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Chaves County, New Mexico facts for kids

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Chaves County
Chaves County Courthouse in Roswell
Chaves County Courthouse in Roswell
Official seal of Chaves County
Map of New Mexico highlighting Chaves County
Location within the U.S. state of New Mexico
Map of the United States highlighting New Mexico
New Mexico's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  New Mexico
Founded February 25, 1889
Named for José Francisco Chaves
Seat Roswell
Largest city Roswell
 • Total 6,075 sq mi (15,730 km2)
 • Land 6,065 sq mi (15,710 km2)
 • Water 9.8 sq mi (25 km2)  0.2%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 11/sq mi (4/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
Congressional district 2nd

Chaves County is a county in New Mexico, United States. As of the 2019 census, the population was 64,615. Its county seat is Roswell. Chaves County was named for Colonel Jose Francisco Chaves, a military leader there during the Civil War and later in Navajo campaigns. The county was created by the New Mexico Territorial Legislature on February 25, 1889, out of land from Lincoln County.

Chaves County comprises the Roswell, New Mexico Micropolitan Statistical Area.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 6,075 square miles (15,730 km2), of which 6,065 square miles (15,710 km2) is land and 9.8 square miles (25 km2) (0.2%) is water. It is the fourth-largest county in New Mexico by area.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 16,850
1920 12,075 −28.3%
1930 19,549 61.9%
1940 23,980 22.7%
1950 40,605 69.3%
1960 57,649 42.0%
1970 43,335 −24.8%
1980 51,103 17.9%
1990 57,849 13.2%
2000 61,382 6.1%
2010 65,645 6.9%
2019 (est.) 64,615 −1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2016

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 65,645 people, 23,691 households, and 16,646 families living in the county. The population density was 10.8 inhabitants per square mile (4.2/km2). There were 26,697 housing units at an average density of 4.4 per square mile (1.7/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 70.9% white, 2.0% black or African American, 1.2% American Indian, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 21.9% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 52.0% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 10.1% were German, 9.3% were Irish, 8.5% were English, and 4.6% were American.

Of the 23,691 households, 37.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.9% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.7% were non-families, and 25.2% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.22. The median age was 34.7 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,524 and the median income for a family was $43,464. Males had a median income of $37,573 versus $26,250 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,504. About 15.9% of families and 21.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.1% of those under age 18 and 14.6% of those age 65 or over.




Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

  • Dunken
  • Elk
  • Elkins
  • Greenfield
  • Mesa

Notable people

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