Dona Ana County

Doña Ana County, New Mexico
Former Doña Ana County courthouse in Las Cruces, New Mexico
Seal of Doña Ana County, New Mexico
New Mexico
Template:Infobox U.S. county/map
New Mexico's location in the U.S.
Founded 1852
Seat Las Cruces
Largest city Las Cruces
 • Total 3,815 sq mi (9,881 km2)
 • Land 3,807 sq mi (9,860 km2)
 • Water 7 sq mi (18 km2), 0.20%
 • (2010) 209,233
 • Density 55/sq mi (21.2/km²)
Congressional district Template:Infobox U.S. county/district, Template:Infobox U.S. county/district, Template:Infobox U.S. county/district
Time zone Template:Infobox U.S. county/timezone

Doña Ana County is a county located in the southcentral part of the U.S. state of New Mexico. As of the 2010 census, the population was 209,233,which makes it the thirty-first least populated and second most populated county in New Mexico.[1] Its county seat is Las Cruces,[2] also the largest city in the county and second-largest in New Mexico. Smaller towns in the county include Mesilla, Doña Ana, Hatch, and Organ. Doña Ana is pronounced Doñana.[3] It borders between western Texas and Mexico's Chihuahua state.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 3,815 square miles (9,881 km2), of which 3,807 square miles (9,860 km2) is land and 7 square miles (18 km2) (0.20%) is water.[4] The county contains a number of prominent geographical features, most notably the Mesilla Valley (the flood plain of the Rio Grande) going north to south through the center and the Organ Mountains along the county's eastern edge. Other mountain ranges in the county are the Robledo Mountains, Doña Ana Mountains, Sierra de las Uvas, the southern end of the San Andres Mountains, East Potrillo Mountains, and West Potrillo Mountains, as well as two small, isolated mountains, Tortugas (or A) Mountain on the east and Picacho Peak on the west side of Las Cruces. The county also includes one of New Mexico's four large lava fields, the Aden Malpais, and one of the world's largest maare volcanoes, Kilbourne Hole.

Adjacent counties and municipios

National protected areas


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 2012214,4452.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
2012 Estimate[1]


Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:


As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 174,682 people, 59,556 households, and 42,939 families residing in the county. The population density was 46 people per square mile (18/km²). There were 65,210 housing units at an average density of 17 per square mile (7/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 67.82% White, 1.56% Black or African American, 1.48% Native American, 0.76% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 24.74% from other races, and 3.58% from two or more races. 63.35% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 59,556 households out of which 38.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.40% were married couples living together, 14.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.90% were non-families. 21.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.36.

In the county the population was spread out with 29.70% under the age of 18, 13.30% from 18 to 24, 27.10% from 25 to 44, 19.30% from 45 to 64, and 10.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 96.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $29,808, and the median income for a family was $33,576. Males had a median income of $27,215 versus $20,883 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,999. 25.40% of the population and 20.20% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 34.40% are under the age of 18 and 12.70% are 65 or older.


Presidential election results
Year GOP DEM Others
2008 40.5% 28,068 58.1% 40,282 1.3% 930
2004 47.7% 29,548 51.3% 31,762 1.0% 650
2000 45.6% 21,263 51.3% 23,912 3.2% 1,478
1996 40.3% 17,541 52.3% 22,766 7.5% 3,257
1992 36.9% 16,308 45.0% 19,894 18.2% 8,015
1988 51.7% 21,582 47.0% 19,608 1.3% 557
1984 60.9% 22,153 38.1% 13,878 1.0% 362
1980 53.9% 15,539 37.6% 10,839 8.5% 2,442
1976 53.1% 13,888 46.0% 12,036 0.9% 233
1972 59.8% 14,562 38.6% 9,416 1.6% 388
1968 54.1% 10,824 38.3% 7,658 7.6% 1,508
1964 40.3% 7,280 59.4% 10,748 0.3% 57
1960 46.5% 7,789 53.1% 8,905 0.4% 61

Doña Ana is a Democratic-leaning county in Presidential and Congressional elections. Since 1920, Doña Ana has voted for the candidate who also won statewide, the only exception being in 2004 when Democrat John Kerry won Doña Ana 51–48%, while Republican George W. Bush won statewide 50–49%. The last Republican to win a majority in the county was George H.W. Bush in 1988. In 2008, Democrat Barack Obama won 58% of the county's vote.

Doña Ana is part of New Mexico's 2nd congressional district, which is held by Republican Steve Pearce. In the State Senate Doña Ana is part of the 31st, 36th, 37th, 38th, and 40th Senate districts, which are held by Democrats Cynthia Nava, Mary Jane Garcia, Stephen Fischmann, Mary Kay Papen, and Republican Bill Burt, respectively. In the State House Doña Ana is part of the 33rd, 34th, 35th, and 52nd House districts, which are held by Democrats Joni Gutierrez, Mary Helen Garcia, Antonio Lujan, and Joseph Cervantes, respectively, the 37th and 53rd House districts, which are held by Republicans Terry McMillan and Ricky Little, respectively, and the 36th House district, which is held by Independent Andrew Nunez. Current County Commissioners are as follows: Billy Garrett (District 1), Dr. David Garcia (District 2), Karen Perez (District 3), Wayne Hancock (District 4), and Leticia Duarte-Benavidez (District 5).

In January 2012, a Federal court awarded former County prisoner Stephen Slevin a $22 million award[7] for inhumane treatment and for keeping him jailed for 2 years without a trial.[8][9] In a radio interview on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation program As It Happens broadcast February 7, 2012, Slevin's lawyer indicated that he was arrested for "DWI". During his incarceration, Slevin was placed in solitary confinement. When his health deteriorated, Slevin was removed to a hospital, but after two weeks in the hospital, he was returned to solitary confinement. The lawyer stated that pictures taken before and after Slevin's time in jail were key to the trial's outcome.[10] The District Attorney for the 3rd Judicial District in Doña Ana County during the 2005 - 2007 indefinite detention without trial of Mr. Slevin was Susana Martinez, the current Governor of New Mexico.[11]

In August 2013, County Clerk Lynn Ellins announced he will begin granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Ellins said in a statement explaining his decision:[12]

After careful review of New Mexico's laws it is clear that the state's marriage statutes are gender neutral and do not expressly prohibit Doña Ana County from issuing marriage licenses to same-gender couples. Any further denial of marriage licenses to these couples violates the United States and New Mexico Constitution and the New Mexico Human Rights Act. Doña Ana County is upholding New Mexico law by issuing these marriage licenses, and I see no reason to make committed couples in Doña Ana County wait another minute to marry.

Several Republican state legislators vowed to file suit against Ellins in a bid to halt the licenses from being issued.[13]





Census-designated places

See also


Las Cruces, New Mexico
Doña Ana | Mesilla | University Park
Doña Ana County
New Mexico State University

Coordinates: 32°18′44″N 106°46′42″W / 32.31222°N 106.77833°W / 32.31222; -106.77833

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