Rio Arriba County, New Mexico

  • Rio Arriba County Courthouse, Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico
  • Brazos Cliffs, Rio Arriba County, New Mexico
  • Typical Abiquiu area rock formations

Rio Arriba County is a large (and mostly unpopulated) county located in north central New Mexico. Formed in 1852, Rio Arriba County contains 5,858 square miles of land and 38 square miles of water. The county seat is Tierra Amarilla, the largest town is Espanola. Several Pueblo Reservations and the Jicarilla Apache Reservation are in Rio Arriba County, too.

Most of the county is made up of old Spanish and Mexican Land Grants, although a lot of the land is also part of Carson National Forest. Many of the families in the area became established here as early as the 1500's. Rio Arriba County is a center of activity for Los Hermanos Pentitentes with moradas scattered throughout the countryside.

Rio Arriba County is home to El Vado Lake and Heron Lake State Parks, the Narrow Gauge Scenic Byway, Puye Cliffs Scenic Byway, Rio Chama Wild & Scenic River and part of Navajo Lake State Park.

Fast Facts about Rio Arriba County, New Mexico
Types of Jobs:
Private Sector, wages or salary: 55%
Government Sector: 37%
Unincorporated, Self-Employed: 7%
Homemaker, Unpaid: 1%
Cost of Living Index for Rio Arriba County: 85.1
Median Resident Age: 34.5 Years
2014 Estimates:
Median Household Income: $37,100
Median Home Value: $162,200
Major Industries:
Government, Educational Services, Health Care, Construction, Lodging & Food Services, Entertainment & Recreation, Professional Services, Agriculture, Social Services
Population Demographics: 2010
Total Population 40,246
Males 19,890
Females 20,356
Population by Age
Under 18 9,913
18 & over 30,333
20-24 2,470
25-34 4,646
35-49 7,915
50-64 8,531
65 & over 5,659
Population by Ethnicity
Hispanic or Latino 28,703
Non Hispanic or Latino 11,543
Population by Race
White 20,778
African-American 204
Asian 170
Native American 6,447
Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 13
Other 11,288
Two or more 1,346