Bureau of Business and Economic Research


Colonia Population and Socioeconomic and Housing Characteristic Estimates, Maps and Shape File Update: November 2012 [dataset]


Daren Ruiz

Document Type


Publication Date



New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority


Colonias are small, under-represented communities often characterized by poor socioeconomic conditions. There are 142 HUD-designated colonias in southern New Mexico. There is a great need for information on colonias: government agencies and community planners want to improve infrastructure and allocate resources to serve colonia populations. As part of the effort to compile information about colonias, the UNM Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) developed a technique for tabulating U.S. Census Bureau data for colonia geography. Included documentation explains the technique, demonstrated by an estimated population and household count for the Rancho Grande colonia in Catron County. Data includes US Census data, ortho-photography images, and Census Bureau block boundaries obtained through the UNM Resource Geographic Information System (RGIS) Program clearinghouse.


The Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) at UNM tabulated 2010 Census data for geographic areas that approximate the geographic extent of various New Mexico colonias under a contract with the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority (MFA). The MFA has subsequently allowed BBER to publish the estimates, maps, and shapefile to increase the amount of information available for New Mexico colonias. A detailed description of the process is given in the Colonia Population and Housing Estimation.pdf document.

Colonia_Pop_Hsg_Est.pdf (2562 kB)
Colonia Population and Housing Estimation