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Las Cruces

  •   State: 
    New Mexico
    Doña Ana County
    Las Cruces
      County FIPS: 
    32°18′52″N 106°46′44″W
      Area total: 
    77.03 sq mi
      Area land: 
    76.93 sq mi (199.26 km²)
      Area water: 
    0.10 sq mi (0.25 km²)
    3,900 ft (1,200 m)
    1849; Incorporated 1907 : 135
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Las Cruces, NM
    Mountain Standard Time (MST) UTC-7:00; Mountain Daylight Time (MDT) UTC-6:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Las Cruces, Doña Ana County, New Mexico, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    1,447.82 residents per square mile of area (559.00/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Las Cruces (; Spanish: [las 'kruses] "the crosses") is the second-largest city in the U.S. state of New Mexico. As of the 2020 census the population was 111,385. Las Cruces is the economic and geographic center of the Mesilla Valley, the agricultural region on the floodplain of the Rio Grande which extends from Hatch to the west side of El Paso, Texas. The city's major employer is the federal government on nearby White Sands Test Facility and White Sands Missile Range. It is also the headquarters for Virgin Galactic, the world's first company to offer sub-orbital spaceflights. The Battle of El Bracito was fought nearby on Christmas Day, 1846. On February 10, 1990, seven people were shot, four fatally, in the LasCruces bowling alley massacre. The incident remains unsolved. The Las Cruce metropolitan area had an estimated population of 213,849 in 2017, and the city has a total area of 766 square miles (198.2 km) The city is 3,908 feet (1,191 m) above sea level and is 0.2 miles (1.5 km) above the average elevation of the United States, according to the US Census Bureau. It lies 225 miles (362 km) south of Albuquerque, 42 miles (68 km) northwest of Elpas, Texas and 41 miles (66 km) north of the Mexican border at Sunland Park.


Las Cruces was founded in 1849 when the US Army first surveyed the town. Mesilla became the leading settlement of the area, with more than 2,000 residents in 1860. Growth of Las Cruces has been attributed to the university, government jobs, and recent retirees. The establishment of White Sands Missile Range in 1944 and White Sands Test Facility in 1963 has been integral to population growth. On February 10, 1990, seven people were shot, four fatally, in the LasCruces bowling alley massacre. The incident remains unsolved. The town was named after three crosses which were once located just north of the town, and was incorporated as a town in 1907. The first train reached Las Crues in 1881. The original covered walkways have been removed in favor of a more traditional main street thoroughfare. In the 1960s, St. Genevieve's Catholic Church, built in 1859, was razed to make way for a downtown pedestrian mall. In recent years, the influx of retirees from out of state has also increased Las Cruce's population. The population has grown to 2,300 in the 1880s, and 3,000 in the 1990s. The city is the nearest city to Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is home to New Mexico State University, which has a population of more than 1,000. The White Sands missile range was established in 1944, and the White Sands test facility was opened in 1963. It is located in the northern part of the New Mexico Territory.


Las Cruces is the center of the Organ Caldera. The city is located in the Chihuahuan Desert ecoregion. The Rio Grande bisects the Mesilla Valley and passes west of Las Cruces proper. The historic downtown of the city is the area around Main Street, a six-block stretch of which was closed off in 1973 to form a pedestrianized shopping area. The downtown mall has an extensive farmers market each Wednesday and Saturday morning, where a variety of foods and cultural items can be purchased from numerous small stands that are set up by local farmers, artists and craftspeople. The area also contains museums, businesses, restaurants, churches, art galleries and theaters, which add a great deal to the changing character of LasCruces' historic downtown. In August 2005, a master plan was adopted, the centerpiece of which. was the restoration of narrow lanes of two-way traffic on this model portion of Main Street. Main Street was reopened to vehicular traffic in 2012. In February 2013, Mayor Ken Miyagishima announced during his "State of the City" address that a 700-acre (280 ha) park in the area behind the Las Cruce Dam was under construction, in cooperation with the Army Corps of Engineers. The park features trails through restored wetlands and serves as a major refuge for migratory birds and a key recreational area for the city. The average temperature in the city for the year is 69.8 °C (93.7 °F).


As of the 2010 census Las Cruces had a population of 97,618. There were 39,925 households with an average household size of 2.51 people per household. Median household income was $43,022, and the percentage of people in poverty was 23.6%. The city's demographics were 32.5% Non-Hispanic White, 2.8% African American or Black, 1.4% Native American, and 0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. The racial makeup of the city was 69.0%, with Hispanic or Latino of any race making up 51.7% of the population. The city had a median income of $30,375 in 2000, and $37,670 in 2010. About 17.2% of families and 23.3% of residents were below the poverty line in 2000. The per capita income for the city in 2010 was $15,704. The median income for a city resident in 2000 was $30.375, and it was $37.670 for a family. The population was 74,267 as of the census of 2000, with 29,184 households, and 18,123 families residing in the city. In 2010, the city's population was 97.6%, with 29.184 households, out of which 30.4%. had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.3%. were married couples living together, 15.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.9% were non-families.


Major employers are New Mexico State University, Las Cruces Public Schools, and Walmart. The 2018 film, The Mule, written, produced, directed by, and starring Clint Eastwood, filmed for 6 days in and around Las Cruce. The 1964 pilot, Calhoun: County Agent, starring Jackie Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck, was filmed in andaround Las Cruced, but never aired. The process of writing and shooting the pilot is the subject of Merle Miller and Evan Rhodes's book Only You, Dick Daring! The city is home to the National Museum of American History, which is the largest museum of American history in the United States. It is also the home of the National Air and Space Museum, which houses the Apollo 11 space shuttle, which was launched in 1968. The city also hosts the New Mexico International Film Festival, which runs from September to November. The town is the site of the Albuquerque Marathon, which takes place every year in New Mexico. It also is the location of the World Series of Poker, which has taken place in the city for the last seven years. It has also hosted the Winter Olympics, which took place in 1998 and 1998. It was the first time the city had hosted a Winter Olympics. The City is the birthplace of the U.S. Air Force Academy, which opened its doors in 1998. The University of New Mexico is located in the town, and has a campus that dates back to the 18th century. The U.N. Peacekeeping Force is based in the area, and was formed in the aftermath of World War II.

Arts and culture

The Whole Enchilada Fiesta attracted roughly 50,000 attendees each year. The annual 4th of July Electric Light Parade, celebration and fireworks display is held July 3 and 4. Every Christmas Eve, the historic plaza of Mesilla is lined with thousands of luminarias, which are brown bags containing candles and weighted with sand. The Las Cruces Game Convention, now known as CrucesCon, is an annual event where gamers compete in high-level tournaments and play free games. The Renaissance ArtsFaire, founded in 1971, includes a juried art show and is put on by the Doña Ana Arts Council each year in November. The Southern New Mexico State Fair, usually held the first week in October at the fairgrounds west of the city, promotes traditional agriculture. The festival was founded in 1994 by authors Denise Chávez and Susan Tweitit; the executive director was the director of the festival for the past 20-year run. The city hosts two wine festivals annually. The Harvest Wine Festival is held over Labor Day weekend, and features wines from New Mexico wineries, a grape stomping contest, several concerts throughout the weekend, food from several local vendors, and related shopping. On Halloween, the Mesilla Valley Mall holds a "day of the walking dead", where zombies walk around the mall. A Cinco de Mayo celebration is held May 34, and it is held in Mesilla and provides arts and crafts, food Vendors, and Mexican music. In 2000, the fiesta's 10+12-foot-diameter (3.2 m) en chilada was certified by Guinness World Records as the world's largest.


New Mexico State Aggies compete in the Western Athletic Conference for men's and women's basketball, and as an independent team for football. The Las Cruces Kings have been a long running semi-professional football team in the city. In the 2011 season the Vaqueros joined the Pecos League of Professional Baseball Clubs against the White Sands Pupfish, Roswell Invaders, Ruidoso Osos, Alpine Cowboys and Carlsbad Bats. The team returned for the 2015 season, but structural damage to their home ballpark in January 2016 forced them to sit out the 2016 season. They plan to return for the 2017 season. The Aggies men's basketball has had a rich history of success. Between 2010 and 2019, the Aggies made the NCAA tournament eight times. In 1970 the team also reached the Final Four of the tournament in 1970. The 2014-15 NMSUWomen's basketball team reached the NCAA tournaments for the first time since 1988. The Vaquero's played in the PECos League for the 2011-2013 seasons. They are the first ever professional sports team in Las Cruce. They were the first team to play in the league in the 2010 season. Their home ballpark was damaged in the January 2016 season and they will not be playing in the 2016 or 2017 seasons, but will return in 2017. They will play the 2017 and 2018 seasons in a new stadium in the town's downtown area. The city is home to the New Mexico State University.

Parks and recreation

Las Cruces operates 87 city parks, 18 tennis courts, and four golf courses. Ciclovía, a citywide event featuring exercise and physical activities, is held on the last Sunday of each month at Meerscheidt Recreation Center. A list of parks, with facilities and maps, is available.:8.


Las Cruces is a charter city (also called a home rule city) and has a councilmanager form of government. The city council consists of six councillors and the mayor, who chairs the meetings. The mayor is elected at-large, and each of the city councilors represents one neighborhood district within the city. Live and archived video of city council meetings are available anytime at Las Cruces, NM. In the November 2019 municipal election, Ranked Choice Voting was used for the first time. As of the 2017-2019 term, the mayor is Ken Miyagishima. Councilors are Kasandra Gandara, Mayor Pro Tem; Tessa Abeyta-Stuve, Dist. 2; Gabriel Vasquez,dist. 3; Johana Bencomo,Dist. 4; Gill M. Sorg, Dist.-5; Yvonne Flores, Dist- 6. The council members serve staggered four-year terms, with the mayor serving a five-year term. The current mayor of Las Cruce is Ken MiyagISHima, who is serving a term of four years. The City Council is made up of six members, with a mayor and one city councilor each representing a neighborhood district. Each resident of Las Cruces is thus represented by the mayor and by one city councillor. The Mayor and city council members are elected for staggered four year terms. The elections are held on November 6th, 19th, and November 8th, 2019.


The Las Cruces Public School District has 26 elementary schools, nine middle schools, and six high schools. New Mexico State University, or NMSU, is a land-grant university. The Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM), a private osteopathic medical school, opened on the campus in 2013. The Thomas Branigan Library is the city's public library and has a collection of about 185,000 items. The New Mexico School for the Deaf operates a preschool facility in Las Cruce. The city is home to New Mexico's NASA Space Grant Program and is one of 52 institutions in the U.S. to be designated a Space Grant College. For 10 consecutive years, N MSU has been rated as one of America's 100 Best College Buys for offering "the very highest quality education at the lowest cost" by Institutional Research & Evaluation Inc., an independent research and consulting organization for higher education. The school was founded in 1888 asLas Cruces College, an agricultural college, and in 1889 the school became New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. It received its present name, New Mexico state University, in 1960, and has 18,500 students enrolled as of fall 2012, and had a faculty-to-student ratio of about 1 to 19. In the 2015-2016 school year, there were 4,997 full-time equivalent credit enrollments and 4,246 non-credit students, served by 136 full-year faculty, 401 part-time instructors, together with 225 full- time staff and 55 part-year staff.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Las Cruces, Doña Ana County, New Mexico = 46.8. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 40. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 98. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Las Cruces = 6.7 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 111,385 individuals with a median age of 32.4 age the population grows by 25.22% in Las Cruces, Doña Ana County, New Mexico population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 1,447.82 residents per square mile of area (559.00/km²). There are average 2.44 people per household in the 36,800 households with an average household income of $36,107 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 5.60% of the available work force and has dropped -3.98% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 26.44%. The number of physicians in Las Cruces per 100,000 population = 148.


The annual rainfall in Las Cruces = 8.4 inches and the annual snowfall = 2.1 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 42. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 294. 94 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 25.2 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 53, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Las Cruces, Doña Ana County, New Mexico which are owned by the occupant = 54.39%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 23 years with median home cost = $158,100 and home appreciation of -9.14%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $7.60 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $4,461 per student. There are 14.9 students for each teacher in the school, 920 students for each Librarian and 478 students for each Counselor. 6.42% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 16.74% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 12.46% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Las Cruces's population in Doña Ana County, New Mexico of 3,398 residents in 1900 has increased 32,78-fold to 111,385 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 50.84% female residents and 49.16% male residents live in Las Cruces, Doña Ana County, New Mexico.

    As of 2020 in Las Cruces, Doña Ana County, New Mexico are married and the remaining 50.11% are single population.

  • 20.5 minutes is the average time that residents in Las Cruces require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    77.55% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 13.96% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 0.55% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 3.28% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Las Cruces, Doña Ana County, New Mexico, 54.39% are owner-occupied homes, another 36.60% are rented apartments, and the remaining 9.01% are vacant.

  • The 75.18% of the population in Las Cruces, Doña Ana County, New Mexico who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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