Farmington sees very small population increase in 2020 census data, decrease in white population

Farmington population didn't see drop that San Juan County experienced

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • The data released on Aug. 12 from the U.S. Census Bureau showed Farmington with an increase of 747 residents for a 2020 count of 46,624 people.
  • Mayor Nate Duckett told The Daily Times the census data isn’t a surprise as it confirms what people have felt in the area.
  • Jamie Church, CEO and president of the Farmington Chamber of Commerce, told The Daily Times she has seen a lot of activity in retirees relocating to Farmington and the county.

FARMINGTON — The City of Farmington saw a very small increase in population from the new figures released this week for the 2020 U.S. Census. Its mayor believes the city is starting to turn around after population decreases in the area.

The data released on Aug. 12 from the U.S. Census Bureau showed Farmington with an increase of 747 residents for a 2020 count of 46,624 people.

Farmington stands out when compared to San Juan County, which lost 8,383 residents, or 6.4 percent, according to census data.

The City of Farmington, seen here on Nov. 16, 2020, saw an increase of 747 residents for a 2020 count of 46,624 people according to the latest U.S. Census figures. San Juan County, by contrast, lost 8,383 residents.

Mayor Nate Duckett told The Daily Times the census data isn’t a surprise as it confirms what people have felt in the area.

“I don't think these are anything new,” Duckett said. “For anybody who lives in the area, we've all recognized that the population has decreased as the oil and gas industry has kind of shifted to the southern part of the state.”

He believes some of the initiatives the city and area stakeholders have started to draw people to the area are having an impact.

Duckett cited efforts to highlight outdoor recreation and an area for “location neutral jobs,” as the COVID-19 pandemic created a new opportunity for remote working.

“We've recognized what (COVID-19) has done to the workplace,” Duckett said. “People don't need to go to an office space. They can live here with the great outdoors surrounding them, to work from home.”

Dig deeper:Explore New Mexico, US demographics data from the 2020 census

Jamie Church, CEO and president of the Farmington Chamber of Commerce, told The Daily Times she has seen a lot of retirees relocating to Farmington and the county.

Church highlighted the work of Retire Northwest New Mexico to draw people to move into the area. 

Both Duckett and Church have seen an increase of housing purchases in the area in recent months.

Farmington census data for demographics echoed a change that is occurring nationwide, with the white population declining and unprecedented multiracial population growth, according to USA Today.

The white population declined by 6,092 people or 21.1 percent to 22,732 residents. The biggest jump in terms of percentage was the two or more races population as it climbed 154.2 percent with 2,984 more people for a total of 4,919.

The American Indian population had an increase of 4,160 people or 40.9 percent to 14,328 residents.

Duckett believes the change in demographics could possibly be attributed to a big push from city, county and federal governments to market the census, which led to more people filling it out.

“I think they did a really good job of getting the word out and letting people know exactly why we need this information,” Duckett said.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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