Sunland Park, New Mexico

  • The summit of Mount Cristo Rey above Sunland Park

Sunland Park sits at the junction of New Mexico with Texas and Chihuahua. On the eastern boundary is El Paso, on the southern boundary Ciudad Juarez. Las Cruces is about 30 miles north. The city is named after the Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino. The city is also directly across the Rio Grande from Anapra, Chihuahua (a low-income suburb of Ciudad Juarez) but there is no official border crossing. On the boundary of Sunland Park is Mount Cristo Rey with a statue of "Christ the King" (pictured in the photo above) on its summit overlooking the mostly Catholic city.

Local politics in Sunland Park seems particularly corrupt. The March 2012 election put a man in office who was shortly arrested and charged with extortion, bribery and election fraud - he allegedly tried to blackmail another mayoral candidate with a videotape showing him receiving a lap-dance in his campaign office. As the City Manager was also implicated in that, both men went down. Then City Council chose a 24-year-old graduate of New Mexico State University to be mayor only to see the state's Attorney General declare the Council violated the state's Open Meetings Act when they selected the new mayor.

The population of Sunland Park is up about 7% since 2000. Sunland Park is one of the least-educated cities in the United States.

Fast Facts about Sunland Park, New Mexico
Sunland Park, Dona Ana County, NM 88063, 88008
Latitude: 31.806667°N
Longitude: 106.58°W
Incorporated: 1984
Elevation: 3,789 '

High School or Higher: 35.5%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 2.9%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 0.5%
Cost of Living Index for Sunland Park: 84.3

2014 Estimates:
Median Household Income: $21,800
Median Home Value: $78,500
Median Resident Age: 28.8 Years
Major Industries:
Educational Services, Lodging & Food Services, Construction, Retail Trade, Transportation & Warehousing, Waste Management Services
Unemployed (August 2014): 6.5%
Population Demographics: 2010
Total Population 14,106
Males 6,763
Females 7,343
Population by Age
Under 18 4,690
18 & over 9,416
20-24 1,067
25-34 1,755
35-49 2,666
50-64 2,089
65 & over 1,248
Population by Ethnicity
Hispanic or Latino 13,434
Non Hispanic or Latino 672
Population by Race
White 10,486
African-American 86
Asian 22
Native American 74
Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 9
Other 3,157
Two or more 272