New Mexico Population 2016

The State of New Mexico in the deep south of the United States in the fifth largest state in the US by area. However, it is the sixth most sparsely populated territory in the country, indicating that total population isn't that high. In 2016, it's estimated that New Mexico has a population of 2.08 million, up slightly from the 2010 figures of 2.05 million. New Mexico currently has a growth rate of 0.64% annually, which ranks 30th in the country.

The last nationwide census within the United States was carried out in 2010 and that survey revealed that the population of New Mexico was 2,059,179. This was the first time that numbers in the state had exceeded 2 million, and the figure represented an increase of 14.5% on those declared ten years earlier.

You can see details of each individual New Mexico county’s population increase and decrease between 2000 and 2010 using this interactive map. It’s important to note that, while the number of people in many counties increased, it fell in others, so the growth isn’t uniform.

A 2016 estimate suggests that New Mexico's population has grown even further to 2,085,109, making the so-called "Land of Enchantment" the 36th most populous state in the US.

New Mexico Population Density

The vast area of New Mexico is filled with mountain ranges, deserts and huge forests. So it’s not surprising that, although the total surface area of NM is 121,589 square miles (315,194 square kilometers), there is an average of just 17 people who live in each square mile. Overall, New Mexico is only the 45th most densely populated state in the United States.

Many of the state’s residents are crowded into Bernalillo County. Despite being the second smallest country in the state, Bernalillo is home to more than one-third of its residents -- 676,685 to be precise. That’s mainly because Alberquerque, the largest city in New Mexico, is within the county borders. The total population of Alberquerque is 559,121, making it the 32nd largest city in the US.

There are four other counties in New Mexico with more than 100,000 people -- Dona Ana (pop: 214,295), Santa Fe (pop: 148.686), Sandoval (pop: 139,394) and San Juan (pop: 118,737).

New Mexico Demographics

New Mexico has the highest percentage of Hispanics (48%) of any US state, which includes both recent immigrants from Latin America and descendants of Spanish colonists. 83% of the Hispanic population was native-born, while 17% was foreign-born. Most in the state claim a Spanish ancestry, particularly in the northern area of New Mexico. The state is one of four to be ethnically a minority-majority state.

According to 2015 Census Bureau estimates, the racial composition of New Mexico's population was:

  • 82.5% White
  • 2.6% Black or African American
  • 10.5% American Indian and Alaska Native
  • 1.7% Asian American
  • 0.2% Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander
  • 2.5% Multiracial

The Hispanic and Latino population of any race was 48%. New Mexico also has a very high Native American population, which is second only to Alaska.

About 28% of the population over the age of 5 speaks Spanish at home, while 4% speak Navajo. There are also many in the state who speak New Mexican Spanish, an archaic form of 17th century Castilian Spanish from the colonists who arrived in the state between the 16th and 18th centuries.

New Mexico Population History

New Mexico is one of the few US states that has never really experienced what you might refer to as a "population boom." Whereas many states at times saw increases of several hundred percent per decade, particularly in the 18th century, the largest decade on decade population increase in New Mexico was only 60%. Steady but sustained population growth has been the order of the day in this part of the US.

The first official New Mexico census was held in 1860, when the population was recorded at a healthy 61,547. Just ten years later a rise of 51.9% had been recorded, taking the number of people living in the state to 93,516. A sizeable increase but not big in relation to huge spikes experienced elsewhere.

Although the following census in 1880 recorded a slight fall in numbers (1.8%), from that point on steady growth has dominated, with average rises on a census by census basis of around 25%. The population of New Mexico had exceeded one million by the time of the 1970 Census and in 2010, numbers passed two million for the first time.

New Mexico Population Projections

Growth in New Mexico has been steady and as such, it’s fairly easy to predict population increases. Growth along the lines of that seen in the last forty years could therefore take those figures close to the 2.5 million mark by the time of the 2020 census. Official population projections estimate New Mexico will still come a bit short of this number, though, reaching 2.35 million by 2020, and hitting the 2.5 million mark by 2025.

New Mexico Population in 2016 Source:

New Mexico Facts

  • Native Americans have inhabited New Mexico for approximately 20,000 years.
  • Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in the United States. It was founded in 1610.
  • The Navajo Indians -- who comprise the country's largest Native American population -- have a New Mexico reservation sread across 14 million acres.
  • One out of every three residents of New Mexico speak Spanish at home.
  • One in four workers in New Mexico work for the federal government.
  • New Mexico has more PhDs per capita than any other US state.
  • Approximately 75% of the roads in the state are unpaved.
  • The population of sheep and cattle in New Mexico exceeds its population of people.

Population Data via US Census

Year Population % Change Rank
2020 2,082,819 -0.02% 36
2019 2,083,277 -0.02% 36
2018 2,083,735 -0.02% 36
2017 2,084,193 -0.02% 36
2016 2,084,651 -0.02% 36
2015 2,085,109 -0.02% 36
2014 2,085,567 -0.06% 36
2013 2,086,890 0.10% 36
2012 2,084,792 0.32% 36
2011 2,078,226 0.92% 36
2010 2,059,179 1.25% 36
2000 1,819,046 1.85% 36
1990 1,515,069 1.52% 37
1980 1,302,894 2.52% 37
1970 1,016,000 0.66% 37
1960 951,023 3.39% 37
1950 681,187 2.51% 39
1940 531,818 2.31% 41
1930 423,317 1.62% 44
1920 360,350 0.97% 43
1910 327,301 5.30% 43
1900 195,310 2.00% 43
1890 160,282 2.97% 43
1880 119,565 2.67% 39
1870 91,874 0.54% 36
1860 87,034 3.53% 35
1850 61,547 0.00% 33
New Mexico Population by Race
Race Population Percentage
White 1,720,992 83.58%
Black or African American 49,006 2.38%
American Indian and Alaska Native 208,890 10.14%
Asian 31,253 1.52%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 3,132 0.15%
Two or more races 45,906 2.23%
Languages Spoken in New Mexico
Language Population Percentage
Population 5 years and over 1,928,173 100.00%
Spanish 553,050 28.70%
Keres 11,950 0.60%
Zuni 9,255 0.50%
German 7,580 0.40%
French 4,805 0.20%
Tewa 4,115 0.20%
Chinese 3,160 0.20%
Tiwa 1,900 0.10%
Towa 1,780 0.10%
New Mexico County Populations
County Population Rank
Bernalillo County 676,685 1
Doña Ana County 214,295 2
Santa Fe County 148,686 3
Sandoval County 139,394 4
San Juan County 118,737 5
McKinley County 76,708 6
Valencia County 75,737 7
Lea County 71,180 8
Chaves County 65,764 9
Otero County 64,362 10
Eddy County 57,578 11
Curry County 50,398 12
Rio Arriba County 39,465 13
Taos County 32,907 14
Grant County 28,609 15
San Miguel County 27,967 16
Cibola County 27,329 17
Luna County 24,518 18
Lincoln County 19,420 19
Roosevelt County 19,120 20
Los Alamos County 17,785 21
Socorro County 17,256 22
Torrance County 15,485 23
Colfax County 12,414 24
Sierra County 11,282 25
Quay County 8,455 26
Mora County 4,596 27
Hidalgo County 4,423 28
Guadalupe County 4,371 29
Union County 4,201 30
Catron County 3,456 31
De Baca County 1,828 32
Harding County 698 33