About Dona Ana County
Doña Ana County is one of 33 counties in the state of New Mexico. It was created in 1852 and is the second-most populated county in the state. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 209,233. The county seat, Las Cruces, has been ranked as one of the fastest-growing communities in the United States for the past decade and is the largest city in the county and the second-largest in New Mexico.
The county comprises 3,804 square miles in south-central New Mexico, and borders El Paso County, Texas, to the east and southeast. The county also shares its borders with the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, directly south, Luna County to the west, Sierra County to the north and Otero County to the east. There are many physically diverse areas within Doña Ana, including mountain ranges, valleys and deserts. The Mesilla Valley (the flood plain of the Rio Grande river) is the most notable feature going north to south through the center of the county, as well as the Organ Mountains along the county's Easetern edge. The county includes one of New Mexico's four large lava fields, the Aden Malpais, and one of the world's largest mare volcanoes, Kilbourne Hole.
In 1900, the county hosted an agriculturally based society with a population of 10,187. The market centers were Las Cruces, El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. By 1990, the county was urbanized with a population of 135,510 and boasted an economy based on service and retail. Rapid population growth has occurred in and around the city of Las Cruces, as well as in the southern part of the county. The part of the county north of Hill remains primarily rural in nature.
The population has risen dramatically since 1900 and is expected to continue to grow at a rapid pace (4 - 6 percent) during the next 20 years. This translates to a 2015 population of more than 300,000 people. The primary areas of growth will be in the Las Cruces metropolitan area and in the southern sector of Doña Ana County.
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