Espanola, New Mexico

Onate Street in downtown Espanola
Oñate Street in downtown Espanola

Espanola was founded as a railroad town in 1880 and incorporated as a city in 1925. Ohkay Owingeh (sometimes known as "San Juan Pueblo") is right next door and was the site of the first Spanish capital declared by Don Juan de Oñate in 1598. As such, Espanola is sometimes credited as being the first capital city in what is now the United States. As much as Espanola was founded as a railroad town, passenger and freight traffic never amounted to much and the railroad completely abandoned the area in the early 1940's.

For Northern New Mexico, Espanola is a bit different. It was not a traditional Spanish settlement built around a plaza. In the beginning, most development occurred on the western side of the Rio Grande along the rail line. When that was abandoned, the business center shifted to the eastern side of the Rio Grande. At the same time, there were several separate settlements in the area and over the years, most have been annexed into the city of Espanola (although each still retains its "neighborhood" name). In the 1990's, a plaza and mission church were built in the historic area on the eastern side of the Rio Grande, near what is now the Northern New Mexico College campus.

The city is almost surrounded by Indian Reservations and parts of the city are on Indian land. That has led to the building of casinos in the city proper.

Most of Espanola is located in Rio Arriba County but a bit along the southern and eastern boundaries is in Santa Fe County. When Barack Obama was running for the Presidency in 2008, he visited Espanola and held a rally in the New Plaza area. The city is mostly of Hispanic origin and the majority of them are registered Democrats...

Fast Facts about Espanola, New Mexico
Espanola, Santa Fe County, NM 87532, 87533
Latitude: 36.001884°N
Longitude: 106.064587°W
Incorporated: 1925
Elevation: 6,645'

High School or Higher: 74.5%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 16.5%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 7.6%
Cost of Living Index for Espanola: 86.2

2014 Estimates:
Median Household Income: $34,400
Median Home Value: $142,900
Median Resident Age: 35.4 Years
Major Industries:
Construction, Educational Services, Professional Services, Retail Trade, Waste Management Services, Lodging & Food Services, Health Care, Social Services, Government
Unemployed (August 2014): 7.3%
Population Demographics: 2010
Total Population 10,224
Males 4,903
Females 5,321
Population by Age
Under 18 2,709
18 & over 7,515
20-24 723
25-34 1,316
35-49 1,942
50-64 1,877
65 & over 1,347
Population by Ethnicity
Hispanic or Latino 8,910
Non Hispanic or Latino 1,314
Population by Race
White 6,939
African-American 54
Asian 116
Native American 345
Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 5
Other 2,547
Two or more 218