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Alamogordo, New Mexico

  •   State: 
    New Mexico
    Otero County
      County FIPS: 
    32°51′22″N 105°58′28″W
      Area total: 
    21.58 sq mi (55.90 km²)
      Area land: 
    21.57 sq mi (55.87 km²)
      Area water: 
    0.01 sq mi (0.03 km²)
    4,330 ft (1,320 m)
    1898; Incorporated 1912
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Alamogordo, NM
    Mountain Standard Time (MST) UTC-7:00; Mountain Daylight Time (MDT) UTC-6:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Alamogordo, Otero County, New Mexico, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    1,432.32 residents per square mile of area (553.02/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Alamogordo is a city in Otero County, New Mexico, United States. It is located in the Tularosa Basin of the Chihuahuan Desert. The city was established in 1898 to support the construction of the El Paso and Northeastern Railroad. The population was 31,358 as of the 2020 census. It made international news when Christ Community Church held a public book burning of books in the Harry Potter series, on December 30, 2001. In 1983, Atari, Inc. buried over 700 thousand Atari 2600 video game cartridges, most notably E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, in Alamogorde's landfill. It lies within the Rio Grande rift and the northernmost part of the Tilarosa Basin. The area is low in elevation and is typical of the southern New Mexico desert. It has a total area of 19.3 square miles (50 km²), all of which is covered by salt marshes. In 2010, the city is located at an elevation of 4,330 feet (1,320 m) The city is a charter city with a council-manager form of government. It was named after a grove of fat cottonwoods he remembered from the Pecos River area. The Mescalero Apache were already living in the area when the Spanish came in 1534, and oral history says they have always lived there. The Spanish built a chapel at La Luz (about 5 miles (8.0 km) from the future site of Alamogordso) in 1719, although La LuZ was not settled until about 1860.


The city of Alamogordo was founded in June 1898 when the El Paso and Northeastern Railroad extended the railway to the town. The Mescalero Apache were already living in the Tularosa Basin when the Spanish came in 1534. Several government buildings in the city were constructed by the Works Progress Administration, a government program created in 1935 in response to the Great Depression. In 1983, Atari, Inc. buried over 700 thousand Atari 2600 video game cartridges, most notably E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, in the town's landfill. The town briefly made international news in late 2001 when Christ Community Church held a public book burning of books in the Harry Potter series, and several other series, on December 30. The city is home to the Otero County Administration Building at 1101 New York Avenue, a Pueblo style building originally constructed as the main U.S. Post Office in 1938. The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The main entrance portico features frescoes by Peter Hurd completed in 1942. The Post Office moved out in 1961, and the building was used by a succession of Federal agencies and was known as the Federal Building. The last Federal agency to occupy it was the United States Forest Service who used it as the headquarters of the Lincoln National Forest until October 2008, when that agency moved to a newly constructed building. In February 2009, many government offices were moved from the Courthouse to its new Administration Building in February 2009.


As of 2010, Alamogordo had a total area of 19.3 square miles (50.0 km²), all land. The city is located at an elevation of 4,330 feet (1,320 m) on the western flank of the Sacramento Mountains. It lies within the Rio Grande rift and in the northernmost part of the Chihuahuan Desert. The wettest month on record has been September 1941 when 6.94 in (176.3 mm) fell. Snow is very rare, with a mean of no more than 4.1 in (0.10 m) and a median very close to zero. The Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility, a Bureau of Reclamation laboratory doing research and development on desalination of brackish water, is located in Alamogordso. The gypsum crystals of White Sands National Park are formed in Lake Lucero. Water drains from the mountains carrying dissolved gypsums and collects in LakeLucero. After the water dries, the winds pick up the gypsy crystals and distribute them over the basin. Temperatures outside of monsoonal storms are very hot during the summer: 94.8 days exceed 90 °F (32.2 °C) and temperatures as high as 110°F (43.3°C) occurred on June 22, 1981, and July 8 of 1951. During the winter, days are very mild and sunny, but nights are cold, with 32 °F reached on 73.6 mornings during an average winter.


Alamogordo had a German community due to the presence of the German Air Force at Holloman Air Force Base. There was a subdivision called "Little Germany" with houses that had German-style electrical outlets. The German military withdrew from the base in 2019. The city's and Otero County's July 1, 2008, population were estimated at 35,757 and 62,776 respectively by the United States Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program. There were 13,704 households, out of which 36.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.6% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.0% were non-families. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.07.:38In the city the population was spread out, with 28.7%. under the Age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 29.7. from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 12. 7% who were 65 years of age or older. In 1999, the median income for a household in the city was $30,928, and the median incomes for a family was $35,673. About 13.2%. of families and 16.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.9%. of those under age 18 and 11.8% of those age 65 or over.


Alamogordo was founded as a company town to support the building of the El Paso and Northeastern Railroad. Holloman Air Force Base, located approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) west of the city limits, is the largest employer of residents. The largest non-government employer in the city is the Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center with 650 employees in 2008. The city is home to the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, founded in 1903, and a branch of New Mexico State University founded in 1958. In 2006 the per capita income in Otero County was $22,377 versus per capita incomes in New Mexico of $29,346. The estimated amount spent in the community, including payroll, construction projects, supplies, services, health care, and education, is $482 million. An estimated 6,700 military retirees live in the area. Counting both USAF and German Air Force personnel, there are 1,383 active military and 1,641 military dependents living on base. After 27 years of training at Holloman, the German Air Air Force left in 2019. They relocated their pilot training to Sheppard Air Force base in Texas. A cookie factory opened in 2006 and received $800,000 in job-training incentives from the state. When the company went out of business in 2007, Marietta Baking took over the factory. A call center opened in November 2001 and 1800-Flowers received $1.25 million in city rent abatements, a 50% reduction in property taxes, and $940,940 in training funds.

Arts and culture

New Mexico Museum of Space History is a state museum with the International Space Hall of Fame. The Shroud Exhibit And Museum showcases a full-sized back-lit photographic transparency of the Shroud of Turin. The Cottonwood Arts and Crafts Festival is put on each Labor Day Weekend in Alameda Park by the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce.Until the German Air Force left in 2019, Oktoberfest was celebrated annually in late September. New Mexico was the 47th state admitted to the Union, and US flags were made with 47 stars only for one month, until Arizona was admitted. Several Union battles were fought near Oliver Lee Memorial Park. The first railroad museum and home of America's Park Ride Train Museum is located on the end of N83, near White Sands Blvd, NM 88310. The oldest zoo in the U.S. is located in the city of Alameda, along U-Ap-Land along U 54 along the U-S 54 corridor. The city is home to the McGinnio's "The World's Largest Pistachio" sculpture called "The world's largest Pistachios" by Italian artist Federico Largio. It is on display at the New Mexico State University at AlamogORDo campus, on the Rohovec Fine Arts Center campus, and at the Flickinger Center for Performing Arts. The town is also the home of the NewMexico State University-A Theatre on the Hill, which produces an annual spring performance for young audiences and an annual Fall performance.


Alamogordo's sole professional sports team is the White Sands Pupfish, a baseball team that played at Jim Griggs Field from 2011 to 2019. The Tommy Padilla Memorial Basketball Tournament is an annual event held in March. Several golf tournaments are held each year at Desert Lakes Golf Course, including the Robert W. Hamilton Charity Golf Classic. The Lady of the Mountain Run is a half marathon, 10K, 5K, or corporate cup relay, and raises money for the needs-based Lady ofThe Mountain Scholarship Fund at NMSU-AlamOGordo. Walk Out West, a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) walk held each October in Alameda Park Zoo, incorporates a health fair, live music, and events for children. Dance Otero is an informal approach to ballroom dancing as a form of physical exercise that meets throughout the year. Both programs are run through Oero PATH, a local nonprofit that encourages preventive measures for good health. The city receives 72% of the entry fees and 5% of gross proceeds taken in by vendors. In 2009 more than 233 teams participated in the tournament. The event is held annually at Washington Park in conjunction with Saturday in the Park and Armed Forces Day. The City of Alamogorda receives 72 per cent of the Entry Fees and 5 percent of the gross Proceeds Taken in by Vendors for the event, which is held every year on the same day as Armed Forces day.

Parks and recreation

Alamogordo has numerous small parks scattered through the city, and a few larger ones. Not inside the city but nearby are several national and state parks. There are public athletic fields at the Jim R. Griggs Sports Complex and the Travis C. Hooser Ballfield Complex. The Sidney Paul Gordon Shooting Range, located about 3 miles (4.8 km) north of town at 19 Rock Cliff Road in La Luz, is a supervised range with rifle, pistol, and archery ranges. The Lincoln National Forest is a mountainous area that starts about 10 miles (16 km) northeast of Alamogorda and offers hiking, fishing, and camping. White Sands National Park is located about 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Alamos along U.S. Route 70. Oliver Lee Memorial State Park is 10 miles south on U.S. Route 54, offers camping, hiking, and picnicking. There is a PGA golf pro on duty at the Desert Lakes Golf Course, which is an 18-hole course with a restaurant and a pro shop. The city's senior center is a social center and an exercise room and serves congregate meals and Meals on Wheels. It is located at 1100 Oregon Avenue and offers a weight room, swimming pool (open seasonally), and basketball gym. It also has outdoor tennis courts north of the building. It has a library, a bowling alley, a pool, a gym, and several other sports facilities. It was founded in 1883.


Alamogordo was incorporated in 1912. It is a charter city (also called a home rule city), and the charter is included as Part I of the Code of Ordinances. It has a Council-manager government form of government (called Commission/Manager in New Mexico). The city manager is considered the chief executive officer of the city. The mayor is a member of the City Council. As of 2018, Richard Boss holds the position of mayor. Fiscal Year 2008 runs from July 1, 2007, through June 30, 2008. The FY 2008 budget projects income of $61,454,402:7and expenditures of $73,655,777.:5 Sources of City government income and their percentages of the whole were::7 gross receipts tax (31%), miscellaneous (23%), grants (22%), user fees (19%), and property tax (5%). The city's mayor is Richard Boss, who has been in office since 2013. The city has a population of 2,856. It was incorporated as a charter town in 1912, and is a charter city (home rule city) with seven city commissioners, each elected from a district within the city, on staggered 4-year terms. Its fiscal year ends on June 30 each year; thus Fiscal Year 2007 runs from June 30 to July 1. The fiscal year of 2008 runs July 1 to June 30. It will have an income of about $61.4 million and a budget of $74.6 million.


New Mexico State University Alamogordo is a two-year community college established in 1958. As of 2016, it has approximately 1,800 students. The New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired is a state school. There are two high schools, three middle schools, and 11 elementary schools in the Alamogords Public School District. A third private school, Imago Dei Academy, opened in August 2008 and provides a classical Christian education. The German government formerly operated a school for children of German Air Force personnel stationed at the German tactical training center at Holloman Air Force Base until the 2019 withdrawal of German forces. The library at New Mexico StateUniversity AlamogORDo is also open to the public and is located in the town's downtown area. The city's public library serves the city, Otero County, and the surrounding area. It is located at the intersection of Interstate 20 and I-40. The town is also home to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History, which was founded in 1881. The museum is located on the former site of a former cattle ranch. It has a collection of more than 1,000 pieces of art, including works by Picasso, Mathewson, and others. It also has a museum of American history, which dates back to the 18th century. The Alamogurdo Public Library serves the town and the nearby community. It was established in 1883 and is the oldest public library in the state of New Mexico.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Alamogordo, Otero County, New Mexico = 92.3. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 47. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 98. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Alamogordo = 6.6 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 1,517 individuals with a median age of 36.6 age the population dropped by -0.09% in Alamogordo, Otero County, New Mexico population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 1,432.32 residents per square mile of area (553.02/km²). There are average 2.52 people per household in the 13,792 households with an average household income of $36,384 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 6.20% of the available work force and has dropped -4.75% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 24.30%. The number of physicians in Alamogordo per 100,000 population = 107.9.


The annual rainfall in Alamogordo = 11.4 inches and the annual snowfall = 4.1 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 50. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 285. 95 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 29 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 60, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Alamogordo, Otero County, New Mexico which are owned by the occupant = 51.90%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 32 years with median home cost = $137,020 and home appreciation of 6.10%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $6.08 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $4,139 per student. There are 16.2 students for each teacher in the school, 816 students for each Librarian and 408 students for each Counselor. 9.24% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 8.45% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 6.16% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Alamogordo's population in Otero County, New Mexico of 1,371 residents in 1900 has increased 1,11-fold to 1,517 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 50.32% female residents and 49.68% male residents live in Alamogordo, Otero County, New Mexico.

    As of 2020 in Alamogordo, Otero County, New Mexico are married and the remaining 36.90% are single population.

  • 21 minutes is the average time that residents in Alamogordo require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    76.34% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 16.51% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 0.37% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 2.45% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Alamogordo, Otero County, New Mexico, 51.90% are owner-occupied homes, another 33.47% are rented apartments, and the remaining 14.63% are vacant.

  • The 44.89% of the population in Alamogordo, Otero County, New Mexico who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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