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Los Alamos County, New Mexico facts for kids

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Los Alamos County
Ashley Pond in Los Alamos
Ashley Pond in Los Alamos
Official seal of Los Alamos County
Map of New Mexico highlighting Los Alamos 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 1949
Seat Los Alamos
Largest community Los Alamos
 • Land 109 sq mi (280 km2)
 • Water 0.09 sq mi (0.2 km2)  0.08%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 164/sq mi (63/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
Congressional district 3rd

Los Alamos County (English: "The Poplars" or "Cottonwoods") is a county in the U.S. state of New Mexico. As of the 2010 census, the population was 17,950. The smallest county by area in the state, Los Alamos County was formerly administered exclusively by the U.S. federal government during the Manhattan Project, but it now has equal status to New Mexico's other counties. The county has two census-designated places: Los Alamos and White Rock.

Los Alamos County comprises the Los Alamos, NM Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the AlbuquerqueSanta FeLas Vegas, NM Combined Statistical Area.

The county is home to the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Los Alamos County is noted for having the lowest level of child poverty of any county in the United States.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 109 square miles (280 km2), of which 109 square miles (280 km2) is land and 0.09 square miles (0.23 km2) (0.08%) is water. It is the smallest county by area in New Mexico. There is no significant open water in the county. The county's highest point is located along its northern border, near the summit of Caballo Mountain, at 10,480 feet above sea level.

Adjacent counties

Pueblos with adjacent territories

National protected areas


Historical population
Census Pop.
1950 10,476
1960 13,037 24.4%
1970 15,198 16.6%
1980 17,599 15.8%
1990 18,115 2.9%
2000 18,343 1.3%
2010 17,950 −2.1%
2019 (est.) 19,369 7.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2016

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 17,950 people, 7,663 households, and 5,199 families living in the county. The population density was 164.4 inhabitants per square mile (63.5/km2). There were 8,354 housing units at an average density of 76.5 per square mile (29.5/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 87.8% white, 6.0% Asian, 0.8% American Indian, 0.6% black or African American, 0.1% Pacific islander, 2.2% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 14.7% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 18.9% were German, 16.5% were English, 13.2% were Irish, and 6.5% were American.

Of the 7,663 households, 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.1% were married couples living together, 6.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.2% were non-families, and 28.5% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.86. The median age was 44.3 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $103,643 and the median income for a family was $118,993. Males had a median income of $93,040 versus $51,753 for females. The per capita income for the county was $49,474. About 1.4% of families and 2.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.8% of those under age 18 and 2.4% of those age 65 or over.

Quality of life

In a study conducted by American City Business Journals in 2004, Los Alamos County topped the list as the best place to live in America in terms of quality of life. This was attributed to the high levels of job stability, income and education of Los Alamos residents, many of whom are employed as scientists and engineers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The county has one of the highest number of PhDs per capita and the 2011 median household income of $110,204 per year is the second highest among all the counties in the US. In per capita income, Los Alamos County ranks 1st in New Mexico and 7th in the United States, and has the second-lowest level of poverty in the United States, and the lowest level of child poverty. Other factors contributing to Los Alamos's high quality-of-life index were the access to affordable housing and short commuting times.


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