Cibola County
  • Colfax County
  • Curry County
  • The Baca County
  • Dona Ana County
  • Eddy County
  • Grant County
  • Guadalupe County
  • Harding County
  • Hidalgo County
  • Lea County
  • Lincoln County
  • Los Alamos County
  • Luna County
  • McKinley County
  • Mora County
  • Otero County
  • Quay County
  • Rio Arriba County
  • Roosevelt County
  • Sandoval County
  • San Juan County
  • San Miguel County
  • Santa Fe County
  • Sierra County
  • Socorro County
  • Taos County
  • Torrance County
  • Union County
  • Valencia County

National politics

New Mexico is a “blue state” today. This means that most people in New Mexico vote for the Democratic Party. Originally New Mexico was a very conservative state, but today New Mexico is more progressive. New Mexico used to be a swing state, but not anymore. New Mexico always voted for the winning presidential candidate between 1912 and 1996, except in 1976. New Mexico usually voted for a moderate or conservative candidate. Since 2000, New Mexico has become much more progressive. This is related to immigration to New Mexico and the growth of major cities. The last time New Mexico voted for a Republican presidential candidate was in 2004. New Mexico is represented in the United States Congress by two senators and three delegates. Of the three delegates, two are Democratic and one Republican. The two New Mexico senators (Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján) are both members of the Democratic Party.


A military plane in New Mexico takes off.

New Mexico extracts a lot of natural gas and petroleum. There is also an increasing amount of drilling for gas and oil. In addition, the US government has many military bases and training grounds in New Mexico. The U.S. government is the largest employer in the state. Many labs are also located in New Mexico. In recent years, the state has been a popular filming location. New Mexico is also a tax haven. This means that taxes in the state are extremely low. As a result, many companies and wealthier people move to the state in order to pay less tax. New Mexico is also one of the poorest states in the country; only Louisiana and Mississippi face even greater poverty. 30% of children in the state grow up in poverty.


The skyline of Albuquerque

Albuquerque is a major city in the United States with a population of approximately 523,590 as of 2007. A long river, the Rio Grande, flows through the city. Nearby is a large desert, namely the Chihuahua Desert. At 1600 meters high, Albuquerque is one of the highest cities in the world. The city is located in the state of New Mexico and is its largest city. But it’s not its capital, which is Santa Fe. The city was founded by Spaniards about 300 years ago. It used to belong to Mexico for a long time. Albuquerque’s population is growing very quickly, reaching 600,000 in the future.

Partner cities

  • Ashgabat – Turkmenistan
  • Chihuahua – Mexico
  • Guadalajara – Mexico
  • Hualián – Taiwan
  • Lanzhou – China
  • Sasebo – Japan

New Mexico - The Land of Enchantment

New Mexico – The Land of Enchantment
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