Regional
1:16 pm
Sun March 27, 2011

Rural Losses In 2010 Census

New Mexico – Many of New Mexico's rural areas are losing population.

That's a change from 1990 through 2000, when areas outside New Mexico's largest cities saw explosive growth.

But growth largely disappeared from many rural areas in the 2010 census.

Research & Polling Inc. president Brian Sanderoff says population increases instead centered around urban areas.

The state's population overall gained 13.2 percent.

However, 16 of New Mexico's 33 counties were stagnant or lost population.

Northern, rural counties around Santa Fe and much of eastern and southwestern New Mexico saw slow growth or decreasing population.

University of New Mexico demographer Jack Baker says what's happening in New Mexico's rural counties is reflected throughout the West and the Plains states.

Baker says young people are moving out, leaving an aging population.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.