Mountainair, New Mexico

  • In downtown Mountainair
  • One of the main streets in Mountainair
  • In downtown Mountainair
  • In downtown Mountainair
  • The Mountainair Police Station and Magistrate Court
  • The Mountainair Senior Center
  • The National Park Service office in Mountainair
  • The historic Shaffer Hotel in Mountainair

Mountainair is located on US Highway 60 in central New Mexico, just east of the Manzano Mountains. The Salinas Pueblo Missions' main visitor center is in Mountainair.

The Belen Cutoff of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad ran through Mountainair from 1907 into the late 1960's (I should have said "passenger trains" here, which did stop running in the 1960's, but the freight trains continue to this day). The town had been founded at the summit of Abo Pass in 1903. Being at the summit of Abo Pass, getting the train to stop was reasonably easy, and in those early years, Mountainair boomed. The world's largest pinto bean processing center was built here and Mountainair proudly claimed the title of Pinto Bean Capital of the World. In 1946, the population peaked at about 5,000 people, then a bad 10-year drought set in. The government paid people to conserve the topsoil by not farming. That's when the changeover to cattle ranching began.

These days, Mountainair has been attracting folks who just plain like the rural feel of the area. The 1980's saw Mountainair appear on the retirement and arts radars and the town has been seeing a slow renaissance ever since. That said, the population of Mountainair is down almost 20% since 2000.

Fast Facts about Mountainair, New Mexico
Mountainair, Torrance County, NM 87036
Latitude: 34.5197°N
Longitude: 106.2432°W
Founded: 1903
Elevation: 6,519'

High School or Higher: 71.4%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 13.9%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 4.3%
Cost of Living Index for Mountainair: 86.0

2014 Estimates:
Median Household Income: $24,830
Median Home Value: $71,400
Median Resident Age: 37.7 Years
Major Industries:
Educational Services, Construction, Lodging & Food Services, Government, Automotive Services, Retail Services, Utilities, Waste Management Services, Transportation Services
Unemployed (August 2014): 7.2%
Population Demographics: 2010
Total Population 928
Males 433
Females 495
Population by Age
Under 18 229
18 & over 699
20-24 31
25-34 81
35-49 151
50-64 238
65 & over 181
Population by Ethnicity
Hispanic or Latino 507
Non Hispanic or Latino 421
Population by Race
White 603
African-American 13
Asian 4
Native American 16
Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0
Other 231
Two or more 61