New Mexico is the state hardest hit by the now two-week-old government shutdown. That’s according to WalletHub, which found the District of Columbia is the only place in the United States more affected by the shutdown. New Mexico receives the fourth-highest amount of federal contract dollars per capita, behind only Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia as well as the third-highest percentage of families receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. New Mexico’s two national laboratories, Los Alamos and Sandia, are not directly impacted by the current government shutdown, because of a 2018 appropriations bill to fund the U.S. Department of Energy even when other federal workers are sent home without pay. The U.S. Department of Defense is also not impacted.
According to Wallethub, New Mexico lags behind the rest of the nation when it comes to political engagement. The website ranked all 50 states, and the District of Columbia, on political engagement, and New Mexico finished in last place. It and Hawaii, which finished in 50th, were well behind the rest of the states. Washington D.C. led the pack, followed by Maine and Utah. New Mexico’s problems largely come from the low percentage of registered voters and relatively low voter turnout in the 2016 elections.
New Mexico is one of the worst states for teachers. That comes from WalletHub, which ranked each state as well as the District of Columbia. New Mexico ranked 44th. New Mexico ranked 50th, out of 51, when it came to drop out rate and lowest reading test scores and 49th in lowest math scores. The study also revealed that 84 percent of the state’s teachers have inadequate pensions.
New Mexico’s economy is near the bottom of the barrel according to a recent ranking. WalletHub listed New Mexico’s economy as 40th among all states and Washington D.C., as the state ranked dead-last in economic health, largely because of the nation’s highest unemployment rate of 6.7 percent. New Mexico also ranked last in the average educational attainment of recent immigrants. But New Mexico ranked second in the highest percentage of jobs in high-tech industries, only trailing Massachusetts. That high-tech industry jobs category helped New Mexico rank 16th in innovation potential, one of the three main categories averaged together for a final score—alongside economic activity and economic health.
A new study found New Mexico has six of the 100 most diverse cities when put up against all 501 of the nation’s largest cities. That comes from the latest Wallethub study, which examined not just racial and ethnic diversity as part of the “cultural diversity” section, but also socioeconomic diversity, economic diversity, household diversity and religious diversity. The southeastern city of Hobbs ranked highest among all New Mexico cities at 47th overall. The city ranked highest in economic diversity, at 43rd. The other New Mexico cities that ranked in the top 100 included Santa Fe (57th), Clovis (61st), Albuquerque (72nd), Las Cruces (81st) and Roswell (83rd).
Another study found that New Mexico is not a great place for underprivileged children. This time, a Wallethub study found New Mexico is the fourth-worst state for underprivileged children when looking at 16 different metrics. The study also included the District of Columbia, which means New Mexico ranked 47th. New Mexico ranked 50th in the percentage of children living in households that are below the poverty line and 50th in the rate of children who are “food insecure.” The USDA defines food insecurity as “a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food.”
New Mexico ranked in the top-half of the rankings in three categories—ranking 15th in the percentage of children in foster care (0.46 percent), 25th in Economic Mobility (8.97 percent) and 18th in the infant mortality rate (5.41 deaths per 1,000 births). Still, the state ranked in the bottom five in seven categories.