New Mexico at a Glance

Quality of life and outdoor activities are what attract residents to New Mexico. That, and the multi-cultural diversity, the natural beauty, the history, the stars at night, and the climate. Loved because of its mountain ski resorts and its white sands, for Carlsbad Caverns and for Taos Pueblo, for Albuquerque's world-renowned balloon fiesta, for trout fishing and skiing, for Indian casinos and Indian jewelry, and for Santa Fe, one of the world's favorite tourist destinations as well as the state capital, New Mexico is a unique state with a lot of land and few people.


Albuquerque is its largest city, but it still numbers less than a million residents. Rio Rancho, home of Intel, is the fastest growing city in the state, but it is for all practical purposes a suburb of Albuquerque. Santa Fe, one hour to the north and 2,000 feet higher in elevation, has a population of only about 70,000 and is the only state capital in the nation without a major airport. Other New Mexico cities include Los Alamos, Las Cruces, and Silver City, but the state is primarily made up of small towns and vast open spaces. Much of the land area is national park, national forest, government-owned or Native American dedicated territory.


Top Cities in New Mexico


Why You'll Love Living in New Mexico

New Mexico calls itself the Land of Enchantment. That's what its residents call it as well.

The outdoor life is what's enchanting. The southern tip of the Rocky Mountain chain contributes stunning vistas, with corresponding sunrises, sunsets, desert blooms and mountain storms creating an ever-changing view of nature's wonder. From the high desert to the white sands of Alamagordo, from the secrets of Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories to the geological secrets of Carlsbad and the state's turquoise, silver and copper mines, from the ancient history of the Anasazi and Pueblo Indians to the Spanish conquest, the relatively recent history of the railroads and the future history of weapons testing and space travel, New Mexico is part mystery and part temptress.


There is a legend among the native peoples that "if you're meant to be in New Mexico, the mountains will call you home." Indeed, there is an almost magical quality to life here, from cactus blooms to Pinon pine, from snowflakes on a cold winter evening to brilliant stars that seem almost close enough to touch in the midnight bowl of sky. There's the abundant sun, so warming that even on a winter day you might not need a coat. But there are July evenings that cool some 40 to 50 degrees from the daytime highs, making a jacket a necessity.


Tourists flock to Santa Fe because of its art, culture and cuisine. Albuquerque is a major city disguised as a small town. It is the major employment center in the state with the only major airport, the only television stations, and the University of New Mexico. Las Cruces is gaining a reputation as a retirement center because of its low cost of living, it pleasant climate, its proximity to El Paso and to Mexico, and Los Alamos is still a major center for government research and innovation. And private space travel may one day originate from central New Mexico.


Living in New Mexico can be a constant delight, but it's the natural wonders that make it wonderful. If you appreciate natural beauty and an outdoor life style, you're sure to be enchanted by this Southwestern jewel.