Santa Fe, New Mexico

00 santa capitol steps mSanta Fe, New Mexico

  • New Mexico became a state January 6, 1912, the 47th state admitted to the Union.
  • Santa Fe became state capital 1912
  • Settled: 1610
  • Name Origin: Santa Fe is “holy faith” in Spanish; full name given by Gov Don Pedro de Peralta (1584-1666) was “Royal Town of the Holy Faith of Saint Francis of Assisi”

Santa Fe sits in the midst of Pueblo country at an elevation of 7,000 feet, the oldest city to have served as a capital in the United States. The Palace of Governors, built in 1610, is the oldest public building in continuous use in the United States. The city has served as a seat of government for Spain, Mexico, and the Confederacy, before New Mexico statehood in 1912.

It is a city of museums, pueblos, and Spanish ruins, surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The arts and culture of Native Americans are found in folk art; basketry, pottery, weaving and jewelry.

The new state capitol was built in 1966. It is round and resembles a Zia sun symbol, inspired by a Native American kiva, or ceremonial chamber.

Annual dances: Buffalo, Commanche, Fiesta, Green Corn, Spring Corn, street dancing at Fiesta; Christmas Eve fires where paper bag lanterns guide the Christ Child.

Key Words: oldest, Spanish, Native American, pueblos, museums, arts

Things To Love About Santa Fe

The fascination with architecture and art; the in-the-know nods on chiles, red and green; the layers of cultures and ancient roots; the magnetism it exudes for drawing people in; the refuge it provides behind its walls.

Blogs To Read About Santa Fe


They Get It

A Petri Dish Of Culture

The Air & The Waters

Simplicity In Symbolism

Capital City Basics

  • Population: 67,947, 34th largest in population of the 50 capital cities
  • Population density: 1,478 persons per square mile
  • Land area of city: 45.98 square miles
  • Elevation: 7,000 feet, highest in elevation of the 50 capital cities
  • Normal high/low temps: January 44/17, July 86/54. Annual rainfall: 14 inches
  • Time Zone: Mountain
  • Water near: Santa Fe River
  • Mountains near: Sangre de Cristo Mountains, a subrange of the Rocky Mountains. Wheeler Peak in the northern part of the state is the highest point in New Mexico at 13,167 feet.
  • Miles to three nearest State Capitals: Denver, CO 393; Phoenix, AZ 480; Oklahoma City, OK 535
  • Miles to National Capitol in Washington, DC: 1,868

Population Statistics from US 2010 Census

  • 67,947             Population
  • 18.9%              Under 18
  • 17.6%              Over 65
  • 1.4%                Asian
  • 1.0%                Black
  • 48.7%             Hispanic/Latino
  • 2.1%                Native Alaskan or American Indian
  • 0.1%               Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • 46.2%            White

Education Statistics from US 2010 Census

  • 33.1%               English Not Spoken at Home
  • 87.5%              High School Graduate
  • 43.4%              Bachelor’s Degree or Higher

Economic Statistics from US 2010 Census

  • 16.5%               Below Poverty Level
  • $34,443          Per Capita Income
  • $50,610          Median Household Income
  • $310,900       Median Value of Home
  • 61.2%              Home Ownership