|New Mexico, US. A state in the Southwest, located west of Texas and east of Arizona. At its northwestern corner is Farminton and the so-called "Four Corners", where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah meet at right angles; New Mexico is also bordered by Oklahoma (slightly on the E), and Mexico (on the South). |
Area, 121,666 sq mi (315,115 sq km).
Pop. (2000) 1,819,046, a 20.1% increase since the 1990 census.
Capital, Santa Fe.
Largest city, Albuquerque.
Motto, Crescit Eundo [It Grows as It Goes],
State bird, chaparral ( “roadrunner” ).
State flower, yucca. State tree, piñon.
Much of the state's income is derived from its considerable mineral wealth. New Mexico is a leading producer of uranium ore, manganese ore, potash, salt, perlite, copper ore, natural gas, beryllium, and tin concentrates. Petroleum and coal are also found in smaller quantities. Silver and turquoise have been used in making jewelry by the native population since long before European exploration.
Because irrigation opportunities are few, most of the arable land is given over to grazing. There are many large ranches, with cattle and sheep on the open range year round. However, where irrigation does exist, in the Middle Rio Grande Valley, there is several hundred miles of irrigation ditches (called Acequias) sustaining agriculture and providing shaded walking trails even though urban areas throughout the state.
Millions of acres of the wild and beautiful country of New Mexico are under federal control as national forests and monuments and help to make tourism a chief source of income. Best known of the state's attractions are the Carlsbad Caverns National Park and the Aztec Ruins and Gila Cliffs National Monuments
*Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, Copyright (c) 2003