Thursday, December 22, 2011

Families Avoid NM

Families see little opportunity in New Mexico, American families anyway. That’s my conclusion from state population figures for July 1, 2011, released yesterday by the Bureau of the Census ( The New Mexico population is 2,082,224, up 23,044, or 1.1% from the April 2011 census.

The family opportunity problem for New Mexico, as I see it, stems from the small numbers for “domestic migration” in the census estimates. Migration refers to people moving to the state instead of being born here. They can come from within the U.S. (domestic) or from without (international).

Just over 70% of New Mexico’s population increase since the census came from “natural increase,” the excess of births over deaths. Of the rest, the migration, 2,202, or 9.6% of the total increase, came from domestic migration. There were 4,559 international migrants.

With positive domestic migration, New Mexico as in the good minority along with 22 other states, but barely. Only Alaska had fewer domestic migrants. Alaska’s population is a third of New Mexico’s. Delaware, with less than half of New Mexico’s population, attracted more domestic migrants.

New Mexico's population ranked 36th nationally. The percentage growth was 16th and the number growth was 36th. All very nice until one considers all those new babies, the source of our growth.

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