New Mexico Census Data: a red flashing light on the dashboard

Recently the US Census Bureau published data on a variety of population issues. New Mexico’s Legislative Finance Committee apparently received the data early and had a paper with further analysis ready to go upon the Bureau’s release.

I have included a few charts from the paper below with additional commentary. Most notably New Mexico’s population growth grew quite slowly compared to its neighbors and even trailed the US as a whole. The growth among various population groups is curious. The number of children and young people declined over the past decade, but saw some growth in the 25-44 year old age group. But, the number of 45-64 year olds who also tend to be at the peak of their earning potential and thus pay the highest taxes, declined. Not surprisingly New Mexico’s 65+ population grew faster than any other group by far.  Curiously, and unsurprisingly, migration to New Mexico was negative during the last decade. This is especially concerning because it shows that for all of its physical beauty and cultural uniqueness, New Mexico is not considered an attractive place to live by those who can choose to live anywhere in the US.  Perhaps, one of the problems is that New Mexico struggles with high poverty rates? More troubling is the fact that New Mexico’s high poverty levels didn’t improve much over the last decade. 

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