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Hobbs, New Mexico
City
Hobbs Public Library
Hobbs Public Library
Motto(s): 
"It All Happens Here"
Location of Hobbs, New Mexico
Location of Hobbs, New Mexico
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Coordinates: 32°42′44″N 103°8′26″W / 32.71222°N 103.14056°W / 32.71222; -103.14056Coordinates: 32°42′44″N 103°8′26″W / 32.71222°N 103.14056°W / 32.71222; -103.14056
Country United States
State New Mexico
County Lea
Area
 • Total 26.44 sq mi (68.47 km2)
 • Land 26.40 sq mi (68.37 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.10 km2)
Elevation
3,622 ft (1,104 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 34,122
 • Estimate 
(2019)
39,141
 • Density 1,482.61/sq mi (572.45/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain (MST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
ZIP codes
88240-88242
Area code(s) 575
FIPS code 35-32520
GNIS feature ID 0923609

Hobbs is a city in Lea County, New Mexico, United States. Its population was 34,122 at the 2010 census, increasing from 28,657 in 2000.

Hobbs is the principal city of the Hobbs, New Mexico micropolitan statistical area, which includes all of Lea County.

History

Hobbs was founded in 1907 when the James Hobbs family established a homestead and named the settlement. In 1910 the Hobbs post office opened, with James Hobbs as the first postmaster. By 1911 there were about 25 landowners in Hobbs.

The small, isolated settlement expanded rapidly following the discovery of oil by the Midwest Oil Company in 1927. A refinery was built in the following year and in 1929 the town of Hobbs was officially incorporated. At the peak of this oil boom, over 12,000 people lived in Hobbs. When the Great Depression hit in 1931, oil prices dropped and the population fell to only about 3,000. However, a few years later activity picked up in the oilfields and the population climbed to about 14,000 in 1940.

Following the outbreak of World War II, in 1942 Hobbs Army Air Base was built north of town. In 1948 the city bought the air base and converted it into the Hobbs Industrial Air Park, which is still used for soaring competitions.

The first college in Hobbs opened in 1956. It was initially the First Baptist College and in 1962 it became the College of the Southwest. A second college, New Mexico Junior College, opened in 1966.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.9 square miles (49 km2), all of it land.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 598
1940 10,619 1,675.8%
1950 13,875 30.7%
1960 26,275 89.4%
1970 26,025 −1.0%
1980 29,153 12.0%
1990 29,115 −0.1%
2000 28,657 −1.6%
2010 34,122 19.1%
2019 (est.) 39,141 14.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of 2010, 33,405 people, 10,040 households, and 7,369 families were residing in the city. The population density was 1,514.0 people per square mile (584.5/km2). The 11,968 housing units averaged 632.3 per mi2 (244.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 63.52% White, 6.79% African American, 1.07% Native American, 0.43% Asian, 24.46% from other races, and 3.73% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 42.18% of the population.

Of the 10,040 households, 39.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.1% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.6% were not families. About 23.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72, and the average family size was 3.22.

In the city, the age distribution was 30.4% under 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,100, and for a family was $33,017. Males had a median income of $31,352 versus $20,841 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,209. About 20.2% of families and 24.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.3% of those under age 18 and 15.5% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture

Located in Hobbs is the headquarters of the Soaring Society of America; Zia Park racetrack, which hosts thoroughbred and quarter horse racing; and the Black Gold Casino.

Economy

The largest industries in Hobbs are mining/quarrying and oil and gas extraction, followed by retail trade and educational services.

Education

  • University of the Southwest is a private, four-year Christian university
  • New Mexico Junior College is a public junior college

Hobbs Municipal Schools is the local school district.

  • Hobbs High School

Transportation

Lea County Regional Airport serves Hobbs with one commercial passenger airline flying to it.

Notable people

  • Tony Benford, assistant coach with TCU's men's basketball team
  • Ryan Bingham, country singer/songwriter
  • Bill Bridges, professional basketball player
  • James O. Browning, federal judge
  • Diane Denish, former lieutenant governor of New Mexico
  • Tharon Drake, swimmer, U.S. Paralympic medalist 2016
  • Rob Evans, former head basketball coach at the University of Mississippi and Arizona State University
  • Colt McCoy, NFL quarterback
  • Steve Pearce, former Republican congressman for New Mexico's 2nd congressional district
  • Guy Penrod, gospel singer
  • Timmy Smith, former NFL player
  • Ralph Tasker, high school basketball coach
  • Jeff Taylor and son Jeffery Taylor, professional basketball players
  • Harry Teague, former Democratic congressman for New Mexico's 2nd congressional district
  • Scott Terry, former pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds
  • Polo Urias, singer
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