New Mexico Facts

New Mexico is a southwestern state with one of the most scenic and diverse landscapes in the country, including the Chihuahuan Desert and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

It’s influenced by both Hispanic and Native American culture and has many national parks and monuments, unique cuisine, and a vibrant arts scene.


Quick Facts

  • Capital: Santa Fe
  • Population: 2 million
  • Nickname: Land of Enchantment
  • Key Cities: Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Roswell
  • Postal Abbreviation: NM
  • Major Industries: Healthcare, retail, food services, educational services, public administration


  • How did New Mexico get its name: New Mexico’s name is a version of “Nuevo Mexico,” the Spanish name for the upper Rio Grande River. Mexico is an Aztec spelling that means “place of Mexitli.” Mexitli was an Aztec god.
  • Date admitted to the Union: Saturday, January 6, 1912


  • Size: 121,697 sq. miles
  • Lowest point: Red Bluff Reservoir at 2,842 feet
  • Highest point: Wheeler Peak at 13,161 feet
  • Counties: 33
  • Famous locations: Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands National Monument, Bandelier National Monument, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, International UFO Museum and Research Center

Famous New Mexicans

  • Demi Lovato- singer
  • Neil Patrick Harris- actor
  • Colt McCoy- football player
  • Adrian Grenier- actor/producer
  • Holly Holm- mixed martial artist
  • John Denver- singer

Fun Facts

  • New Mexico is one of the four corner states because it borders at the same point with Utah, Arizona, and Colorado. It also shares an international border with Mexico.
  • In New Mexico, there are only about 12 people per square mile. There are many more sheep and cattle in the state than people.
  • At 7,000 feet above sea level, Santa Fe, New Mexico is the highest capital city in the United States.
  • New Mexico has one of the greatest temperature ranges in the United States. The lowest temperature ever recorded in the state was -50 degrees Fahrenheit, while the highest was 122.
  • The city of Albuquerque, New Mexico is home to more than 300 hot air balloons, making it the hot air balloon capital of America. The city holds the International Balloon Fiesta, the world’s largest hot air balloon festival, each year. The festival includes unique balloon displays and presentations, live musicians, craft shows, and activities for kids.


  • New Mexico’s State Constitution officially declares that it’s a bilingual state. 1/3 of families in New Mexico speak Spanish at home.

More US state facts.