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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 cuisines, and a vibrant arts scene.

Seal Of New Mexico

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.

Related: New Mexico History Facts

Chaco Canyon Hungo Pavi Ruins Staircase Nps


  • 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
nasa moon astronauts

Famous New Mexicans

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

Fun Facts

Quick New Mexico Facts

  • White Sands National Monument is world’s largest field of sand dunes made of the mineral gypsum.
  • New Mexico is the country’s top producer of perlite, a type of glass used in insulation and gardening.
  • The Roswell UFO Museum—near a spot where some people claim a UFO crashed in 1947 is New Mexico.
  • New Mexico is known for its turquoise. 
  • They call New Mexico the Land of Enchantment,
  • There are more PhDs in New Mexico than any other US state.
  • New Mexico is where the first nuclear weapon was ever detonated, the Trinity bomb.
  • New Mexcio has more cows than people.
  • It’s home to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world.

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.

Mexican flag

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.

thermometer invention

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.