21 Fun Facts of New Mexico

Author: Jason Coles

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Updated On:

New Mexico is a unique and undoubtedly charismatic state, being so different in culture, landscape, and climate from the majority of the other 49 states. However, these differences make New Mexico such a wonderful and intriguing place.

Interesting facts about New Mexico

Located in the Mountain Division of the southwestern United States, New Mexico borders a total of four other U.S. states, Oklahoma, and Texas to the east, Colorado to the north, and Arizona to the west. New Mexico, as the name might suggest has a deep history with the Latin-American country, Mexico.

21 Facts About New Mexico

With a consistently warm climate and a plethora of things to do and places to see, it comes as little surprise that fun facts of New Mexico come in abundance. So, if you are considering visiting the Land of Enchantment on vacation, or even planning to permanently move there for business, work, or other purposes check out our incredible facts!

1. Wineries

The region of New Mexico is famous for its wineries, and wine growing, producing millions of gallons per year since the late 1900s. However, it was a man named Franciscan García de Zúñiga, and a monk named Antonio de Arteaga who began the process in 1629 by growing wine grapes in the Rio Grande. Nowadays there are almost 50 wineries in the state which mostly all produce award-winning wine.

2. Capital City

The capital city of New Mexico is Santa Fe, which is also the highest capital city in the United States, at over 7,000 feet above sea level, it is clear to see why!

3. Climate and Landscape

There is much speculation that goes into the potential reasoning behind this next fact, with the most concrete theory being the sheer dryness and heat of the state. Lakes and rivers in New Mexico only make up .002% of the state’s total surface area, which is the lowest water-to-land ratio in the U.S.

4. White Sands National Park

The White Sands National Park is a rather beautiful and expansive desert, but it isn’t made up of sand, the desert consists of white gypsum crystals.

5. Volcano Monument

Staying on the topic of National Parks, and, more specifically, Monuments, the Capulin Volcano National Monument is situated in the northeastern corner of the state, and is approximately 8,000 feet high. The best thing about this incredible landmark is that from the top, you can see Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado.

6. Postal Abbreviation

All 50 states in the U.S. have their own postal abbreviation, which has been created to easily distinguish each state when writing addresses down, sending documents or packages, or just simply looking up addresses. New Mexico’s abbreviation consists of the first letter of both words, “NM”.

7. Corner State

There are only four “corner states” in the U.S., and New Mexico is one of them! Bordering at the exact same point as Arizona, Colorado, and Utah.

8. Strange Laws

Weirdly enough, it is actually a federal law that dancing whilst wearing a sombrero is totally illegal in the state!

9. State Forests

Despite common perceptions that New Mexico is simply just a desert landscape, there are actually 7 National Forests in the state, which account for a quarter of the state’s landmass, including the largest in the nation, the 3.3 million acres Gila National Forest.

New Mexico gila national forest

10. Native Americans

The United States’ largest Native American Group, “The Navajo” has a reservation that covers over 14 million acres!

11. Skiing in New Mexico?

It may come as a surprise to many that New Mexico is one of the best places for skiing in the U.S.! There are three ski resorts creating the “Enchanted Circle”, Taos Ski Valley, Red River, and Angel Fire. The highways that connect the areas are an 83-mile loop with the town of Taos on the west, Red River on the north, and Angel Fire on the southwest.

12. Discovery of Pluto

Although Pluto is no longer considered to be an official planet, the man to discover this “dwarf planet”, Clyde Tombaugh was brought up in New Mexico despite being born in Illinois.

13. Atomic Bomb

The first atomic bomb was dropped in Jornada del Muerto, New Mexico in July 1945.

14. Oldest Government Building

The oldest Government building in the United States is located in Santa Fe, and is called “The Palace of Governors”.

15. Statehood

It may come as a surprise due to the state’s history that New Mexico was not granted statehood until 1912 due to it being primarily part of the Hispanic and Catholic community.

16. Bring a Razor

Another bizarre law that is invoked in New Mexico is that women are not allowed in public if unshaven!

17. Hot Air Balloon

Over the years, Albuquerque has become the hot air balloon capital of the world. With over 700 local hot air balloons floating above the city and surrounding areas for two weeks every fall.

New Mexico hot air balloon

18. Livestock

There is more livestock in New Mexico than there are people! With an approximate calf population of over 1.6 million, it is easy to see why New Mexico’s total population is less, with only a little over 2 million people!

19. Speed Limit

The maximum speed at which you can drive on specific New Mexico roads is 75 mph.

20. Ski Apache

Ski Apache is the southernmost major ski area in the United States, with 750 acres, this incredible ski area is only slightly smaller in size than Taos’.

21. Taos Ski Valley

The iconic Taos Ski Valley has a serious reputation for having one of the most challenging skiing terrains in the entire nation. However, there is an exception to this, with the beginner White Feather Trail, perfect for those learning the sport, which adopted its name from the British insult aimed at those that were considered “cowards” for staying out of the army during the war.

Economic New Mexico Facts

There is a lot to unearth when checking out the economic New Mexico facts. Many people overlook New Mexico’s economic strength and influence. This could be due to NM not being as popular as maybe Texas or California for business owners, or employees looking for work; however, there is much to the state’s economy and business climate than meets the eye. Let’s check them out.

If you would like to learn how to register a business in New Mexico so you can start your entrepreneurial journey, we have created a checklist walking you through the process.

  • New Mexico’s GDP is around $94 billion.
  • New Mexico has a progressive state income tax rate, ranging between 1.7% to 4.9%.
  • New Mexico has the 16th best internet access out of all 50 states (US News & World Report).
  • The median income in New Mexico is $25,311.
  • Over 36% of the state are College-educated (US News & World Report).
  • Speaking of education, New Mexico has more PhDs per capita than any other state.
  • New Mexico’s average commute time to work is 22.3 minutes, with the national average being 26.9.
  • New Mexico’s number of roads in poor condition is lower than the national average.
  • The minimum wage in New Mexico is $10.50 per hour.
  • New Mexico’s cost of living is significantly lower than the national average (US News & World Report).
  • Wallethub has ranked New Mexico 23rd for its economic innovation metric.
  • The sales tax rate in New Mexico is 5.125%.
  • The average house price in New Mexico is $226,941, however, this number is seasonally adjusted, to keep updated, take a look at Zillow’s website.
  • There are over 156,000 small businesses in New Mexico.
  • These small businesses make up over 99% of New Mexico’s total businesses.
  • There are more than 339,000 small business employees in New Mexico.
  • Over 54% of New Mexico’s employees work for small businesses.
  • New Mexico is home to over 1,159 small business exporters.
  • New Mexico has over 51,000 self-employed minorities.

All of these economic facts about New Mexico prove the reasons people move to the state for business and work opportunities, and you can see why!

Thanks for taking a look at our 21+ fun facts of New Mexico! If you have some facts and fun information regarding New Mexico’s past and present that we have not covered, make sure to add a comment below.

Interesting US State Facts

New Mexico

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Jason Coles

Jason Coles is the Founder of Foreign USA and its Chief Content Writer and Editor. Recognized as a prolific business plan writer by many prominent immigration attorneys in the U.S. who refer his services to their clients regularly, Jason has written over 1,350 business plans across the past 17+ years for start-up companies and franchises looking to expand their footprint in the United States. Jason is considered a seasoned expert in his field. He creates detailed business plans for his clients that include five-year financial projections, market and industry analysis reports, demographic studies, organizational charts, job descriptions, employee hiring plans, and more.