According to the U.S. Census Bureau in a report released by The Univetrsity of New Mexico's Bureau of Business and Economic Research, national urban populations have increased while rural populations have declined.

In the report, 2011-15 ACS data released Dec. 8, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that the 1910 rural populations were at 54.4 percent of the total US population while in 2010 they had declined to 19.3 percent. In New Mexico the 1910 rural population was estimated at 85.8 percent and for 2010 the rural population had declined to 22.6 percent. New Mexico has followed the national trend but continues to have a higher percent of rural areas compared to the national.

In New Mexico, many of the counties and towns in rural areas will find that the American Community Survey (ACS) five-year estimates are the best statistical source of data for them. The ACS provides more than 40 social, economic and housing data; down to the smallest geographies that the Census Bureau publishes. The survey is able to release data for these areas regardless of population size due to the use of multiple years of data. 

This release is the first five-year dataset to have Comparison Profiles. The comparison profiles allow users to identify statistically significant changes because there are now two sets of nonoverlaping data series i.e. 2006-2010 and 2011-2015.

This is good news as small areas can now identify changes that are occurring. You can also navigate to the comparison profiles from the American FactFinder webpage . Below are a few links that delve deeper into American FactFinder to New Mexico County Comparison Profiles:

For questions regarding the data, contact the Data Bank at or (505) 277-3038. BBER will walk through the data or help anyone interested with any other Census Bureau data needs. BBER can also deliver trainings to you or coordinate trainings about how to access and use the data. Visit BBER's blog for some additional discussion of the 2015 changes in New Mexico Counties.

The Census Bureau released the five-year estimates for 2011-2015 from the American Community Survey (ACS) program. The bureau’s national release features an analysis of differences between rural and urban populations. The Census Bureau has a brief on the definitions of urban and rural geographies. To learn more about the American Community Survey — how it works and what it’s used for, visit ACS.

The UNM Bureau of Business and Economic Research Data Bank is a member of the US Census Bureau State Data Center Program and dedicated to disseminate Census Bureau information, provide technical assistance and training, and create value-added products from census data for New Mexico, visit BBER.

Statistics cited from:
U.S. Census Bureau, 1910 to 1990 Censuses; 2010 Decennial Census, Table P2.
US Decennial Census 1910; 2010 Decennial Census, Table P2.