Elephant Butte, New Mexico

  • The marina at Elephant Butte Lake State Park
  • Elephant Butte Lake Municipal Building

The town of Elephant Butte was originally built to house construction workers when Elephant Butte Dam was being built. The project was huge for its time (1912-16) and many of the settlements built to house workers are now under the waters of the reservoir. At times of low water, the foundations of some protrude above the water's surface. New Mexico State Parks is looking into the idea of designating sections of the lake as "scuba parks" and highlighting some of those now-drowned areas.

The town has survived (and grown) since that project was completed, although now the area is promoted mainly as a retirement community. Nearby is Elephant Butte Lake State Park, largest state park in New Mexico.

The population of Elephant Butte is up a bit more than 3% since 2000.

Fast Facts about Elephant Butte, New Mexico
Elephant Butte, Sierra County, NM 87935
Latitude: 33.1898°N
Longitude: 107.2229°W
Elevation: 4,465'

High School or Higher: 86.2%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 16.8%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 8.2%
Median Resident Age: 57.6 Years
Cost of Living Index for Elephant Butte: 86.7

2014 Estimates:
Median Household Income: $32,600
Median Home Value: $136,200
Major Industries:
Construction, Educational Services, Health Care, Lodging & Food Services, Repair & Maintenance, Automotive Services, Retail Services, Professional Services, Waste Management Services, Finance & Insurance Services
Unemployed (August 2014): 5.3%
Population Demographics: 2010
Total Population 1,431
Males 731
Females 700
Population by Age
Under 18 124
18 & over 1,307
20-24 26
25-34 63
35-49 139
50-64 451
65 & over 615
Population by Ethnicity
Hispanic or Latino 194
Non Hispanic or Latino 1,237
Population by Race
White 1,320
African-American 4
Asian 7
Native American 13
Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0
Other 41
Two or more 46