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The people of southwest New Mexico ...

Gila Regional Medical Center (GRMC) is a county-owned, not-for-profit, and currently licensed as a 25-bed critical access hospital located in Silver City, New Mexico. The largest hospital in a 100-mile radius, GRMC is the Sole Community Provider for about 63,000 people.

Geographically, GRMC's service area includes four southwest New Mexico counties -- Grant, Hidalgo, Luna, and Catron -- that encompass 17,305 square miles, about the same area as the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut combined. That's fewer than four people per square mile in our very rural region.

Overall, the population here had seen a fast growth which steadied and reduced in size due to a national recession that caused parts of the mining operations to shut down, and unemployment to increase significantly.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, from 1990 to 2000 GRMC's primary market Grant County population grew 12 percent. In our secondary markets both Luna and Catron counties experienced 38 percent growth. Hidalgo County saw a slight (0.4%) reduction in population during the same time.

The 2010 census reported, from 2000 to 2010 GRMC's primary market Grant County saw a population reduction (4.8%) while our secondary markets of Luna, Hidalgo and Catron Counties saw a combined population reduction (2.3%).

In 2011, the mines reopened and began rehiring. While the job market is weak, people still seek the amenities and quality of life that southwest New Mexico can offer.

2010 Census Grant County Catron County Hidalgo County Luna County
2010 Population 29,514 3,725 4,894 25,095
Population growth -4.8% 5.1% -17.5% 0.3%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin 48% 19% 57% 61%
White persons, not of Hispanic or Latino origin 52% 81% 43% 39%

From our land to our people, southwest New Mexico is a diverse region. We encompass the many different cultures that made up our past and formed our present, and that will create our future.

Economically, our region has been largely dependent upon copper mining for more than 100 years. Ranching is another activity we are known for. The number of people employed in the copper industry changes in relationship to the global copper market, but the economy of the area is slowly diversifying. In the last several years a small "art revolution" of sorts has taken place, with a large population of artists and galleries making their home here. Retirees have discovered the area as a great place to live.

Politically, spiritually and culturally, southwest New Mexico is growing increasingly diverse as more people choose to live here. If you visit, you may find it interesting to ask residents how they found our area. Chances are, if the person is new to the area, he or she will have some kind of "miracle" story about finding us.

Visit our "About The Region" page for more about southwest New Mexico.