Santa Fe is a city located in Santa Fe County New Mexico. With a 2020 population of 91,417, it is the 4th largest city in New Mexico and the 401st largest city in the United States. Santa Fe is currently growing at a rate of 2.19% annually and its population has increased by 4.47% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 87,505 in 2020. Spanning over 52 miles, Santa Fe has a population density of 1,750 people per square mile.
The average household income in Santa Fe is $83,289 with a poverty rate of 14.31%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $1,125 per month, and the median house value is $290,800. The median age in Santa Fe is 44.1 years, 41.4 years for males, and 46.1 years for females.
Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in the country. Santa Fe currently has a problem with young adults leaving the city for elsewhere in the country, with few returning or coming to settle down. Residents aged 20 through 29 make up just 11% of the population in Santa Fe County, whereas the national average in this age range is 14% or 16% in Albuquerque.
The city does have a very high concentration of artists and Ph.D.'s -- more than any other city its size. 39% of the city's economy is generated by culture and arts as well. The city also still holds its reputation as a center for healing since its days as a destination for tuberculosis patients, and it has a very high number of Zen centers, New Age institutes, yoga centers, therapists, gurus and churches of all denominations.
Santa Fe Facts
- Santa Fe means "holy faith" in Spanish.
- Santa Fe's full name when it was founded: La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asis
- An ordinance passed in 1957 requires new and rebuilt buildings exhibit a Spanish Territorial or Pueblo style of architecture
- Santa Fe was founded 13 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.
- Santa Fe is home to the oldest house and the oldest church in the United States
- The obelisk in the center of the Santa Fe Plaza is the Indian War Memorial Monument. Erected in the 1860s, it honors Federal troops killed in fights with Confederate forces and Native Americans. While the original inscription referenced "savage Indians," a man in the 1970s chiseled away the word "savage."
Santa Fe was formerly the site of many Pueblo Indian villages founded between 1050 and 1150. Before the 18th century, the Santa Fe River provided water to the people living in the area as it was a year round stream. Today, it is the most endangered river in the United States and only a seasonal waterway.
The first effort to colonize the area came in 1598 under Don Juan de Onate, who established Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico as a province of New Spain north of present-day Santa Fe. It was in 1607 that the second Spanish governor of New Mexico, Don Pedro de Peralta, founded the new city and made it the capital of the province three years later.
Santa Fe remained Spain's provincial seat, except between 1680 and 1692 when the Pueblo Revolt drove Spaniards out of the area, until the Mexican War of Independence in 1810. In 1836, the Republic of Texas had claimed the city as part of Texas when it seceded from Mexico. Five years later, the Santa Fe Expedition set out to gain control of the area, but the Mexican government quickly captured it. The U.S. declared war on Mexico in 1846 and 1,700 soldiers marched into the city, claiming it and the New Mexico Territory for the United States. New Mexico became the 47th state in the United States in 1912.
When it became a state, Santa Fe had just 5,000 people. The town designers imagined there would be limited growth in the future with a scarce supply of water and imagined suburbs developing on the outskirts.