Written by Tadashi

Modified & Updated: 28 Apr 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

New Mexico Facts, Wheeler Peak

New Mexico stands out among the many US states. Its history predates that of the USA itself, and its people similarly form a unique group among US citizens as a whole. Historic breakthroughs in science and technology took place in the state, but New Mexico hasn’t always enjoyed the most prosperity either. Learn more with these 50 New Mexico Facts.

  1. New Mexico covers an estimated area of 315,000 km².
  2. This makes the state the fifth-largest in the entire USA.
  3. At only 757 km², water makes up less than 1% of New Mexico’s area.
  4. An estimated 2.12 million people live in the state today.
  5. This gives it an estimated population density of 7 people for every km².
  1. Various Native American peoples lived in New Mexico long before the Europeans arrived.
  2. Francisco de Ibarra first used the name New Mexico in 1563.
  3. New Mexico stayed with Mexico upon gaining its independence from Spain in 1821.
  4. The USA gained New Mexico as a result of winning the Mexican-American War.
  5. The US Congress officially formed the New Mexico Territory in 1850.
  6. During the American Civil War, the Union and the Confederacy fought each other over control of New Mexico.
  7. New Mexico officially gained statehood as the 47th State of the Union in 1912.
  8. People discovered oil in New Mexico in 1928.
  9. Native Americans from New Mexico distinguished themselves in both WWI and WWII.
  10. The US military expanded its presence in New Mexico after WWII.
  1. The state officially nicknames itself as the Land of Enchantment.
  2. It also has the motto of Crescit eundo, or it grows as it goes.
  3. New Mexico mostly belongs to the USA’s mountain time zone, or GMT-7.
  4. Nara Visa makes up the exception, instead, belonging to the USA’s Central time zone, or GMT-6.
  5. The state keeps its capital at Santa Fe, but Albuquerque makes up its biggest city.
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