New Mexico boasts a vibrant history, culture, and scenic landscapes. Nonetheless, it grapples with various difficulties, including issues like poverty, unemployment, and limited educational achievements.
As per the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 data, New Mexico recorded a poverty rate of 18.2%, ranking as the second-highest in the country. Could you provide information on which specific city in New Mexico has the highest population living in poverty?
The Poorest City in New Mexico: Anthony
In 2023, Anthony, a small town on the Texas border with a population of 8,748, has been identified as the poorest city in New Mexico, as per a report by RoadSnacks.
The ranking considered factors such as median household income, unemployment rate, and poverty rate for cities in New Mexico with populations exceeding 5,000.
Anthony’s median household income is the lowest in the state, standing at $26,558—less than half of the national median of $65,712.
The city also exhibits the highest poverty rate in New Mexico, reaching 38.1%, indicating that over a third of its residents live below the poverty line. Furthermore, Anthony’s unemployment rate is 11.9%, ranking as the third-highest in the state.
This predominantly Hispanic city, where 97.4% of the population identifies as Hispanic or Latino, has a notably young demographic, with a median age of 25.6 years, compared to the state median of 38.3 years.
Anthony’s economy is largely driven by the agricultural sector, with a focus on the cultivation of onions, chile peppers, and pecans.
The Challenges and Opportunities for Anthony
Anthony confronts various challenges, including low educational attainment, limited access to healthcare, and restricted economic opportunities. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that only 53.7% of adults in Anthony possess a high school diploma or higher, in contrast to the state average of 85.7%.
Furthermore, merely 7.8% hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to the state average of 27.4%. Anthony’s uninsured rate stands at 23.4%, exceeding the state average of 10.8%.
Despite these hurdles, Anthony holds promise for improvement and development. It is situated in the Paso del Norte region, encompassing El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. This region serves as a center for trade, commerce, and culture, presenting opportunities for cross-border collaboration and growth.
Anthony also boasts a robust sense of community and identity, being the only city in the U.S. incorporated in two states, New Mexico and Texas. The annual Anthony International Festival celebrates this unique status, showcasing the diversity and heritage of the region.
However, Anthony is not alone in grappling with poverty; many other New Mexico cities face similar or more severe conditions. The second-poorest city, Silver City, has a median household income of $31,451 and a poverty rate of 28.3%.
The third-poorest city, Truth or Consequences, reports a median household income of $31,462 and a poverty rate of 28.8%. These cities, along with the entire state, require increased investment, support, and innovation to overcome barriers and realize their full potential.