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Rio Rancho

  •   State: 
    New Mexico
    Sandoval County
    Rio Rancho
      County FIPS: 
    35°17′10″N 106°40′14″W
      Area total: 
    103.69 sq mi
      Area land: 
    103.36 sq mi (267.70 km²)
      Area water: 
    0.26 sq mi (0.67 km²)
    5,509 ft (1,679 m)
    1961; Incorporated 1981
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Albuquerque, NM
    Mountain Standard Time (MST) UTC-7:00; Mountain Daylight Time (MDT) UTC-6:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Rio Rancho, Sandoval County, New Mexico, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    1,006.63 residents per square mile of area (388.66/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Rio Rancho (Spanish: Río Rancho) is the most populous and only city in Sandoval County, part of the Albuquerque metropolitan area, in the U.S. state of New Mexico. It is the third-largest city in New Mexico, and one of the most rapidly growing. The name Rio Rancho derives from Los Ranchos, the Spanish colonial ranches established along the Rio Grande in the Albuquerque Basin, and throughout historic Nuevo México. Since the late 20th century, it has developed as a suburb of Albuquerque. The city has a total area of 103 sq km, which includes the town of Bernalillo and the village of Corrales. It has a population of 87,521 as of the 2010 census, with a median income of $47,169. Its proximity to the city of Albuquerque made it a prime area for suburban development in the post-World War II period. In the early 21st century, the city worked to create a center: the Downtown City Centre development included a new city hall, a new University of NewMexico West and Central New Mexico Community College campus, and the Santa Ana Star Center. The sports and live event arena opened in October 2006. City Hall opened in September 2007. It lies on the northeast corner of Rio Grande, which is a corner of which is the city limit. An escarpment lies to the west of the city limits, on the corner of Anarpment and Santa Ana Pueblo.


Rio Rancho is the primary city name, but also Albuquerque are acceptable city names or spellings, Panorama Heights, Rancho West on the other hand no longer accepted or obsolete and are no longer used as a designation. Rio Rancho was part of the Town of Alameda Grant, which was founded by Spanish colonial settlers in 1710. It was acquired by the United States in 1848, after it defeated Mexico in the Mexican-American War. Its proximity to the city of Albuquerque made it a prime area for suburban development in the post-World War II period. In 1961 Amrep Corporation purchased 55,000 acres (22,000 ha) and created a housing development called "Rio rancho Estates" The first families moved into this development in early 1960s. Migrants were attracted to this area, and the population grew ten-fold between 1970 and 1980. The City of Rio Ranchi was incorporated in 1981. In the early 21st century, the city worked to create a center: the Downtown City Centre development included a new city hall, a new University of New Mexico West and Central New Mexico Community College campus. The sports and live event arena opened in October 2006. City Hall opened in September 2007. Since the 1990s, Rio Rancho has taken steps to become more independent from neighboring Albuquerque. It established a separate public unified school district and library system. It is seeking to attract more businesses to the area, so that residents might live and work here. The opening of a large Intel Corporation plant in 1981 generated numerous jobs and had positive economic effects for the city. The Santa Ana Star Center is a sports and event arena that opened in December 2007. It has a sports center, a bar, a restaurant and a bowling alley.


Of 18,995 households, 40.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.4% were married couples living together, and 25.7% were not families. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.14. In the city, the population was distributed as 29.2% under 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 32.0%. from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 11.7%. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.2 males. The median income for city was $47,169, and for a family was $52,233. About 5.1%. of the population were below the poverty line, including 5. 1% of those under age 18 and 5.8%. of those age 65 or over. The per capita income for the city is $20,322. The city has a population of 2,816. The population of the city was 2,716. It has a median age of 35 years, and a median income of $39,162. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the city's population will reach 2,917 by the end of the year. It is the most populous city in the state, with a population growth rate of 0.9%. It has the highest poverty rate of any city in South Dakota, followed by the state of Iowa.


Rio Rancho is located at 35°17'10" North, 106°40'14" West (35.286185, -106.670660). It lies in the Albuquerque Basin to the west of the Rio Grande, which is a boundary on the northeast corner of the city. The city has a total area of 103.7 sq mi (268.5 km²), of which 103.4 square miles (267.7 km²) is land and 0.31 sq mi is covered by water. Rio Rancho receives 8.90 inches of precipitation annually on average. It is in the rain shadow of the Sandia Mountains to the east and the Continental Divide to thewest. The western portion of the City receives slightly more rain and snowfall due to its higher elevation than that of the more densely developed eastern portion of Rio rancho. It has an arid climate because of its location in the Rain Shadow of theSandia Mountains and Continental Divide. It also has a very dry climate due to the location of the Divide and Sandia mountains to the north and the east, and a very wet climate because the city is so far from the equator to the south. It was founded in the 17th century by Spanish settlers. The town of Bernalillo and village of Corrales are located to the city's east. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the city to have a population of 2,816. It lies on the Colorado River, a tributary of the Animas River.


The Intel Corporation is by far the largest employer in Rio Rancho. The services, retail, and government sectors are also major components of the local economy. The city became the first U.S. city to offer citywide voice-over-WiFi (VoWiFi) in 2005. In 2010 the City Council passed an automatic annual increase in water rate, equivalent to 25% over a five-year period. Real estate sales were robust in 2020 in many areas of the city, driven by low interest rates and relatively low housing prices ($250,000 - $350,000 for most new construction) The city hosted the National Speleological Society's annual convention in 2017. In the aftermath of the collapse of the 2008 housing bubble, foreclosure activity increased in the city. The economies of Sandoval, Bernalillo, and Valencia counties suffered markedly in the late 2000s recession. As of the late 2010s, housing had entirely recovered. A number of new housing developments were restarted. New construction of large facilities include City Centre, Loma Colorado, Mariposa, Central New Mexico Community College, and Hewlett Packard. In 2011, a 14-screen Premiere Cinemas theater was built at the corner of Southern and Unser boulevards. It is part of a planned multi-use development of office and retail space, a hotel, and a 12-screen Century-branded Cinemark movie theater, with Cinemark XD theater. A 75-acre (300,000 m2) development on Unser Boulevard, including a facility for the Presbyterian Rust Medical Center, opened October 17, 2011.


Rio Rancho is the site of the Sandoval County Municipal Courthouse. It serves as a hub for judicial affairs in the county. City council members are elected from six single-member districts. The judge for the Municipal Court is also elected. Mayor Gregory Hull ran at-large for mayor in 2014. He was re-elected for a second term in March 2018 and a third term in 2022. The city is located in the eastern part of the county and is located on the San Diego-Laredo border. It is home to the University of California, San Diego, and the California Institute of the Arts, which has a campus in Rio Rancho. The town has a population of 1.2 million. It was founded in 1883. It has a history dating back to the early 19th century and is one of the oldest cities in the U.S., along with San Diego. The county was founded by the Spanish in 1805. It became the first state to incorporate into the United States in 1828. The first city to incorporate was San Diego in 1829. The state's first city council members were elected in 1855. The current mayor was elected in 2010. The mayor was re, elected in 2012, and will be re, re- elected in 2018, and then again in 2022, for a three-year term. It's the first city in the state to have a mayor who is also a city council member. It also has a judge who is elected.


Rio Rancho has two major public high schools: V. Sue Cleveland High School and Rio Rancho High School. The ASK Academy and Cyber Academy, serving grades 6-12, focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The University of New Mexico has a satellite campus in Rio Ranchi devoted to health sciences. Central New Mexico Community College also has one of its eight campuses in the downtown area, within walking distance of the UNM campus. Sections of Rio rancho in most of Bernalillo County are zoned to Albuquerque Public Schools. A portion of the Rio ranchos in Sandoval County extend into the Jemez Valley Public Schools school district, serving Jemez and Sandoval counties, as well as parts of El Paso and Taos counties. The Rio Ranchos also have two public charter schools called The ASk Academy and The Cyber Academy. The schools serve students in grades 4-12. They are located in the town of Albuquerque, New Mexico, which has a population of 1.2 million. The school district also serves students in El Paso, El Salvador, and the city of Gallup. The district has two charter schools serving grades 3-12 in the towns of Alamogordo and Santa Fe, and a charter school in Las Vegas, Colorado, which serves grades 2-4 in the cities of Santa Fe and Santa Cruz. It also has a public charter school serving grades 1-5 in Santa Cruz and El Paso. It has two elementary schools, one in Albuquerque and one in Santa Fe.


Albuquerque's transit department, ABQ RIDE, operates a bus route (251 Albuquerque-Rio Rancho Rail Runner Connection) connecting Rio Rancho with the New Mexico Rail Runner Express station at Journal Center. The Rio Metro Regional Transportation District operates Rio Transit, a door-to-door paratransit service for senior citizens 55 years of age and older. Rio Metro Bus connections are available at the US 550 Rail Runner station for Zia Pueblo, San Ysidro, Canon, and Jemez Springs. A Rio Metro commuter bus route provides service to and from the Cuba NM area, with a Park and Ride designated at Home Depot, which is located near the corner of NM 528, NM 550. The service is operated from the Meadowlark Senior Center, and provides service Monday-Friday from 7:30 am to 3:00 pm. Riders must register with the service prior to using it and reserve time slots well in advance. RioMetro's website and schedules may be viewed at: The northern terminus of these routes is at Southern Blvd and Unser Blvd, and the southern terminus is at Southern Blvd and Unser Blvd. The services are operated by the Rio Metro regional Transportation District (Rio Metro RTD) and are available to residents of Albuquerque and the surrounding areas of New Mexico, including the towns of Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Santa Cruz, and El Paso. The routes provide service during the morning and evening commutes for residents of the Enchanted Hills neighborhood.


Rio Rancho was home to the New Mexico Scorpions minor-league ice hockey team, which relocated from Albuquerque in 2006. The Scorpions played at Santa Ana Star Center. In the spring of 2008, the Star Center became the home of New Mexico Wildcats indoor football team. They lasted two seasons, folding at the conclusion of 2009.Starting in fall of 2010, Rio Rancho became home to New Mexico Thunderbirds of the NBA Development League and New Mexico Mustangs of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) The Thunderbirds announced in July 2011 that the team was sold to the Cleveland Cavaliers and will be moved to Canton, Ohio, for the upcoming season. The New Mexico Stars, a professional indoorfootball team, play home games at the Santa Ana star center. They signed a five-year contract with the center in February 2012, with whom they signed aFive-year deal in March 2012. The Star Center is located on the banks of the Rio Grande River, which runs through the town of Santa Ana, New Mexico. The city is home to several golf courses, including Santa Ana Golf Club, Santa Ana Country Club, and Santa Ana Lake Golf Club. The Santa Ana golf course was built in the 1930s and was the site of the first golf course in the U.S. to be built. The golf course is located near the city's downtown area, near the intersection of Interstate 20 and I-20, and has been called the "City of the Giants" for decades.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Rio Rancho, Sandoval County, New Mexico = 86.8. 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 60. 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 Rio Rancho = 6.3 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 1,595 individuals with a median age of 35.3 age the population grows by 55.60% in Rio Rancho, Sandoval County, New Mexico population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 1,006.63 residents per square mile of area (388.66/km²). There are average 2.66 people per household in the 30,125 households with an average household income of $58,572 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 7.30% of the available work force and has dropped -4.98% 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 22.74%. The number of physicians in Rio Rancho per 100,000 population = 128.7.


The annual rainfall in Rio Rancho = 10 inches and the annual snowfall = 7.5 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 51. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 273. 91 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 20.1 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 64, 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 Rio Rancho, Sandoval County, New Mexico which are owned by the occupant = 79.06%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 12 years with median home cost = $166,320 and home appreciation of -10.52%. 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 $6.49 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 $4,044 per student. There are 15.9 students for each teacher in the school, 526 students for each Librarian and 602 students for each Counselor. 9.48% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 17.97% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 8.09% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Rio Rancho's population in Sandoval County, New Mexico of 1,272 residents in 1900 has increased 1,25-fold to 1,595 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 51.26% female residents and 48.74% male residents live in Rio Rancho, Sandoval County, New Mexico.

    As of 2020 in Rio Rancho, Sandoval County, New Mexico are married and the remaining 38.04% are single population.

  • 30 minutes is the average time that residents in Rio Rancho 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.

    83.96% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 11.18% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 0.34% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 2.76% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Rio Rancho, Sandoval County, New Mexico, 79.06% are owner-occupied homes, another 17.12% are rented apartments, and the remaining 3.82% are vacant.

  • The 45.49% of the population in Rio Rancho, Sandoval County, New Mexico who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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