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Lea County, New Mexico
Lea County New Mexico Court House.jpg
Lea County Courthouse in Lovington
Map of New Mexico highlighting Lea County
Location in the state of New Mexico
Map of the U.S. highlighting New Mexico
New Mexico's location in the U.S.
Founded March 17, 1917
Seat Lovington
Largest city Hobbs
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

4,394 sq mi (11,380 km²)
4,391 sq mi (11,373 km²)
3.3 sq mi (9 km²), 0.07%
Population
 - (2020)
 - Density

74,455
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 2020 census, its population was 74,455.[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.

Geography[]

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 sq mi (11,370 km2) are land and 3.3 sq mi (8.5 km2) (0.07%) are covered by water.[3] Lea County is located in the southeast corner of New Mexico and borders Texas to the south and east.

The Permian Basin, 250 mi (400 km) wide and 350 mi (560 km) long, underlies Lea County and adjacent Eddy County, as well as a large portion of West Texas. It produces 500,000 barrels of crude a day, and this number was expected to double in 2019.

Adjacent counties[]

Demographics[]

Historical populations
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%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]
1790-1960[5] 1900-1990[6]
1990-2000[7] 2010-2020[1]

2000 census[]

As of the 2000 census,[8] 55,511 people, 19,699 households, and 14,715 families were living in the county. The population density was 13 people per square mile (5/km2). The 23,405 housing units averaged 5 per mi2 (2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 67.13% White, 4.37% African American, 0.99% Native American, 0.39% Asian, 23.85% from other races, and 3.27% from two or more races. About 39.65% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of the 19,699 households, 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 not families. About 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 age distribution was 30.10% under 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 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 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.

2010 census[]

As of the 2010 census, 64,727 people, 22,236 households, and 16,260 families were living in the county.[9] The population density was 14.7 inhabitants per square mile (5.7 /km2). The 24,919 housing units averaged 5.7 /sq mi (2.2 /km2).[10] The racial makeup of the county was 75.0% White, 4.1% African American, 1.2% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 16.6% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 51.1% of the population.[9] In terms of ancestry, 9.3% were German, 7.6% were Irish, 7.2% were English, and 6.3% were American.[11]

Of the 22,236 households, 41.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.8% were married couples living together, 13.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 26.9% were not families, and 22.6% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.30. The median age was 31.9 years.[9]

The median income for a household in the county was $43,910 and for a family was $48,980. Males had a median income of $44,714 versus $25,847 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,637. About 15.2% of families and 17.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.5% of those under age 18 and 11.1% of those age 65 or over.[12]

Transportation[]

Airports[]

These public-use airports are located in the county:[13]

  • Lea County Regional Airport (HOB) – Hobbs
  • Lea County-Jal Airport (E26) – Jal
  • Lea County-Zip Franklin Memorial Airport (E06) – Lovington
  • Tatum Airport (18T) – Tatum

Politics[]

Lea County, like most of the High Plains, eastern New Mexico and west-central Texas, is powerfully Republican. It has repeatedly claimed the status of the most Republican county in New Mexico in Presidential elections. 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%.[14] In 2020, Donald Trump won over 79% of the county's vote, while Joe Biden only received 19%, the worst showing for a Democrat in the county's history. It was Trump's strongest county in New Mexico in the 2020 election.

United States presidential election results for Lea County, New Mexico[15]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 16,531 79.03% 4,061 19.41% 326 1.56%
2016 12,495 70.55% 3,930 22.19% 1,287 7.27%
2012 12,548 73.75% 4,080 23.98% 387 2.27%
2008 13,347 71.58% 5,108 27.40% 190 1.02%
2004 14,430 79.37% 3,646 20.05% 105 0.58%
2000 10,157 71.25% 3,855 27.04% 244 1.71%
1996 7,661 52.24% 5,393 36.77% 1,612 10.99%
1992 7,921 48.56% 5,047 30.94% 3,343 20.50%
1988 11,309 65.36% 5,879 33.98% 115 0.66%
1984 14,569 75.26% 4,558 23.55% 230 1.19%
1980 10,727 66.28% 5,006 30.93% 452 2.79%
1976 8,773 56.82% 6,533 42.31% 135 0.87%
1972 12,478 76.41% 3,429 21.00% 424 2.60%
1968 7,415 48.21% 4,751 30.89% 3,216 20.91%
1964 7,033 44.10% 8,862 55.57% 53 0.33%
1960 7,548 48.78% 7,806 50.45% 120 0.78%
1956 5,661 47.66% 6,140 51.69% 78 0.66%
1952 4,738 47.52% 5,204 52.19% 29 0.29%
1948 1,273 21.13% 4,708 78.14% 44 0.73%
1944 1,227 29.44% 2,938 70.49% 3 0.07%
1940 1,286 23.00% 4,295 76.81% 11 0.20%
1936 549 12.22% 3,905 86.95% 37 0.82%
1932 271 9.83% 2,371 86.03% 114 4.14%
1928 537 52.96% 474 46.75% 3 0.30%
1924 138 18.75% 552 75.00% 46 6.25%
1920 255 25.22% 733 72.50% 23 2.27%



Communities[]

Cities[]

  • Eunice
  • Hobbs
  • Jal
  • Lovington

Town[]

  • Tatum

Census-designated places[]

  • Monument
  • Nadine
  • North Hobbs

Other unincorporated communities[]

  • Bennett
  • Caprock
  • Crossroads
  • Knowles
  • Maljamar
  • McDonald

Notable people[]

  • Roy Cooper. Rodeo cowboy
  • Kathy Whitworth, professional golfer
  • Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears football linebacker (2000–2012)

See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Lea County, New Mexico

References[]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/35/35025.html. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. 
  3. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. https://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/docs/gazetteer/counties_list_35.txt. 
  4. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census.html. 
  5. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu. 
  6. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/nm190090.txt. 
  7. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t4/tables/tab02.pdf. 
  8. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov. 
  9. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/DEC/10_DP/DPDP1/0500000US35025. 
  10. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 – County". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/DEC/10_SF1/GCTPH1.CY07/0500000US35025. 
  11. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/10_5YR/DP02/0500000US35025. 
  12. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/10_5YR/DP03/0500000US35025. 
  13. ^ Public and Private Airports, Lea County, New Mexico
  14. ^ "County Results – Election Center 2008 – Elections & Politics from CNN.com" (in en). http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/county/#val=NMP00p2. 
  15. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS. 

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Lea County, New Mexico. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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