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Mora County, New Mexico facts for kids

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Mora County
Mora County Courthouse in Mora
Mora County Courthouse in Mora
Map of New Mexico highlighting Mora 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 1, 1860
Seat Mora
Largest village Mora
 • Total 1,934 sq mi (5,010 km2)
 • Land 1,931 sq mi (5,000 km2)
 • Water 2.3 sq mi (6 km2)  0.1%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 2.5/sq mi (1.0/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
Congressional district 3rd

Mora County (Spanish: Condado de Mora ) is a county in the U.S. state of New Mexico. As of the 2010 census, the population was 4,881. Its county seat is the census-designated place (CDP) Mora. The county has another CDP, Watrous, a village, Wagon Mound, and 12 smaller unincorporated settlements. Mora became a formal county in the US, in what was then the New Mexico Territory, on February 1, 1860. Ecclesiastically, the county is within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe. County population peaked at approximately 14,000 circa 1920, declining to about 4,000 to 5,000 since the 1970s; the 2018 estimate was 4,506.


Prior to Spanish conquest, the Mora area was Indian country. Although not an area of heavy Indian settlement by such tribes as the Pueblo Indians, the Mora valley was often used by nomadic tribes: the Utes, Navajos and Apache.

The Mora Valley then became a travel-way for various Spanish explorers and others. It was not settled until the early part of the 19th century. The history of the settlement of Mora dates to 1817 when a group of settlers petitioned for a priest.

The next significant event was the Mexican Land Grant through which on September 28, 1835 Governor Albino Pérez, the governor of the New Mexico Territory, gave land title for over 800,000 acres (3,200 km²) to some 25 families.

"Mora" is today three plazas and three villages; Mora, Cleveland (originally San Antonio), and Chacon. Holman (originally Agua Negra) lies between Chacon and Cleveland.

Historical and genealogical records for Mora are difficult to obtain for a number of reasons. One is that US Army forces entered the area in 1848 and destroyed Mora while quashing Native American rebellion; most of the archives were lost. "Not until artillery was brought up (by the United States Army) and Mora practically destroyed did the insurgents yield." A US Government Proclamation at the time (February 15, 1847) wrote that the US Army " proceeded with a body of men and one canon to Moro and razed the towns (Upper and Lower Moro) to the ground."

In April 2013, Mora County became the first county in the United States to ban oil and gas drilling on public and private lands.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,934 square miles (5,010 km2), of which 1,931 square miles (5,000 km2) is land and 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2) (0.1%) is water. The highest point in the county is the summit of Truchas Peak at 13,102'.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 12,611
1920 13,915 10.3%
1930 10,322 −25.8%
1940 10,981 6.4%
1950 8,720 −20.6%
1960 6,028 −30.9%
1970 4,673 −22.5%
1980 4,205 −10.0%
1990 4,264 1.4%
2000 5,180 21.5%
2010 4,881 −5.8%
2019 (est.) 4,521 −7.4%
US Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2016

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 4,881 people, 2,114 households, and 1,295 families living in the county. The population density was 2.5 inhabitants per square mile (0.97/km2). There were 3,232 housing units at an average density of 1.7 per square mile (0.66/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 70.9% white, 1.3% American Indian, 0.7% black or African American, 0.3% Asian, 23.5% from other races, and 3.3% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 81.0% of the population. In terms of ancestry, and 0.8% were American.

Of the 2,114 households, 26.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.5% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 38.7% were non-families, and 33.2% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.92. The median age was 46.0 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,784 and the median income for a family was $42,122. Males had a median income of $42,992 versus $42,630 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,035. About 10.5% of families and 11.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.8% of those under age 18 and 20.6% of those age 65 or over.

Places of interest



Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

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