Recently, RGF noted in this space that Forbes had named Ron Corio of Array Solar the State of New Mexico’s first billionaire. But if you look at the data by place of birth as a new report does, New Mexico is actually a great place to be from to be a billionaire. As the chart below shows New Mexico ranks 7th as a place to be FROM and become a billionaire.
Many New Mexicans are aware that Jeff Bezos, the Founder of Amazon.com and the richest man in the United States was born in New Mexico, but how about Dan Kurzius who founded MailChimp (Albuquerque), Ernest Garcia II who founded Drive Time and is CEO of Carvana (Gallup), or Paul Foster who founded Western Refining (Lovington)?
And, of course Bill Gates (3rd on the richest list) famously founded Microsoft in Albuquerque before moving his company to the Seattle area.
What does it all mean? Arguably it is just random, but perhaps it is an indicator that New Mexicans are as entrepreneurial as anyone (if not more) but that they have to leave New Mexico to make their business work (unless they are in a subsidized industry like solar).