New Mexico Population 2018


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 2018, it's estimated that New Mexico has a population of 2.09 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 2018 estimate suggests that New Mexico's population has grown even further to 2.09 million, 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 Population History

New Mexico was acquired in part in 1845 when Texas joined the United States, and in part directly from Mexico in 1848 and 1853. New Mexico Territory was established in December 1850, including most of present-day Arizona and parts of Colorado and Nevada. New Mexico acquired essentially its present boundaries in 1863, and was admitted as a State on January 6, 1912.

In 1850 census coverage of New Mexico Territory included much of the present State but did not extend beyond it. The 1860 population refers essentially to the present State; it excludes the then Arizona County, which was located within present-day Arizona, as well as areas that became part of Colorado Territory in 1861.

New Mexico Population Chart

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.

Population Data via US Census

New Mexico Growth Rate

New Mexico Population Rank

Year Pop % Change

New Mexico Facts

New Mexico Population in 2018Source: By David Herrera from Albuquerque, NM, Bernalillo (Wheeler Peak group Uploaded by PDTillman) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

  • 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.

New Mexico Population Density by County

Bernalillo County

  • Population675,588
  • Density581.99 per sq km
  • Growth Since 20101.75%
  • State Rank1
  • % of State32.40%

New Mexico Population Growth Rate by County

The state of New Mexico has many counties, and across the state, there have been significant increases and decreases in population from the time of the 2010 Census until estimates were taken by the US Census Bureau in 2015. During this 5-year period, the New Mexico county of Lea saw the highest rate of growth at 10.14%. Three other counties -- Eddy, McKinley, and Sandoval -- saw population growths of over 5%. Several other counties, including Curry, Santa Fe, and Taos, recorded smaller increases in their populations.

On the other side, some counties also saw declining populations based on this same data from this 5-year period. Colfax County had the biggest decrease in population, which was 9.62%. Other significant decreases in New Mexico include San Juan County at 8.76%, De Baca County at 9.42%, and Hidalgo County at 8.88%, amongest others.

New Mexico Population Pyramid 2018

0k5k10k15kNew Mexico Male Population0k5k10k15kNew Mexico Female Population80757065605550454035302520151050

To compare New Mexico to other states, click here.

Population by Race

Race Population
Some Other Race206,526
American Indian and Alaska Native194,133
Two or More Races65,905
Black or African American41,043
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander1,428

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.

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.

Race Data via US Census (2016 ACS 1-Year Survey)

Languages Spoken in New Mexico

Language Population Percentage

This chart shows the top 10 languages that are spoken at home in New Mexico. The data comes from the most recent release of the American Community Survey (ACS).

New Mexico Economy

High school graduate or higher 84%
Bachelor's degree or higher 26.1%
With a Disability 9.9%
Persons Without Health Insurance 16.8%
In Civilian Labor Force 59.6%
In Civilian Labor Force (Female) 55.3%
Food Services Sales $4,349,672
Health Care Revenue $11,236,630,000
Manufacturers Shipments $29,102,352,000
Merchant Wholesaler Sales $10,720,363,000
Total Retail Sales $25,179,274,000
Total Retail Sales per Capita $12,073
Mean Travel Time to Work 21.7 minutes
Median Household Income $44,968
Per Capita Income (past 12 months) $23,948
Persons in Poverty 21.3%

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in New Mexico for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 5.4% and the labor force participation rate is 59.6%.

New Mexico Business

Total Nonemployer Establishments 121,343
All firms 151,363
Men-owned Firms 71,132
Women-owned Firms 59,044
Minority-owned Firms 60,622
Nonminority-owned Firms 83,857
Veternan-owned Firms 14,096
Nonveteran-owned Firms 128,693

New Mexico Housing

Housing Units 901,388
Owner Occupied Housing Rate 68.2%
Median Value Owner Occupied Housing Units $159,300
Median Monthly Owner Costs (w/Mortgage) $1,242
Median Monthly Owner Costs (no mortgage) $324
Median Gross Rent $774
Building Permits 4,599
Households 764,684
Persons per Household 2.66 persons
Living in Same House 1 Year Ago 85.5%
Language Other than English Spoken at Home 36.2%
Data Sources
  1. New Mexico State Data Center
  2. US Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  3. US Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  4. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  5. Census QuickFacts
  6. Historical Populations of States and Counties (1790 - 1990)