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Lea County, New Mexico facts for kids

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Lea County
Lea County Courthouse in Lovington
Map of New Mexico highlighting Lea 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.
Coordinates: Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 610: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
Country  United States
State  New Mexico
Founded March 17, 1917
Seat Lovington
Largest city Hobbs
Area
 • Total 4,394 sq mi (11,380 km2)
 • Land 4,391 sq mi (11,370 km2)
 • Water 3.3 sq mi (9 km2)  0.07%%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2019)
71,070
 • Density 15/sq mi (6/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
Congressional district 2nd

Lea County is a county located in the U.S. state of New Mexico. As of the 2010 census, its population was 64,727. Because of oil-lease sales in September 2018, the population was expected to double.

Its county seat is Lovington. It is both west and north of the Texas state line. Lea County comprises the Hobbs, NM micropolitan statistical area.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 4,394 square miles (11,380 km2), of which 4,391 square miles (11,370 km2) is land and 3.3 square miles (8.5 km2) (0.07%) is water. Lea County is located in the southeast corner of New Mexico and borders Texas to the south and east.

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 3,545
1930 6,144 73.3%
1940 21,154 244.3%
1950 30,717 45.2%
1960 53,429 73.9%
1970 49,554 −7.3%
1980 55,993 13.0%
1990 55,765 −0.4%
2000 55,511 −0.5%
2010 64,727 16.6%
2019 (est.) 71,070 9.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2016

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, 64,727 people, 22,236 households, and 16,260 families were living in the county. The population density was 14.7 inhabitants per square mile (5.7/km2). The 24,919 housing units averaged 5.7/sq mi (2.2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 75.0% White, 4.1% African American, 1.2% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 16.6% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 51.1% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 9.3% were German, 7.6% were Irish, 7.2% were English, and 6.3% were American.

Of the 22,236 households, 41.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.8% were married couples living together, 13.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 26.9% were not families, and 22.6% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.30. The median age was 31.9 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $43,910 and for a family was $48,980. Males had a median income of $44,714 versus $25,847 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,637. About 15.2% of families and 17.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.5% of those under age 18 and 11.1% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

Airports

The following public-use airports are located in the county:

  • Lea County Regional Airport (HOB) - Hobbs
  • Lea County-Jal Airport (E26) - Jal
  • Lea County-Zip Franklin Memorial Airport (E06) - Lovington
  • Tatum Airport (18T) - Tatum

Communities

Cities

Town

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

Notable people

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