Diversity sets NM apart
By Alysa Landry
The state's population grew 13.2 percent since the 2000 census, with the number of residents topping 2 million. American Indians make up 9.4 percent of the population and Hispanics make up 46.3 percent, which means that only four of 10 New Mexico residents are non-Hispanic Anglos.
New Mexico was the first of the lower 48 states to reach minority-majority status, said Mark Mather, a demographer at the Population Reference Bureau, a Washington-based nonprofit that tracks international demographics.
How is that possible?
The Census Bureau 10 years ago changed the way questions were asked on census surveys. That census was the first that allowed people to mark more than one race.
"We saw a huge portion of people who were American Indian, but some combination of American Indian and another race," he said. "There is a huge increase in minority populations when you factor in those combinations."