Are you asking yourself “Is New Mexico in Mexico?” Then I got the answer.
Long story short: No, New Mexico is not part of Mexico. But it has not always been this way.
If you are curious about why New Mexico is called New Mexico – and why it is not a part of Mexico anymore then keep on reading!
I will also go in-depth about where in the United States New Mexico is located and what makes the state so special!
Let’s get to it!
Table of Contents
- 1. Is New Mexico in Mexico?
- 2. How Did New Mexico Become a Part of the USA?
- 3. Why is New Mexico Called Mexico?
- 4. Where is New Mexico Located?
- 5. Bordering States of New Mexico
- 6. Is New Mexico Part of the Southwest?
- 7. Is New Mexico a Southern State?
- 8. Why is NM Part of the West?
- 9. Why is New Mexico Not Part of the South?
- 10. Why is New Mexico Called the Land of Enchantment?
- 11. Geographical Features of New Mexico
- 12. Climate of NM
1. Is New Mexico in Mexico?
First of all, let’s be clear about the fact that New Mexico is a part of the United States. Therefore, New Mexico is not part of Mexico.
New Mexico has become a constituent country of the United States in the year of 1912. They were the 47th state that joined the USA. It is one oft the least densely populated states.
As you can see in the map below, New Mexico (red) shares borders with Mexico (green) in the south. But New Mexico is not actually a part of Mexico.
New Mexico covers 121,590 square miles.
2. How Did New Mexico Become a Part of the USA?
Thousands of years ago, Native American Tribes have been known to live in New Mexico. Ancient footprints have been found in New Mexico, suggesting that people have lived there already in 21,000–23,000 BC.
The original inhabitants were called Paleo-Indians, of the Clover Clan.
Later on, other cultures, such as the Mogollon and Ancient-Pueblo cultures lived in New Mexico.
In 1540 the Spanish came to the area. Francisco Vázquez de Coronado was looking for gold in New Mexico. No gold was found, but the area was colonized by the Spanish.
In 1821, the Mexican War of Independence changed everything. New Mexico then officially belonged to the First Mexican Empire.
New Mexicans grew unhappy with the government in the late Centralist Republic of Mexico. They started to become financially and politically dependent on the US.
Long after the Civil War, New Mexico became officially a state of the United States of America on the January 6, 1912.
3. Why is New Mexico Called Mexico?
If you are wondering about how did New Mexico get its name, we have to look a bit farther back. The reason why New Mexico is called Mexico has its origin in prehistoric times.
It goes back to legends in the Aztec Empire (in which the name Mexico was already used) and Mesoamerica.
They referred to the land as Yancuic Mexico, which translates to “a new Mexico”.
Mexico is an Aztec word, and it means “place of Mexitili” (which is one of the Aztec gods).
Later on, the name New Mexico was also used by the Spanish.
The Spanish were hoping to find lots of gold and natural gas in New Mexico, similar to what they had found in the “old” Mexico.
Francisco de Ibarra was the first Spanish to call the country Nuevo México (New Mexico).
In 1598, the name New Mexico was officially established by the first governor Juan de Oñate.
The current name is an anglicized version of the original name Nuevo Mexico.
4. Where is New Mexico Located?
New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the United States.
It shares borders with Arizona to the west, Colorado to the north, and Oklahoma to the northeast. Texas is in the east and the country of Mexico to the south.
Its geographical coordinates range from approx. 31.3 degrees to 36.5 degrees north latitude and 103.0 degrees to 109.0 degrees west longitude.
5. Bordering States of New Mexico
Here is a short overview of New Mexico’s bordering states:
- Arizona (west)
- Colorado (north)
- Oklahoma (northeast)
- Texas (east)
- Mexico (south)
6. Is New Mexico Part of the Southwest?
Yes, New Mexico is part of the Southwest.
There are different definitions of the term “Southwest”, depending on who you ask.
Arizona and New Mexico are the so-called core states. They are included in every definition of the Southwest.
Additionally, many people group one or more of these states in the Southwest:
7. Is New Mexico a Southern State?
Yes, New Mexico is technically a Southern State in terms of latitude.
However, New Mexico is commonly considered to be part of the West.
The western region of the United States is located mostly to the West of the Great Plain.
8. Why is NM Part of the West?
New Mexico is usually considered to be part of the Western United States. Together with Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming, New Mexico makes out part of the west.
The classification is based on cultural, geographical, historical, and economic factors.
- Location: New Mexico shares borders with Arizona, Colorado, Texas, and Mexico. Its lies in the western part of the country, leading to its classification as a Western state.
- History: New Mexico has a rich history influenced by Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo cultures. The state has deep cultural ties to the Southwest.
- Landscape: New Mexico’s landscape includes deserts, mesas, mountains, and canyons. This is a similarity between many of the Western United States.
- Economic and Social Connections: New Mexico shares economic and social connections with other Western states.
9. Why is New Mexico Not Part of the South?
While New Mexico is located in the South of the United States, it is not considered a Southern State.
Here are some of the reasons, why New Mexico is not part of the South:
- History: The Southern United States share a history of the American Civil War, slavery, and the plantations. In contrast, New Mexico’s history is distinguished by the Spanish colonization and Native American cultures.
- Culture: New Mexico’s culture is heavily influenced by Native American and Hispanic traditions. The South is mostly influenced by Anglo-American culture.
- Geographical Location: Geographically, New Mexico is located in the southwestern part of the United States. The Southern states are located to the east of the Mississippi River.
- Economic and Political Factors: New Mexico’s economic and political ties go way back with the other Southwestern states.
- Social Differences: The demographics of New Mexico differ from those of the Southern states. New Mexico has a big Hispanic and Native American presence that is not so common in the South.
10. Why is New Mexico Called the Land of Enchantment?
New Mexico is often called “The Land of Enchantment.” There are many reasons why the state has gotten this nickname.
The nickname comes from New Mexico’s rich cultural heritage and stunning landscapes.
The blend of Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo traditions has created a unique cultural mix that makes the state famous.
New Mexico has an amazing art scene. It is also influenced strongly by its Native American and Hispanic ties.
My favorite part of New Mexico is the natural beauty. This is also the main reason why it is called the land of enchantment. Impressive mountains, stunning geological formations, and vast National Parks, like the White Sands National Park make the state so unique.
Lastly, it is said that the state offers spiritual enlightenment and renewal.
The nickname “The Land of Enchantment” was officially given as New Mexico’s state nickname in 1999.
11. Geographical Features of New Mexico
New Mexico has lots of different geographical features that make it unique. Here are the most common geographical features of New Mexico:
- Deserts: New Mexico has vast areas of dry land, like the Chihuahuan Desert.
- Mountains: The state has tall, rocky mountains, such as the Rocky Mountains and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
- Plateaus: Flat and elevated areas called plateaus, and are found in New Mexico. The Colorado Plateau is the most famous one of them.
- Canyons: Canyons, like the famous Carlsbad Caverns, are also something New Mexico is famous for.
- Rivers and Lakes: New Mexico has rivers and lakes, like the Rio Grande and the Grindstone lake near Alamogordo.
- Volcanoes: Some areas in NM have old volcanoes, like the Valles Caldera.
- Cultural Sites: There are many ancient Native American ruins left all over the country.
12. Climate of NM
- Spring (March to May): Spring in New Mexico is like a wake-up call for nature. It starts to get warmer after the cold winter. Flowers bloom, and trees grow new leaves. It’s usually a pleasant time with mild temperatures ranging from about 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 21 degrees Celsius).
- Summer (June to August): Summer in New Mexico can get pretty hot, like turning on an oven. The sun shines a lot. Sometimes, there might be thunderstorms and floods. Average temperatures climb up to around 80 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (27 to 35 degrees Celsius).
- Fall (September to November): In fall it starts to cool down, and it’s a great time to go for walks and enjoy the changing scenery. The fall foliage in New Mexico is beautiful. Temperatures start to cool down, ranging from approximately 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 21 degrees Celsius).
- Winter (December to February): Winter in New Mexico can be chilly, especially in the mornings and evenings. Some places might even get snow. Average temperatures range from about 30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 1 to 10 degrees Celsius). Winter is an amazing time to go to the White Sands.
As we learned in this post, New Mexico is not part of Mexico, but rather of the United States of America. NM got its name from the Spanish conquerors, that were in search of a “second” and newer version of Mexico.
New Mexico’s border states are Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and Mexico. It is commonly considered to be part of the Southwestern region of the US.
We have also talked about the geographical features of New Mexico and why it is called the Land of Enchantment.
By reading this post, you should have a vast understanding of the historical, geographical, and societal position of New Mexico.
Are you wondering if you should more to New Mexico? Here are all the Pros and Cons of Living in New Mexico.
Of course, a comparison between New Mexico’s neighboring state Arizona is also interesting.
Considering Texas as your home? Read about my 20 biggest reasons not to move to Texas.
No, New Mexico is not in Mexico. It’s a state in the United States, located in the southwestern part of the country. It shares a border with Mexico but is its own separate state with its own government and identity.
Yes, New Mexico is in the United States. It’s one of the states in the southwestern part of the country, bordered by Arizona, Colorado, Texas, and Mexico. It’s not a separate country but a state within the United States.
No, New Mexico is not part of Mexico.
New Mexico was named by Spanish explorers who thought the land resembled Mexico due to its landscape and natural resources. The name reflects historical connections, but it’s distinct from the country of Mexico.
New Mexico is separate from Mexico because of historical events. In the mid-1800s, after the Mexican-American War, Mexico gave New Mexico to the United States through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. This transfer of territory established New Mexico as part of the United States, creating a border between the two regions.
New Mexico has historical Spanish influences due to colonization, missions, and cultural heritage. It was Mexican territory until the mid-1800s when it became part of the United States. While it has connections to both Spanish and Mexican history, it is currently a U.S. state with its own identity.