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Posted on: August 13, 2021

2020 Census Releases Demographics for Redistricting

On August 12, 2021 the US Census Bureau released data from the 2020 Census Redistricting Program (originally scheduled for release on March, 31, 2021, but was delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic). This data release provides demographic information all the way down to the census block level including:

  • Total Population
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Population 18 years and over
  • Occupied and vacant housing units
  • People living in group quarters like nursing homes, prisons, military barracks and college dorms

Nationally, the population grew by 7.4 percent (or 22,703,743 people), which represents the second slowest growth rate in US history. The state of New Mexico grew by 3% (from 2,059,179 people to 2,117,522 people). The Census 2020 population count for the MRCOG region is 926,877 which is a 3% growth rate since 2010.

The City of Albuquerque is the only incorporated place in Bernalillo County that experienced population growth with a gain of 18,707 people, while Los Ranchos, Tijeras, and unincorporated portions of the county experienced population decline.

Census officials have seen a trend of population growth occurring outside urban cores throughout the nation. This was true in our region, and is evidenced by the fact that the City of Rio Rancho grew almost as much as Albuquerque with 16,525 people (a difference of only 2,182 people), and the Village of Los Lunas gained 2,407 people (a growth rate of 16 percent, nearly matching the pace of growth of Rio Rancho). By comparison, the 2010 Census showed Albuquerque gaining 61,488 more people than Rio Rancho!

More than half of the counties in the U.S. lost population from 2010 to 2020, especially counties with populations under 50,000 people. This trend is also reflected in the less populated counties in our region, as Torrance County and Valencia County saw little to no population growth.

With a 99.9% enumerated response, it appears to be that there was no net undercount of New Mexico households in the 2020 census. The Census Bureau is confident in the quality of this release, but actual data on undercounts will not be available until 2022.

Local leaders will use this data to not only assign voting districts, but perhaps more importantly to decide where to build critical infrastructure like roads and hospitals. The federal government uses census data to allocate billions of dollars in federal money.

This data will be available on on September 30, 2021. If you need help obtaining data from its current “legacy” format, please contact Bianca Borg by email at

Please see below for more detailed information about the population counts in our region, and a map of new housing units .

Demographics Table

Housing Map

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