Loving, New Mexico

Monument at the Project Gnome Site east of Loving
Monument at the Project Gnome Site east of Loving

Loving is a small town near the northern edge of the Chihuahuan Desert and over the last 30 years, Loving High School has accumulated ten state titles for softball, one for basketball, three for football, three for track and four for baseball. That's pretty good when you consider almost half the students who enter the high school don't graduate.

Loving was one of the regular campsites along the Goodnight-Loving Trail, a major cattle-herding trail from the days of herding masses of Texas longhorns north to the railhead at Dodge City, Kansas, or to the greener grasses of eastern Montana and Wyoming.

Near Loving is the Project Gnome Site, location of an underground nuclear test by the Atomic Energy Commission in 1961 as part of the Plowshare Program. The device was placed at the end of an underground corridor more than 1,000 feet and long and 1,200 feet deep (in an old salt mine - the area is close to where the Waste Isolation Pilot Project is now). The device was rated at the power level of 3,100 tons of TNT and when detonated, created a cavity 164 feet long and 72 feet high. Workers safely re-entered the chamber several months after the blast to take measurements. There was one other Plowshare Program test in New Mexico (east of Farmington) and that was the end of the project. The photo above is of the monument placed on the surface above the Project Gnome Site.

The population is up about 8% since 2000.

Fast Facts about Loving, New Mexico
Loving, Eddy County, NM 88256
Latitude: 32.285417°N
Longitude: 104.09672°W
Elevation: 3,051'

High School or Higher: 54.8%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 5.9%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 1.0%
Cost of Living Index for Loving: 84.4

2014 Estimates:
Median Household Income: $36,900
Median Home Value: $50,400
Median Resident Age: 37.7 Years
Major Industries:
Natural Resources, Agriculture, Construction, Transportation & Warehousing, Retail Services, Waste Management Services, Wholesale Trade
Unemployed (August 2014): 3.6%
Population Demographics: 2010
Total Population 1,413
Males 712
Females 701
Population by Age
Under 18 414
18 & over 999
20-24 99
25-34 151
35-49 281
50-64 264
65 & over 160
Population by Ethnicity
Hispanic or Latino 1,091
Non Hispanic or Latino 322
Population by Race
White 897
African-American 16
Asian 3
Native American 36
Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0
Other 413
Two or more 48