Otero County, New Mexico

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Otero County
Otero County courthouse in Alamogordo
Otero County courthouse in Alamogordo
Map of New Mexico highlighting Otero County
Location within the U.S. state of New Mexico
Map of the United States highlighting 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[edit]

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.

On Monday 13 June 2022 the county commissioners attracted nationwide attention by refusing to certify the results of the local 2022 primary election on 7 June 2022.[6] In response, the New Mexico Secretary of State filed a lawsuit and writ of mandamus against the commisioners for their refusal. By Friday 17 June 2022 two of the three commissioners agreed to certify the election results, which defused the crisis.[7]

Geography[edit]

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.[8] It is the third-largest county in New Mexico by area.

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

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[9]5.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
1790-1960[11] 1900-1990[12]
1990-2000[13] 2010-2016[1]

2000 census[edit]

As of the 2000 census,[14] 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[edit]

As of the 2010 census, there were 63,797 people, 24,464 households, and 16,641 families living in the county.[15] 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).[16] 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.[15] In terms of ancestry, 13.4% were German, 8.1% were English, 8.0% were Irish, and 4.4% were American.[17]

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.[15]

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.[18]

Education[edit]

School districts in the county include:[19]

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,[20] 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).[21]

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

State-operated schools:

Schools operated by foreign governments:

Tertiary:

Public libraries:

Communities[edit]

City[edit]

Villages[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Other communities[edit]

Other places[edit]

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

Politics and government[edit]

Governance of the county is under a three-member county commission.[22]

In early 2021 Commissioner Couy Griffin,[23] a former street preacher,[24] was banned from entering the sizable Mescalero Apache Reservation in his own jurisdiction,[25] because he participated in the storming of the United States Capitol on January 6. On January 19 the other two commissioners called for his resignation.[25]

In a bench trial on March 21, 2022 Griffin was convicted of trespassing, but acquitted on the more serious charge of disorderly conduct.[26] Later in 2022, the county commission refused to certify primary election results, despite being a longtime Republican-held county.[27]

United States presidential election results for Otero County, New Mexico[28]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 14,521 61.61% 8,485 36.00% 565 2.40%
2016 11,887 59.26% 6,124 30.53% 2,049 10.21%
2012 12,451 62.22% 6,829 34.12% 732 3.66%
2008 12,806 58.83% 8,610 39.56% 350 1.61%
2004 14,066 67.74% 6,433 30.98% 265 1.28%
2000 10,258 63.31% 5,465 33.73% 481 2.97%
1996 9,065 55.49% 5,938 36.35% 1,334 8.17%
1992 7,481 46.17% 5,377 33.19% 3,345 20.64%
1988 9,984 64.50% 5,284 34.14% 210 1.36%
1984 9,751 69.22% 4,167 29.58% 169 1.20%
1980 7,210 60.26% 4,111 34.36% 644 5.38%
1976 5,914 52.10% 5,333 46.98% 105 0.92%
1972 7,033 65.91% 2,981 27.94% 656 6.15%
1968 4,475 43.77% 3,978 38.91% 1,771 17.32%
1964 3,498 36.59% 6,035 63.13% 27 0.28%
1960 4,507 47.81% 4,916 52.15% 3 0.03%
1956 3,919 60.45% 2,558 39.46% 6 0.09%
1952 2,456 53.16% 2,162 46.80% 2 0.04%
1948 1,354 36.27% 2,361 63.25% 18 0.48%
1944 1,467 43.63% 1,892 56.28% 3 0.09%
1940 1,596 47.09% 1,788 52.76% 5 0.15%
1936 1,333 39.73% 1,989 59.28% 33 0.98%
1932 969 30.99% 2,091 66.87% 67 2.14%
1928 1,250 51.91% 1,148 47.67% 10 0.42%
1924 832 41.17% 886 43.84% 303 14.99%
1920 1,229 51.36% 1,095 45.76% 69 2.88%
1916 561 37.03% 824 54.39% 130 8.58%
1912 220 21.87% 420 41.75% 366 36.38%


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  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. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on January 1, 2015. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  9. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved December 23, 2019.
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  11. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  12. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  13. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  14. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
  17. ^ "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.
  18. ^ "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.
  19. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Otero County, NM" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  20. ^ "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
  21. ^ "It all began here in a tent school in 1898". Alamogordo Daily News. Alamogordo, New Mexico. August 15, 1975. p. 4. - Clipping of whole article, and focus on the Dell City part, from Newspapers.com.
  22. ^ "Government | Otero County, NM". co.otero.nm.us.
  23. ^ "Couy Griffin". County of Otero New Mexico. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  24. ^ Simonich, Milan (May 21, 2020). "He's king of the cowboys and self-promotion". Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  25. ^ a b "2 Otero County Commissioners call for resignation of Couy Griffin". KQRE. January 20, 2021. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  26. ^ ""Judge finds January 6 defendant guilty of trespassing on Capitol grounds"". CNN. March 22, 2022. Retrieved June 15, 2022.
  27. ^ "N.M. Supreme Court intervenes after GOP commission refuses to certify primary results". NBC News.
  28. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 1, 2018.

Further reading[edit]