New Mexico derived its name from the Anglicized version of "Nuevo Mexico," the Spanish name for the upper Rio Grande. New Mexico is a unique state rich in art and history because of its strong heritage and traditions of Indian, Anglo, and Hispanic cultures. Native Americans, Mexicans, Spaniards and Europeans all have traveled to and established themselves in New Mexico. New Mexico covers 121,356 square miles, with a 2012 estimated population of 2,085,538 people – 694,489 living in rural New Mexico (USDA-ERS). Santa Fe, the capital, is located in the north-central region of the state. The state’s largest cities are Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe and Rio Rancho. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 83.2% of the state’s population is white, 10.2% is American Indian and Alaska Native, 2.4% Black/African American, 1.6% Asian, and 47.0% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (2012).
There are 36 hospitals in New Mexico (Kaiser, 2011), 29 of which are located in rural areas (North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center, Dec. 2008). The state has 9 hospitals identified by the Flex Monitoring Team as Critical Access Hospitals (June 2013). There are 11 Rural Health Clinics in New Mexico (Kaiser, 2012), and 15 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 119 sites in the state (Kaiser, 2011).
Most New Mexicans have some form of health insurance coverage, although 21.0% of its residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2011). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for New Mexicans in 2012 was $35,682, although rural per-capita income lagged at $35,109. Estimates from 2012 indicate a poverty rate of 23.0% exists in rural New Mexico, compared to a 19.4% level in urban areas of the state. 2012 ACS data reports that 20.0% of the rural population has not completed high school, compared to 14.9% of urban populations. The unemployment rate in rural New Mexico is at 6.6%, while in urban New Mexico it is at 7.0% (USDA-ERS, 2012).For a national comparison, please see an overview of the United States.
U.S. Census Bureau: State & County QuickFacts; USDA Economic Research Service: State Fact Sheets; Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts; Flex Monitoring Team: Critical Access Hospital List
Directory of Rural Health
Contacts: New Mexico
Contact information for people and organizations in New Mexico with an interest in rural health.
There are more organizations related to New Mexico in the organizations section.
Last Reviewed: 9/24/2013