Lea County, New Mexico

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Coordinates: 32°48′N 103°25′W / 32.80°N 103.42°W / 32.80; -103.42

Lea County, New Mexico
Lea County New Mexico Court House.jpg
Map of New Mexico highlighting Lea County
Location in the state of New Mexico
Map of the United States highlighting New Mexico
New Mexico's location in the U.S.
Founded March 17, 1917
Seat Lovington
Largest city Hobbs
 • Total 4,394 sq mi (11,380 km2)
 • Land 4,391 sq mi (11,373 km2)
 • Water 3.3 sq mi (9 km2), 0.07%
 • (2010) 64,727
 • Density 15/sq mi (6/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6
Website www.leacounty.net

Lea County is a county located in the U.S. state of New Mexico. As of the 2010 census, the population was 64,727.[1] Its county seat is Lovington.[2] It is both west and north of the Texas state line.

Lea County comprises the Hobbs, NM Micropolitan Statistical Area.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 4,394 square miles (11,380 km2), of which 4,391 square miles (11,370 km2) is land and 3.3 square miles (8.5 km2) (0.07%) is water.[3] Lea County is located in the southeast corner of New Mexico and borders Texas to the south and east.

Adjacent counties[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 3,545
1930 6,144 73.3%
1940 21,154 244.3%
1950 30,717 45.2%
1960 53,429 73.9%
1970 49,554 −7.3%
1980 55,993 13.0%
1990 55,765 −0.4%
2000 55,511 −0.5%
2010 64,727 16.6%
Est. 2013 68,062 5.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]
1790-1960[5] 1900-1990[6]
1990-2000[7] 2010-2013[1]


Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:


As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 55,511 people, 19,699 households, and 14,715 families residing in the county. The population density was 13 people per square mile (5/km²). There were 23,405 housing units at an average density of 5 per square mile (2/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 67.13% White, 4.37% Black or African American, 0.99% Native American, 0.39% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 23.81% from other races, and 3.27% from two or more races. 39.65% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 19,699 households out of which 39.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.80% were married couples living together, 12.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.30% were non-families. 22.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.20.

In the county the population was spread out with 30.10% under the age of 18, 10.10% from 18 to 24, 27.30% from 25 to 44, 20.30% from 45 to 64, and 12.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 100.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $29,799, and the median income for a family was $34,665. Males had a median income of $32,005 versus $20,922 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,184. About 17.30% of families and 21.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.00% of those under age 18 and 14.90% of those age 65 or over.



The following public-use airports are located in the county:[9]


In the 2004 Presidential election, Lea County was the top New Mexico county, as far as percentage, for Republican George W. Bush. He beat John Kerry 79%-20%. In 2008, the Republican candidate John McCain beat Democratic candidate Barack Obama by a wide but slightly smaller margin, 72% to 27%.[10]




Census-designated place[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Notable people[edit]

Lea County had produced several National Rodeo Champions, perhaps starting with Jake McClure starting back in 1930. Later, Troy Fort. More recent Champions are from the Cooper family, Jimmie and Roy. This family is from Monument, southwest of Hobbs. All of these men have been National Champions.[11]

Several golfers have made it to the PGA and most famous is Kathy Whitworth, an LPGA Hall of Famer. The men Golfers include Ronnie Black, Sean Murphy and Chris Blocker. Ronnie and Sean were from Lovington, Chris from Hobbs and Kathy from Jal.

Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears football linebacker (2000-2012), represented Lea County in the National Football League.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 29, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  3. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved January 2, 2015. 
  4. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 2, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 2, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 2, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 2, 2015. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008. 
  9. ^ Public and Private Airports, Lea County, New Mexico
  10. ^ CNN: election results for New Mexico counties
  11. ^ "National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum". National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Retrieved August 31, 2013.