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N.M. Sheds More Population

In the year that ended July 1, New Mexico had a net outmigration of 9,721 people.

BY DENNIS DOMRZALSKI

New Mexico was one of seven states that lost population in the year that ended July 1, as people continue to flee the state for better opportunities elsewhere

During the year, the state’s population fell by 458 people, or 0.02 percent, according to new population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. It was the second consecutive year that New Mexico’s population declined. In the year that ended July 1, 2014, the population shrank by 1,314 people.

More alarming is that people continue to flee the state. In the year that ended July 1, New Mexico had a net outmigration of 9,721 people. It means that that many more people left the state than came here. The domestic outmigration, that is, U.S. residents, totaled 13,352 during the year. That was offset by the 3,631 people came here from foreign countries.

And since April of 2010, New Mexico’s net outmigration has totaled 27,115 people. During that time, domestic outmigration totaled 43,041. That was offset by the 15,926 people who arrived here from other countries.

New Mexico’s population has pretty much stagnated since 2010. Between April 2010 and July 2015, the state’s population grew by 25,917, or 1.3 percent for a rank of 43rd among the states for population growth. But surrounding states have seen huge population gains. Arizona added 435,758 people in those five years, while Colorado’s population grew by 429,250.

The six other states that lost population during the year were: Illinois, 22,194, or 0.17 percent; West Virginia, 4,623, or 0.25 percent; Connecticut, 3,876, or 0.11 percent; Mississippi, 1,110, or 0.04 percent; Maine, 928, or 0.07 percent; and Vermont, 725, or 0.12 percent.

Here’s how New Mexico’s population growth for the past five years compares to surrounding states:

Arizona: +435,758; +6.8 percent
Colorado: +429,250; +8.5 percent
Nevada: +190,154; +7 percent
New Mexico: +25,917; +1.3 percent
Oklahoma: +159,722; +4.3 percent
Texas: +2,323,009; +9.2 percent
Utah: +232,031; +8.4 percent

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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