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Rio Arriba County, New Mexico
Rio Arriba County NM seal
Map of New Mexico highlighting Rio Arriba County
Location in the state of New Mexico
Map of USA NM
New Mexico's location in the U.S.
Founded 1852
Seat Tierra Amarilla
Largest city Española
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

5,896 sq mi (15,271 km²)
5,858 sq mi (15,172 km²)
38 sq mi (98 km²), 0.65%
 - (2010)
 - Density

7/sq mi (2.6/km²)

Rio Arriba County is a county located in the U.S. state of New Mexico. As of 2010, the population was 40,246.[1] Its county seat is Tierra Amarilla.[2]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 5,896 square miles (15,271 km²), of which 5,858 square miles (15,171 km²) is land and 38 square miles (100 km²) (0.65%) is water. The highest point in the county is the summit of Truchas Peak at 3 993m (13,102').

The county acquired its present proportions after the creation of San Juan County and other adjustments.[3]

Adjacent countiesEdit

Rio Arriba CCH

Rio Arriba County Courthouse, Isaac Rapp, architect, 1916-17

National protected areasEdit


The county was one of nine originally created for the Territory of New Mexico in 1852. Originally extending west to the California line, it included the site of present day Las Vegas, Nevada.[4] The county seat was initially sited at San Pedro de Chamita, and shortly afterwards at Los Luceros. In 1860 the seat was moved to Plaza del Alcalde. Since 1880 Tierra Amarilla has been the county seat.[3]


As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 41,190 people, 15,044 households, and 10,816 families residing in the county. The population density was 7 people per square mile (3/km²). There were 18,016 housing units at an average density of 3 per square mile (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 56.62% White, 0.35% Black or African American, 13.88% Native American, 0.14% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 25.62% from other races, and 3.28% from two or more races. 72.89% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 15,044 households out of which 36.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.80% were married couples living together, 15.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.10% were non-families. 23.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the county the population was spread out with 28.60% under the age of 18, 8.90% from 18 to 24, 28.80% from 25 to 44, 22.90% from 45 to 64, and 10.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 98.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $29,429, and the median income for a family was $32,901. Males had a median income of $26,897 versus $22,223 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,263. About 16.60% of families and 20.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.30% of those under age 18 and 22.90% of those age 65 or over.

Political history Edit

Rio Arriba is a traditionally Democratic county. The last Republican Presidential candidate to carry the county was Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956.[6] Since, at least, 1990 no Republican candidate for governor has won the county.[7]

It is located in New Mexico's 3rd congressional district, which has a Cook Partisan Voting Index rating of D+7 and is represented by Democrat Ben R. Luján. In the New Mexico legislature it is entirely represented by Democratic politicians.[8]

Current commissioners are:

District Name Party First elected Term ends
District 1 Barney Trujillo Democratic 2010 2014
District 2 Alfredo Montoya Democratic 2006 2014
District 3 Felipe Martinez Democratic 2004 2012





Census-designated placesEdit

Other localitiesEdit

Points of interestEdit



See alsoEdit

References Edit

External linksEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Dethier, D.P. (2004). Geologic map of the Puye quadrangle, Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, and Santa Fe Counties, New Mexico [Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-2419)]. Reston, Va.: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.
  • Maldonado, F. (2008). Geologic map of the Abiquiu quadrangle, Rio Arriba County, New Mexico [Scientific Investigations Map 2998]. Reston, Va.: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.

Coordinates: 36°31′N 106°42′W / 36.51, -106.70

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Rio Arriba 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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