New Mexico Fun Facts

This is a place for facts and unique parts of New Mexico that don’t fit into our other topics. If you have anything to add, drop us a line—we’ll do some research and include it in this list!


  • New Mexico has more PhDs per capita than any other state. This is likely due to Albuquerque’s Sandia National Laboratory and the extremely high number of research facilities in the state. This includes the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Intel, the Forest Service, and the National Park Service.


  • Santa Fe is the nation’s highest state capital. At 7,199 feet above sea level, our capital is the highest in America. Step aside, Denver.


  • Santa Fe was founded 10 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth. The Spanish were in what is now the United States long before the Mayflower Santa Fe is the oldest European city west of the Mississippi and the oldest capital city in North America (1610).


  • Visitors to the peak of Capulin Volcano can spot five different states. Towering over the Great Plains, Capulin Volcano National Monument sits at the northeastern corner of the state. Visitors can drive or hike to the peak to glimpse Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and—of course—New Mexico.


  • The first atomic bomb was exploded in New Mexico. On July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb was detonated in the Jornada del Muerto in south-central New Mexico. It is now a National Historic Site.


  • Around 75% of New Mexico’s roads are unpaved. Though the state is the fifth largest in America, the vast expanse is difficult and expensive to maintain with paved roads.


  • New Mexico hosts the largest hot air balloon festival in the world. Each October, over 500 hot air balloons gather for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. This event began in 1972 and has grown each year.

Looking for more information? You might visit the state’s official website here.