Regional Data

Growth in the Mid-Region Council of Governments Region, 2000 to 2015

Population

According to the most recently released census data, the middle Rio Grande region has grown by 178,282 people since the year 2000 for a total population of 916,996 in 2015. The region currently accounts for 44% of the statewide population. The pace of growth in the MRCOG region had been consistently around 22% per decade since the 1980’s, but since the economic recession of the late 2000’s population growth has slowed substantially, increasing by just 2.2% in the five years between 2010 and 2015. This slowdown can be attributed to outmigration, with many movers in search of new employment opportunities, and conservative changes in family planning historically common during periods of economic uncertainty.

Regional Map

MRCOG Regional Growth as a Share of New Mexico

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Decennial Census, Populations Estimates, 2015 ACS 1-Year Estimates and 2015 ACS 5-Year Estimates.
Category 2000 2010 2015 5-Year Growth
5-Year Percent Growth
MRCOG Region
736,714 897,146 916,880 19,580 2.2%
New Mexico
1,819,046 2,059179 2,085,109 25,930 1.3%
Share of the State
40.6% 43.6% 44.0% 76.6% N/A

The pattern of growth seen within New Mexico over these years can be characterized as metro-area focused with the majority of growth occurring among the state’s urban areas. In particular, the MRCOG region’s share of the state population has grown over time and this has become more pronounced since the recession, with over three-fourths of New Mexico’s growth from 2010 to 2015 occurring within the region.

Historical Growth in the MRCOG Region, 1960 to 2015

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Decennial Census, Population Estimates, 2015 ACS 1-Year Estimates and 2015 ACS 5-Year Estimates.
Area 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2015
Bernalillo County
262,199 315,744 419,700 480,577 556,678 662,564 676,685
Sandoval County
14,201 17,492 34,799 63,319 89,908 131,564 139,394
Southern Santa Fe County
263 296 1,185 3,700 9,065 10,066 9,579
Torrance County
6,497 5,290 7,491 10,295 16,911 16,383 15,485
Valencia County
16,146 20,451 30,769 45,235 66,152 76,569 75,737
MRCOG Region
299,306 359,303 493,944 603,116 738,714 897,146 916,880

The MRCOG region contains three of the state’s six fastest growing counties over the 2000-2015 period: Sandoval County (55%), Bernalillo County (22%), and Valencia (14%). These three counties combined to add 179,000 people to the state over that time, while 15 of New Mexico’s 33 counties lost population from 2000 to 2015. In more recent years, however, Torrance, Valencia, and Southern Santa Fe County have experienced a net population loss.

Pace of Population Growth

Pace of Population Graph

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