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Taos, New Mexico

  •   State: 
    New Mexico
    Taos County
      County FIPS: 
    36°23′38″N 105°34′36″W
      Area total: 
    6.04 sq mi (15.64 km²)
      Area land: 
    6.04 sq mi (15.64 km²)
      Area water: 
    0.00 sq mi (0.00 km²)
    6,969 ft (2,124 m)
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Taos, NM
    Mountain Standard Time (MST) UTC-7:00; Mountain Daylight Time (MDT) UTC-6:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Taos, Taos County, New Mexico, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    1,072.03 residents per square mile of area (413.94/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Taos is a town in Taos County in the north-central region of New Mexico in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Initially founded in 1615, it was intermittently occupied until its formal establishment in 1795 by Nuevo México Governor Fernando Chacón. As of the 2010 census, its population was 5,716. The English name Taos derives from the native Taos language meaning "(place of) red willows" The Taos Pueblo is considered to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the United States. It was added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. It is estimated that the pueblo was built between 1000 and 1450 A.D., with some later expansion, and is now a central plaza surrounded by residential areas. About 150 people live within the main puebla buildings year-round. The town was incorporated in 1934 and is the county seat of Taos county, which is in New Mexico's Sangre De Cristo Mountain range. The U.S. territory and statehood ceded the region to the U.N. in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 after the MexicanAmerican War. The area is known as the Taos Revolt, in which the newly appointed U.S. Governor, Charles Bent, was killed. The American flag is displayed continuously at the Plaza (both day and night) for historical reasons, when Union officer Kit Carson attempted to remove it during the Civil War.


The Taos Pueblo, which borders the north boundary of the town of Taos, has been occupied for nearly a millennium. It is estimated that the pueblo was built between 1000 and 1450 A.D., with some later expansion. Taos was established c. 1615 as Don Fernando de Taos following the Spanish conquest of the Indian Pueblos. The Taos art colony developed in the early 1800s. The American flag is displayed continuously at Taos Plaza (both day and night) during the American Civil War, when Confederate sympathizers in the area attempted to remove the flag. In 1899, artists began to settle in Taos; six formed the Taos Society of Artists in 1915. Some of the artists' studios have been preserved and may be viewed by visitors to Taos. In the early 1900s, mountain men who trapped beaver nearby made Taos their home. The area was a territory of the United States beginning in 1850 and became a state in 1912. The region was ceded to the U.S. in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 after the MexicanAmerican War. After the takeover of New Mexico in 1847, Hispanics and American Indians staged a rebellion, known as Taos Revolt, in which the newly appointed U.S. Governor, Charles Bent, was killed. The city is one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in theUnited States. It was added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.

Historic sites and tourism

Taos is home to more than twenty sites on the National Register of Historic Places. The town has more than 80 art galleries, and there are several houses of art. The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Taos that provides free residency to eleven artists. Taos has three art museums: Harwood Museum of Art, Taos Art Museum and Millicent Rogers Museum that provide art from the Pueblo Native Americans. The Talking Pictures Film Festival was a film festival held in the town from the mid-1990s to 2003. The Taos Center for the Arts (TCTCA) draws nationally and local performers at the Taos Community Auditorium. The top prize was 5 acres (2.0 ha) of land of the National Monument of the Rio Grande del Norte (The Forest of Fire and Rain) in the National Park Service's National Forest Fire and Rescue District. The Fiestas de Taos is an annual community celebration in the Tao Plaza honoring the feast of the two patron saints of Taos, Santa Ana and Santiago. The event is normally celebrated on the third weekend of July, but can be held on any day of the week from May to October. The festival is free and open to the public, with tickets available for $5.00 per person or $10.00 for a family of four or $20 for a group of five or $30 for a total of $50.000 for the entire weekend.


As of the 2010 census Taos had a population of 5,716. The ethnic and racial composition of the population was 40.1% non-Hispanic white, 0.7% African American, 1% Asian, 5.3% Native American, and 0.11% Pacific Islander. The median income for a household in the town was $25,016, and the median incomes for a family was $33,564. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 54.34% of the town's population. The per capita income for the town of Taos was $15,983. The town is located on the New Mexico Turnpike, which runs through Taos. Taos is the only town in New Mexico that is not located in the state of New Mexico. It is also the only state that does not have a state park system. The city is home to the Taos International Airport, which is a major international hub for air and sea travel. The airport is one of the busiest in the United States, with more than 1.5 million passengers a year. The U.S. Air Force has a base in Taos and a fleet of more than 2,000 aircrafts. The nearest airport to the town is in the city of Albuquerque, about 80 miles (130 km) to the south. The closest airport is in Santa Fe, about 100 miles (160 km) away. The population of T Albuquerque is about 4,700.

Geography and climate

Taos is located at 36°2338N 105°3436W (36.393979, 105.576705). The town has a total area of 5.4 square miles (14 km²), all land. The elevation of the town is 6,969 feet (2,124 m) Just north of Taos is Wheeler Peak, at 13,161 feet (4,011 m), the highest point in New Mexico. Taos has a warm-summer humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb), though it borders on a semi-arid climate (BSk) due to the low rainfall. The town is characterized by extreme diurnal variations of temperature. Even when summer days get extremely hot, nights cool off considerably. Mud season in Taos can experience a particularly bad mud season when winter weather is followed by unseasonably warm temperatures. This occurs because area soil is heavy with silt, which makes it vulnerable to frost heaving. A coalition of local organizations are working to improve the watershed's health. The northern edge of town is within the Rio Fernandodel Taos-Rio Pueblo del Taos Watershed. The city is mostly located in the Outlet Rio Fernando del Tao Watershed, where its two waterbodies are rated as impaired. The southern edge of the city is within a subwatershed called the Rio de Taos Waterway, which is considered impaired by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


The town's public schools operated by Taos Municipal Schools include Arroyos del Norte Elementary School, Enos García Elementary (also Taos Elementary School) Taos Middle School, Taos High School and Taos Cyber Magnet School. Charter schools include Anansi Charter School. Also in the area are additional alternative and private schools: Chrysalis Alternative School, Sped Discipline, Yaxche Private School and San Francisco De Asis School. Southern Methodist University operates a 295-acre (119 ha) campus at Fort Burgwin in Taos. University of New Mexico (UNM) operates a community campus with eight affiliated buildings. Earthship Academy (or Earthship Biotecture Academy) is offering training in Earthship design principles, construction methods and philosophy. The Earthship is a particular type of sustainable architecture and design, based around solar power. Taos Christian Academy is a private school based in the town of Taos, New Mexico. The town is home to the New Mexico Museum of Art, which has a collection of works of art from around the world. It is also the home of the Taos Air Force Base, which was built in the early 1900s. The Taos Airport is located in the center of the town. The airport is one of the busiest airports in the United States, with more than 2,000 flights a day. The New Mexico Turnpike, which runs from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, connects Taos to the rest of the state.


The town of Taos is incorporated under the mayor-council form of government. The town was incorporated on May 7, 1934. The elective officers of the town include the mayor, four members of the governing body forming the town council, and a municipal judge. Key positions within the town government are town manager, appointed by the major, Town Attorney, Town Clerk, Town Engineer and Chief of Police. In 2008, approximately 74% of registered Taos County voters were Democrats, 13% were Republicans and about 13% identified with other parties or declined to affiliate with a party. As of 2019, the town officers were: mayor: Daniel R. Barrone; term from March 2018 to March 2022. town council members: Nathaniel Evans, Darian Fernandez, George "Fritz" Hahn, and Pascualito Maestas. town manager and finance director serve as the nonvoting members to the board of finance. Town council is the board. of finance of the city. Taos, New Mexico is predominantly made up of Democrats; in 2008, about 74%  of registered Taos County voters were Democrats, 13% were Republicans and about 13% identified with other parties. In 2012, Taos had a population of 2,816,000. The city's population is 2,715,000; in 2012, it had a total population of 3,817,000, and in 2013, it was 2,917,838.


The RTD Chile Line, operated by the North Central Regional Transit District (NCRTD), is Taos' only public transportation system. It provides fare-free in-town service as well as seasonal service up to Taos Ski Valley. The transit system also provides paratransit service for citizens with special needs and ensures that all route buses are American Disability Act (ADA) equipped. The Taos region has service to Cerro, Penasco, Questa, Red River, the Rio Grande corridor and the University of New Mexico Taos Klaur campus. At the Española Transit Center, passengers can connect to other regional routes, such as España, Santa Fe, Los Alamos, and Northern Pueblos area. Taos Regional Airport (SKX) is under the direct supervision of the Town of Taos. Other airports in New Mexico include the Santa Fe Municipal Airport and Albuquerque International Sunport. In September, 2004, the NorthCentral Regional RTD was the first RTD to be certified by the New Mexico Transportation Commission. In 2003 the Regional Transport District Act was enacted, which authorized the creation of Regional transit Districts (RTD's) in the state of New New Mexico. The RTD Taos Express promotes local tourism and provides weekend express service, for a nominal fee, from the Taos Plaza to the NewMexico Rail Runner, SantaFe Municipal Airport, and Santa Fe transit. The airport is located just a few miles north of the town on U.S. Route 64.

In popular culture

Taos has been featured in The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca (1960) and And Now Miguel (1966) Country music artist Waylon Jennings sang a song titled "Taos, New Mexico" on his 1967 album Love of the Common People. The character Deputy Marshal Sam McCloud in the 1977 television series McCloud, played by Dennis Weaver, was portrayed as being from Taos. The Volkswagen Taos, introduced in October 2018, is named after the town to pay tribute to its former resident John Muir who authored a Volkswagen repair book in 1969. An ongoing low-frequency noise, audible only to some, is thought to originate somewhere near this town and is consequently sometimes known as the Taos Hum. It was featured in a 1995 episode of the television series Unsolved Mysteries, and it is also mentioned in a 1998 episode of The X-Files. It is usually heard west of Taos near Tres Orejas, but can also be heard as far north as Santa Fe. The TaosHum is also featured in an episode of Uns solved Mysteries. The town is featured in the film Taos: The Last Frontier, which was shot in Taos in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The film was based on a book by Tomie dePaola and was narrated by Harold Littlebird (born 1951) The town was the setting for the PBS television series Reading Rainbow's 73rd episode "The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush" on September 18, 1991.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Taos, Taos County, New Mexico = 89. 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 67. 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 Taos = 5.9 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 7,107 individuals with a median age of 39.6 age the population dropped by -5.15% in Taos, Taos County, New Mexico population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 1,072.03 residents per square mile of area (413.94/km²). There are average 2.66 people per household in the 450 households with an average household income of $28,471 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 9.20% of the available work force and has dropped -1.34% 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 28.12%. The number of physicians in Taos per 100,000 population = 220.


The annual rainfall in Taos = 12.3 inches and the annual snowfall = 29 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 70. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 283. 86 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 9.6 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 69, 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 Taos, Taos County, New Mexico which are owned by the occupant = 60.50%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 40 years with median home cost = $104,050 and home appreciation of -3.56%. 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 $2.64 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 $5,438 per student. There are 17 students for each teacher in the school, 863 students for each Librarian and 392 students for each Counselor. 5.59% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 5.23% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 2.50% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Taos's population in Taos County, New Mexico of 1,895 residents in 1900 has increased 3,75-fold to 7,107 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 49.08% female residents and 50.92% male residents live in Taos, Taos County, New Mexico.

    As of 2020 in Taos, Taos County, New Mexico are married and the remaining 62.31% are single population.

  • 16.7 minutes is the average time that residents in Taos 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.

    62.42% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 25.05% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 0.41% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 4.11% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Taos, Taos County, New Mexico, 60.50% are owner-occupied homes, another 5.58% are rented apartments, and the remaining 33.92% are vacant.

  • The 67.84% of the population in Taos, Taos County, New Mexico who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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