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Belen, New Mexico

  •   State: 
    New Mexico
    Valencia County
      County all: 
    Valencia | Socorro
      County FIPS: 
    35061 | 35053
    34°39′46″N 106°46′35″W
      Area total: 
    19.08 sq mi (49.41 km²)
      Area land: 
    19.05 sq mi (49.35 km²)
      Area water: 
    0.02 sq mi (0.06 km²)
    4,810 ft (1,466 m)
    1740; Settled 1740; Incorporated 1918
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Albuquerque, NM
    Mountain Standard Time (MST) UTC-7:00; Mountain Daylight Time (MDT) UTC-6:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Belen, Valencia County, New Mexico, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    386.27 residents per square mile of area (149.14/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Belén (; Spanish: Belén) is the second most populous city in Valencia County, New Mexico, after its county seat, Los Lunas. The city is geographically near the center of New Mexico and has been a significant transportation hub for central New Mexico. The population was 7,360 at the 2020 Census. Belén is at the southern end of the Albuquerque Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is located 35 miles south of Albuquerque and is a major refueling station for the BNSF Railway, where an average of 110 trains travel through Belén in a 24-hour period. It was officially incorporated as a municipality in 1918, but was originally called the "Village of Belén" It was named after Our Lady of Bethlehem, the last name of the town's founders, Charles Reinken, Paul Dalies, and Charles Becker. In 1907, the Belén Cutoff for the Santa Fe Railway was completed, making it possible for trains to travel on the Raton Pass on the Colorado and New Mexico border. Today, Belén remains a major fueling station for trains through Albuquerque through Albuquerque and northward to El Paso and southward to Colorado and El Paso, serving also branches to the southward south of El Paso. It also has a large roundhouse and a classification, serving a large number of different types of businesses. The town is located on the Rio Grande, which was once a major route for the Spanish-speaking population of the region. It has a population of 1,695 and is home to a Catholic church.


Belen is the primary city name, but also Rio Comm, Rio Communities are acceptable city names or spellings, Los Chavez, Los Trujillos, Pueblitos on the other hand no longer accepted or obsolete and are no longer used as a designation. The official name is Belen, New Mexico. Belén was founded in 1740 as Nuestra Señora de Belén (Our Lady of Bethlehem) by a group of colonists led by Diego Torres and Antonio Salazar. By the 1790s, Belén had established a city center known as Plaza Vieja, or Old Town, and had grown from a paraje, or precinct, to a partido, or district, with a population of 1,695. In 1884, the General Land Office, through the authority of President Ulysses S. Grant, established the Town of Belén. In 1907, the Belén Cutoff for the Santa Fe Railway was completed, connecting Amarillo with Belén, making it possible for trains to travel east and west across the United States. It was originally officially incorporated as a municipality in 1918 called the "Village of Belen", later becoming the "City Belén" In 1927, pilot Arthur Goebel took up the challenge to be the first to fly nonstop from the mainland to Hawaii in what is now known as the Dole Air Race. Of the 13 planes that qualified, seven were lost in crashes, killing ten people. Only two of the planes that made it safely to Hawaii landed in a nonstop flight after 17 minutes and 17 seconds. The other two planes landed safely and landed in Hawaii after 17 hours and 17 minutes. The last ruins of the former church were dynamited and the crushed adobe was used to pave New Town's main avenue Becker Avenue.


Belén is located at 34°3956N 106°4634W (34.665587, -106.776225).According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.7 square miles (12 km²), all land. The city lies in the Rio Grande Valley of the Albuquerque Basin on the west bank of the Rio Rio. It has a climate of semi-arid steppe type, which occurs primarily on the periphery of the true deserts in low-latitude semiarid Steppe regions. It is located in the state of New Mexico, in the northern part of the U.S. state of Albuquerque and is located near the border with Santiago and Baja Caribbean state of New México. It was founded in 1836. The town was named after the town of Belén, which means "Belén of the River" in Spanish, and means "river of the river" or "river valley" in English. It became the first city in the region to be founded in the late 19th century. In 1836, it was named for the town's founder, who was born in the town in 1837. The name Belén is Spanish for "Belen, a town in the river valley". It is also known as "Belín" or "Belén" by the Spanish-speaking population, and "Belin" for the Spanish language.


Belén's central business district and downtown is located along Becker and Dalies avenues, stretching from the BNSF rail yard to Main Street. Downtown Belen features structures dating back to the early 20th century when the railroad came into town. The Belen Hotel and Central Hotel, both located on Becker Avenue, are two-story structures built to accommodate railroaders and other rail guests in the early 1900s. The Scholle building, originally designed as a Swiss chalet, has more than eight miles of rail built into its walls. The original Belén rail depot is adjacent to the Harvey House grounds, owned by BNSf and used as office space for the railroad. The Oñate Theater, located on Dalies Avenue, showing many of the biggest marquee films. The theater is situated on the same block as three other historic buildings, including the Belén Harvey House, which was built in 1907 to provide room and board to railroaders passing through the town. Today, the Belen hotel has been converted into a private residence and private art gallery, while the Central Hotel has been renovated to include a wine tasting room as well as an event space and ballroom downstairs. It is located on the corner of Becker Avenue and Dalie Avenue, just south of the B NSF rail Yard. The BNS F rail yard is located at the intersection of Main Street and Becker Avenue. There is a train station at the end of the street, but it is not open to the public.


As of the 2000 U.S. Census, there were 6,901 people, 2,596 households, and 1,778 families residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 67.50% White, 1.07% African American, 1.65% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.16% Pacific Islander, 25.39% from other races, and 4.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 68.61% of the population. The city's population was spread out, with 28.8% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.5 years. For every 100 females, there are 91.5 males. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.14. the city's median income was $26,754, and the median income for a family was $30,765. About 23.2% of families and 24.8%. of the residents were below the poverty line, including 33.9% of those under age 18 and 18.2%. of those age 65 or over. The per capita income for the city is $12,999. It is the second-smallest city in the state with a population of over 6,000.

Government and politics

Belen is governed by a mayor-council form of government, with a city manager. The governing body consists of an elected mayor and four elected councilors. The city also has an elected municipal judge. Belen has five appointed positions: city manager, police chief, fire chief, treasurer and clerk. It has a population of 2,000. It is located in the central part of the state. It was founded in 1858. It's located on the banks of the Danube River, which flows through the center of the city. It also has a lake, which is the city's main source of water. The town's population is about 1,000, with the majority of its residents living in the city center. It had a population 1,200 in 1859, with most of its people living outside the city centre. It now has a total of 3,000 people living in it, with many of them in the downtown area. The population of Belen is about 2,100. It previously had a city council of four members, with one of them being the mayor. It currently has a mayor and a council of five members. The mayor and council have a total population of 4,200, with four of them elected. The council has a police chief and a fire chief. it has a treasurer, treasurer, clerk and chief of police. it also has two appointed positions, the city manager and a municipal judge, which are also elected.


Belen has nine parks and is home to the Valencia County Fairgrounds. The Santa Fe railroad arrived in Belen in 1880, when Belen was a small farming community. Belen Harvey House is the official railroad museum of the State of New Mexico. The Doodlebug Park was restored by the production crew from the movie The Last film, which was filmed near the park. It is the site of Belen's annual radio operator event, as well as Sen. Willie M Chavez State Park, which is next to the Rio Grande Highway nestled next to Rio Grande Canyon. The city's annual festival is the Hispano Matanza, a Spanish-style barbecue that can trace its origin back to the conquistadors. It's also home to Follow the Star, an annual celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and pays homage to Belen (Spanish for Bethlehem) and the Star of Bethlehem on the water tower in downtown Belen. The town also hosts the All-American Fourth of July around July 4, Rio Abajo Days on the last Saturday in September, and the Miracle on Main Street Festival and Electric Light Parade on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It also has the only Harvey House Museum in New Mexico, which houses memorabilia pertaining to the Harvey House and the Santa Fe Railway, and is a branch of the Belen Public Library.. It was the 86th restaurant in the chain, operated by Fred Harvey, and contained a large lunchroom, a more formal dining room, a newsstand, kitchen facilities, a bakery, and sleeping rooms upstairs for the Harvey Girls.


The vast majority of Belen is within the Belen Consolidated Schools district, which includes two high schools and seven elementary schools. Belen residents are served by the University of New Mexico Valencia Campus in Tome and the main campus in Albuquerque. Our Lady of Belan Catholic Church runs the private St. Mary's Catholic School (affiliated with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe), and Calvary Chapel Rio Grande Valley runs theprivate Canon Christian Academy. Small portions of the town are in Los Lunas Public Schools, which also has an alternative high school and a family school for home schooled students. The town is located in the Rio Grande valley of the Santa Fe River, which runs through Belen. The Rio Grande River runs through the town of Tome, which is in the northern part of the state. The city has a population of about 2,000 people, with the majority of its residents living in or near the town's central area. The majority of the city's residents live in or close to the towns of Tome and Belen, and the town also has a small percentage of residents who live in the cities of Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The community is home to a number of small businesses, including a small number of health care providers and a handful of independent health care clinics. The area is also home to several churches, one of which is the Church of the Nativity of the Saviour, which was established in the 17th century. The church is affiliated with the U.S. Roman Catholic Church.


Belen has Valencia County's only public airport. Belen Regional Airport is used by flight instructors, skydivers, crop dusters and recreational pilots. The BNSF Rail Yard in Belen serves as a major fuel point for the Southern Transcon. New Mexico Bike Route 1 follows Reinken Avenue through Belen. The route connects Belén with Bernardo, which is south of Belén at a distance of 17½ miles. The New Mexico Rail Runner Express shuttles residents and tourists to and from Belen on a daily basis and connecting with Albuquerque and Santa Fe. It also has a commuter rail station at the north end of the BNSf rail yard, shuttling residents and visitors to the north and south ends of the rail yard. The city's western boundary is Interstate 25, with New Mexico Highway 314 and Highway 309 intersected by the city's east and west borders. It is located in Valencia County, which also includes the towns of Valencia, El Centro, and Santa Cruz. It has a population of 2,816 (as of the 2010 census) and 2,917 (as at the 2010 U.S. Census). The city is located on the eastern edge of the state of New Mexico, near the border with Arizona. It lies on the San Diego River, which runs through the center of the city. The town is located near the town of Santa Fe, which lies to the east of Belen and to the south of Bernardo.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Belen, Valencia County, New Mexico = 83. 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 33. 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 48. 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 Belen = 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 85,797 individuals with a median age of 35.2 age the population dropped by -2.78% in Belen, Valencia County, New Mexico population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 386.27 residents per square mile of area (149.14/km²). There are average 2.49 people per household in the 2,600 households with an average household income of $29,302 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 8.50% 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 21.54%. The number of physicians in Belen per 100,000 population = 44.6.


The annual rainfall in Belen = 7.6 inches and the annual snowfall = 4.8 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 38. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 275. 95 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 18.6 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 65, 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 Belen, Valencia County, New Mexico which are owned by the occupant = 62.83%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 34 years with median home cost = $121,280 and home appreciation of 1.76%. 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 $5.48 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 $4,113 per student. There are 14.9 students for each teacher in the school, 1197 students for each Librarian and 368 students for each Counselor. 7.29% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 9.70% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 2.59% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Belen's population in Valencia County, New Mexico of 33,111 residents in 1900 has increased 2,59-fold to 85,797 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 51.59% female residents and 48.41% male residents live in Belen, Valencia County, New Mexico.

    As of 2020 in Belen, Valencia County, New Mexico are married and the remaining 52.65% are single population.

  • 24.3 minutes is the average time that residents in Belen 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.

    80.48% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 15.49% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 0.20% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 2.86% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Belen, Valencia County, New Mexico, 62.83% are owner-occupied homes, another 26.97% are rented apartments, and the remaining 10.21% are vacant.

  • The 54.50% of the population in Belen, Valencia County, New Mexico who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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