Study says New Mexico’s future may include fewer people. | national
SANTA FE, NM (AP) – Flanked by booming economies and community growth, New Mexico is likely to see its population count stabilize in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, then slowly decline with a decline The number of school-age and working-age residents is dropping and a drain on rural areas, the authors of a report on demographic trends said Thursday.
The Legislative Budget and Accountability Office report adds to the 2020 census indications of slowing population growth in large swathes of the high desert state. This suggests that schools and universities in particular may want to plan accordingly to conserve resources and adapt.
At the same time, an increase in the number of elderly residents will put increased financial pressure on programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. There are around 2.1 million residents in the state with a land area similar to that of Italy.
“In about a decade, New Mexico should start to see an overall decline in its population. … Declines in young ages and in rural areas will continue and will likely be exacerbated by Covid-19, ”said the report from staff of the Legislative Finance Commission. “Given the status quo, New Mexico is heading for more older New Mexicans using relatively expensive public services and fewer younger New Mexicans in school and work.”
The authors told a panel of state lawmakers on Thursday that the projections, based on the 2010 census and interim surveys, would likely be revised based on the results of the 2020 census.
The first figures available this week from the 2020 census show that New Mexico’s population has grown 2.8% over the past decade, making it one of the slowest growing states in the world. Where is. In the West, only Wyoming has experienced a slower growth rate.
Neighboring Texas and Colorado are expected to win congressional seats due to population growth.
State lawmakers and economic development officials have tried for years to attract new employers and consolidate the working-age population with subsidies and tax incentives for businesses, while struggling with a relatively weak economy. and poor national rankings in education, health and safety.
“It looks like this will be a new problem for the legislature,” said Republican Rep. T. Ryan Lane of Farmington. “I worry about my children and grandchildren when the population shrinks. It has a ripple effect on the rest of the economy and the rest of our way of life.”
As a counterpoint to those concerns, State Representative Susan Herrera d’Embudo says she has witnessed an influx of people and real estate bids in northern New Mexico.
Among other results, the number of white non-Latino residents of New Mexico is declining and may soon be overtaken by Latinos.
The report notes that a statewide drop in the birth rate – in part attributed to reduced teenage births – is likely to decline further amid the economic stress of the pandemic and its aftermath.
A notable exception is the state’s Native American population, which increased by about 20,000 people – a jump of 9.7% – between 2010 and 2019.
Hopes still abound that the pandemic and the shift to remote working will bring new interest to New Mexico.
“Once we start to come out of the pandemic, you know I think New Mexico is going to be where people really want to be,” Dominic Gabello, former senior adviser to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, said at ‘a press briefing earlier this year. . He left the administration this month. “They want to get out of the big cities. They want to get away from the coast. We have a great quality of life. … We are where people are looking to be right now.
Between 2010 and 2019, nearly 60,000 more people left New Mexico than to settle in the state. People leaving the state mainly went to Texas, Arizona, Nevada and Oklahoma.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.