Otero County
Otero County courthouse in Alamogordo
Location within the U.S. state of New Mexico
New Mexico's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 32°37′N 105°44′W / 32.62°N 105.73°W / 32.62; -105.73
Country United States
State New Mexico
FoundedJanuary 30, 1899
Named forMiguel Antonio Otero
SeatAlamogordo
Largest cityAlamogordo
Area
 • Total6,628 sq mi (17,170 km2)
 • Land6,613 sq mi (17,130 km2)
 • Water14 sq mi (40 km2)  0.2%%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2019)
67,490
 • Density9.6/sq mi (3.7/km2)
Time zoneUTC−7 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−6 (MDT)
Congressional district2nd
Websiteco.otero.nm.us

Otero County is a county located in the U.S. state of New Mexico. As of the 2010 census, the population was 63,797.[1] Its county seat is Alamogordo.[2] Its southern boundary is the Texas state line. It is named for Miguel Antonio Otero, the territorial governor when the county was created.[3]

Otero County includes the Alamogordo Micropolitan Statistical Area.[4]

History

The county declared a state of emergency in April 2019 when the federal inspection stations on U.S. Route 70 and U.S. Route 54 were left unstaffed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection as part of the temporary closure of all six checkpoints in the El Paso Sector, which covers West Texas and New Mexico. The county was concerned about the possibility of illegal narcotics flowing north unchecked since the checkpoint agents had been shifted to the border to help process migrant asylum-seekers.[5] The inspection stations reopened August 5, 2019.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 6,628 square miles (17,170 km2), of which 6,613 square miles (17,130 km2) is land and 14 square miles (36 km2) (0.2%) is water.[6] It is the third-largest county in New Mexico by area.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
19107,069
19207,90211.8%
19309,77923.8%
194010,5227.6%
195014,90941.7%
196036,976148.0%
197041,09711.1%
198044,6658.7%
199051,92816.3%
200062,29820.0%
201063,7972.4%
2019 (est.)67,490[7]5.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2016[1]

2000 census

As of the 2000 census,[12] there were 62,298 people, 22,984 households, and 16,801 families living in the county. The population density was 9 people per square mile (4/km2). There were 29,272 housing units at an average density of 4 per square mile (2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 73.71% White, 3.92% Black or African American, 5.80% Native American, 1.17% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 11.67% from other races, and 3.60% from two or more races. 32.16% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 22,984 households, out of which 37.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.50% were married couples living together, 11.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.90% were non-families. 23.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 29.50% under the age of 18, 9.30% from 18 to 24, 28.60% from 25 to 44, 21.00% from 45 to 64, and 11.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 99.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,861, and the median income for a family was $34,781. Males had a median income of $27,657 versus $18,470 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,345. About 15.60% of families and 19.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.90% of those under age 18 and 12.80% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 63,797 people, 24,464 households, and 16,641 families living in the county.[13] The population density was 9.6 inhabitants per square mile (3.7/km2). There were 30,992 housing units at an average density of 4.7 per square mile (1.8/km2).[14] The racial makeup of the county was 72.7% white, 6.7% American Indian, 3.5% black or African American, 1.2% Asian, 0.2% Pacific islander, 11.5% from other races, and 4.2% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 34.5% of the population.[13] In terms of ancestry, 13.4% were German, 8.1% were English, 8.0% were Irish, and 4.4% were American.[15]

Of the 24,464 households, 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.2% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.0% were non-families, and 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.05. The median age was 36.5 years.[13]

The median income for a household in the county was $39,615 and the median income for a family was $46,210. Males had a median income of $32,939 versus $25,965 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,255. About 15.2% of families and 20.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.0% of those under age 18 and 13.5% of those age 65 or over.[16]

Education

School districts in the county include:[17]

While the southeast portion of the county is in the Alamogordo district, that district contracts education of residents there to the Dell City Independent School District of Dell City, Texas,[18] due to the distances involved, as the mileage to Alamogordo from the former Cienega School was 100 miles (160 km) while the distance to Dell City is 20 miles (32 km).[19]

Tribal schools affiliated with the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE):

State-operated schools:

Schools operated by foreign governments:

Tertiary:

Public libraries:

Communities

City

Villages

Census-designated places

Other communities

Other places

Coordinates: 32°37′N 105°44′W / 32.62°N 105.73°W / 32.62; -105.73

Politics and government

Governance of the county is under a three-member county commission.[20]

In early 2021 Commissioner Couy Griffin,[21] a former street preacher[22] with a record of extreme political statements, was banned from entering the sizable Mescalero Apache Reservation in his own jurisdiction,[23] participated in the storming of the United States Capitol on January 6th. Griffin was charged with two federal crimes for his involvement.[24] On January 19th the other two commissioners called for his resignation.[23] They joined New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, who had also called on Griffin to resign for neglecting his duties, for using his office for personal gain, and for his role in the attack.[24]

Presidential elections results
Presidential elections results[25]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2020 61.6% 14,521 36.0% 8,485 2.4% 565
2016 59.3% 11,887 30.5% 6,124 10.2% 2,049
2012 62.2% 12,451 34.1% 6,829 3.7% 732
2008 58.8% 12,806 39.6% 8,610 1.6% 350
2004 67.7% 14,066 31.0% 6,433 1.3% 265
2000 63.3% 10,258 33.7% 5,465 3.0% 481
1996 55.5% 9,065 36.4% 5,938 8.2% 1,334
1992 46.2% 7,481 33.2% 5,377 20.6% 3,345
1988 64.5% 9,984 34.1% 5,284 1.4% 210
1984 69.2% 9,751 29.6% 4,167 1.2% 169
1980 60.3% 7,210 34.4% 4,111 5.4% 644
1976 52.1% 5,914 47.0% 5,333 0.9% 105
1972 65.9% 7,033 27.9% 2,981 6.2% 656
1968 43.8% 4,475 38.9% 3,978 17.3% 1,771
1964 36.6% 3,498 63.1% 6,035 0.3% 27
1960 47.8% 4,507 52.2% 4,916 0.0% 3
1956 60.5% 3,919 39.5% 2,558 0.1% 6
1952 53.2% 2,456 46.8% 2,162 0.0% 2
1948 36.3% 1,354 63.3% 2,361 0.5% 18
1944 43.6% 1,467 56.3% 1,892 0.1% 3
1940 47.1% 1,596 52.8% 1,788 0.2% 5
1936 39.7% 1,333 59.3% 1,989 1.0% 33
1932 31.0% 969 66.9% 2,091 2.1% 67
1928 51.9% 1,250 47.7% 1,148 0.4% 10
1924 41.2% 832 43.8% 886 15.0% 303
1920 51.4% 1,229 45.8% 1,095 2.9% 69
1916 37.0% 561 54.4% 824 8.6% 130
1912 21.9% 220 41.8% 420 36.4% 366

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Thompson, Mark. "Miguel Otero: Father, Son, and Grandson". New Mexico Office of the State Historian. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  4. ^ "Alamogordo, NM Micropolitan Statistical Area" (PDF). US Census Bureau. December 2006. Retrieved September 9, 2009.
  5. ^ Burnett, John (April 26, 2019). "New Mexico County Declares Local Emergency Over Abandoned Border Patrol Checkpoints". NPR News. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on January 1, 2015. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  7. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved December 23, 2019.
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  10. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  12. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  13. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
  14. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
  15. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
  16. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
  17. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Otero County, NM" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  18. ^ "AGENDA Regular Board Meeting (Virtual Meeting) Wednesday, July 22, 2020, 6:00 pm" (PDF). Alamogordo Public Schools. Retrieved July 28, 2021. Dell City Purchase Requisition 20210058 - $34,063.12 for out of state tuition for students residing in the southeast corner of Otero County, NM that attend Dell City, TX ISD
  19. ^ "It all began here in a tent school in 1898". Alamogordo Daily News. Alamogordo, New Mexico. August 15, 1975. p. 4. - Clipping from Newspapers.com.
  20. ^ "Government" Otero County website
  21. ^ "Couy Griffin". County of Otero New Mexico. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  22. ^ Simonich, Milan (May 21, 2020). "He's king of the cowboys and self-promotion". Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  23. ^ a b "2 Otero County Commissioners call for resignation of Couy Griffin". KQRE. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  24. ^ a b "FBI: Cowboys for Trump founder taken into custody in connection to Capitol riots". KOB. January 17, 2021. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  25. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 1, 2018.

Further reading