New Mexico’s Economy and the Role of Federal Protected Lands

An analysis of New Mexico’s economy and how federal protected lands impact economic performance.

This report summarizes New Mexico’s economy and the role of federal protected lands. It analyzes how the state has performed, what is driving economic growth, and how protected lands such as national parks and monuments play a positive role in attracting people and investment, while growing businesses and jobs in New Mexico.
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New Mexico’s economy is growing and outperforming the broader U.S. economy.

Growth measures, New Mexico 1970-2010

Chart: Growth measures, New Mexico 1970-2010
From 2000 to 2010, New Mexico’s population grew by 13%, employment 10%, and real per capita income 16%. Over the same time period, real personal income grew by 31%, driven by high quality jobs and a rapid growth of investment and retirement income.


New Mexico vs U.S., Percent change 2000-2010

Chart: New Mexico vs U.S., Percent change 2000-2010

From 2000 to 2010, New Mexico’s population grew substantially while adding new jobs and real personal income at twice the national rate, and real per capita income at four times the national rate.

Text: From 2000 to 2010, New Mexico's real personal income grew by 31%


New Mexico’s prosperity depends on being able to attract people with the talents and creativity required to remain competitive in the 21st century. Such people are drawn by natural beauty and amenities, making New Mexico’s environmental quality a key asset for continued growth.

–Dr. Christopher Erickson
Department of Economics
New Mexico State University