|New Mexico, state in the SW United States. At its northwestern corner are the so-called Four Corners, where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah meet at right angles; New Mexico is also bordered by Oklahoma (NE), Texas (E, S), and Mexico (S).
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.
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.
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 since long before European exploration.
Climate and increasing population have aided New Mexico's effort to attract new industries; manufacturing, centered especially around Albuquerque, includes food and mineral processing and the production of chemicals, electrical equipment, and ordnance. High-technology manufacturing is increasingly important, much of it in the defense industry.
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 National Monument.
*Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, Copyright (c) 2003