Introduction to Portales, New Mexico

Portales, New Mexico, in Roosevelt county, is 94 miles NW of Lubbock, Texas and 198 miles E of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The city is home to some 11,131 residents.

Portales History

Originally under Spanish rule in the 1600’s, this area was known as Llano Estacado, or the staked planes, due to the abundance of yucca plants in the area. Comanche Indians inhabited this area for most of the 1800’s. Territorial settlement by cattle herders began in the late 1800’s. The city of Portales was formally established in 1909.

Portales and nearby Attractions

  • Miles Mineral Museum
  • Natural History Museum
  • Roosevelt County Museum
  • Blackwater Draw Museum
  • Whispering Winds Golf Course
  • Oasis State Park

Things To Do In Portales

The Blackwater Archaeological site is a well visited historic site near Portales. The Blackwater Draw Museum and the Natural History Museum provide insight into the area's history. The Oasis State Park and other nearby parks offer visitors various outdoor recreational facilities. The Whispering Winds Golf Course provides excellent facilities to local golfers.

Portales Transportation

Flights are available from Lea County Regional Airport.

Portales Higher Education

Eastern New Mexico University is the local institution of higher education. Others in the area include South Plains College, Wayland Baptist University and Texas Tech University.


Total Population 12,416
Male Share of the Population 51.7%
Female Share of the Population 48.3%
Senior Citizens 11.1%
Employed Population 16+ 5,119
Age of the Population 26


% of people married 40.1%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 25.1%
Median Earnings25+ $27,476
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $23,750
Median Earnings With High School Degree $26,217


Median Family Income $38,560
% Above Poverty Level 70.9%
% Below Poverty Level 29.1%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 15 minutes
% Working from Home 2.1%
% Walking and Biking to Work 7.2%
% Using Public Transportation 0.2%


People Living Alone 30.6%
Median Gross Rent $676
Median House Value $113,000


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 51.1%
US/American 0%
English 5.7%
Irish 10.8%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Portales Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 94 miles NW of Lubbock, Texas (center to center)
Nearest Large City 198 miles E of Albuquerque, New Mexico
County Roosevelt
Standard Zip Codes 88123, 88130
Phone Area Codes 505
Time Zone Mountain (-7 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 34.186
Longitude -103.333

Portales Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 1.6 miles
Jan Temp 23 to 54 F
Apr Temp 41 to 75 F
Jul Temp 64 to 92 F
Oct Temp 43 to 75 F
Annual Precip 17.1 inches
Station ARCH
Distance 12.1 miles
Jan Temp 20 to 52 F
Apr Temp 37 to 73 F
Jul Temp 62 to 91 F
Oct Temp 40 to 74 F
Annual Precip 14.9 inches
Station MULESHOE 1
Distance 34.5 miles
Jan Temp 20 to 52 F
Apr Temp 39 to 73 F
Jul Temp 62 to 92 F
Oct Temp 41 to 74 F
Annual Precip 17.3 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Portales, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Arch (88130)

Lingo (88123)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Clovis 39,466 $50,307
Dora 65 $65,833
Elida 190 $44,000
Melrose 634 $40,000
Texico 1,355 $36,579

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Portales Public Libraries

Portales Public Library
218 S. AVE. B
Portales, New Mexico
(505) 356-3940

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Portales Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
42121 US HIGHWAY 70
(505) 359-1800
Emergency Service: Yes

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Portales High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 735 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20.8

A Non-traditional School
Serves 90 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 8.8

Portales Colleges

Click school name for a detailed profile.

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