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Overview

Introduction to Las Cruces, New Mexico

The New Mexico city of Las Cruces is located on the banks of the Rio Grande just west of the Organ Mountains in Doña Ana County. The city is situated at the crossroads of Interstates 10 and 25 in the southern part of New Mexico, about 45 miles north of El Paso, Texas. The city is also serviced by U.S. Routes 70 and 180, and New Mexico State Highways 28, 101, 185, 188, 292, 320, 373, and 478. Las Cruces is home to New Mexico State University (NMSU), the state's only land-grant institution.

Las Cruces is Spanish for "The Crosses." There are numerous theories on exactly how the city got its name, ranging from local legends about crosses erected to honor past victims of Indian raids to simply an early Spanish geographic description of the city as a "crossing" or "crossroads." Incorporated in 1907, Las Cruces has benefited from the presence of the University and since the latter half of the 20th century has seen its economy grow primarily due to the advent of the nearby White Sands Missile Range and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) facilities located in the area.

Things to do in Las Cruces

Las Cruces is rich in attractions that celebrate the city’s history and cultural diversity. The annual Whole Enchilada Fiesta is a huge event held every September where downtown Las Cruces is transformed into one big street party complete with food, live music, rides, a parade, and the creation of a very large enchilada (the 2004 version was cited by the Guinness Book of Records as the worlds largest). The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum features hands-on displays and live demonstrations charting the history of agriculture in the state. Historic Old Mesilla, only minutes from Las Cruses, is a quaint town highlighted by a plaza filled with shops, boutiques, and restaurants. Other attractions and events include the following:

  • A. R. Leding Cactus Garden
  • Aguirre Springs National Recreation Area
  • Bataan Death March Memorial
  • Fort Selden State Monument
  • La Viña Blues & Jazz Thing (April)
  • Cinco de Mayo Fiesta (May)
  • La Viña Wine Festival (October)
  • Cowboy Days (October)
  • Renaissance ArtsFaire (November)

Fans looking for local sports action can find it in the form of collegiate athletics. The New Mexico State University sports teams, known as the Aggies, compete in the Western Athletic Conference. Major rivalries exist between the Aggies and the University of New Mexico (UNM), and also between the Aggies and the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). The closest professional sports team is located in nearby El Paso (about 45 minutes away). The El Paso Diablos are an independent minor league baseball team competing in the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.

People

Total Population 101,164
Male Share of the Population 49.1%
Female Share of the Population 50.9%
Senior Citizens 14.1%
Employed Population 16+ 43,338
Age of the Population 32

Families

% of people married 41.3%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 33.2%
Median Earnings25+ $28,424
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $12,206
Median Earnings With High School Degree $22,474

Wealth

Median Family Income $51,583
% Above Poverty Level 75.6%
% Below Poverty Level 24.4%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 19 minutes
% Working from Home 2.3%
% Walking and Biking to Work 4.2%
% Using Public Transportation 0.4%

Housing

People Living Alone 29.6%
Median Gross Rent $743
Median House Value $148,600

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 61.6%
US/American 0%
English 4.9%
Irish 5.3%

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

Las Cruces Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 41 miles N of El Paso, Texas
County Dona Ana
Metro Area Las Cruces
Standard Zip Codes 88001, 88002, 88005, 88007, 88011, 88012
P.O. Box Zip Codes 88003, 88004, 88006
Phone Area Codes 505
Time Zone Mountain (-7 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 32.32
Longitude -106.72

Las Cruces Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

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

Station JORNADA EXP RANGE
Distance 20.5 miles
Jan Temp 21 to 57 F
Apr Temp 37 to 77 F
Jul Temp 63 to 95 F
Oct Temp 40 to 78 F
Annual Precip 11.4 inches
Station ALEMAN RANCH
Distance 43.1 miles
Jan Temp 24 to 55 F
Apr Temp 38 to 75 F
Jul Temp 63 to 93 F
Oct Temp 42 to 75 F
Annual Precip 11.3 inches
Station YSLETA
Distance 49 miles
Jan Temp 29 to 61 F
Apr Temp 47 to 81 F
Jul Temp 69 to 99 F
Oct Temp 48 to 81 F
Annual Precip 9.7 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

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

Tortugas (88001)

White Sands Missile Range (88002)

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

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Mesilla 2,403 $59,886

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

Las Cruces Public Libraries

Library
Thomas Branigan Memorial Library
200 E. PICACHO AVE.
Las Cruces, New Mexico
(505) 528-4000
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Las Cruces Hospitals

MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER INC
(Proprietary)
2450 SOUTH TELSHOR BLVD
(505) 522-8641
Emergency Service: Yes

MOUNTAIN VIEW REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
(Proprietary)
4311 EAST LOHMAN AVENUE
(505) 556-7600
Emergency Service: Yes

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Las Cruces High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

MAYFIELD HIGH
1955 N. VALLEY DRIVE
505-527-9415
Serves 2,450 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.9

LAS CRUCES HIGH
1755 EL PASEO ROAD
505-526-2406
Serves 2,449 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.9

MESILLA VALLEY RTC
505 S MAINSUITE 249
505-527-5972
A Special Education School
Serves 58 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 11.6

MESILLA ALT. PROGRAM
505 S MAINSUITE 249
505-523-5860
A Non-traditional School
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 56 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 6.2

DONA ANA JDC
505 S MAINSUITE 249
505-527-5800
A Special Education School
Serves 37 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 14.8

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