It is no secret that Lea County has grown significantly in the last few years. Whether you are trying to find a parking spot or standing in line at the grocery store, it is easy to see some of the impacts of the population growth. This rapid growth can create strain on a community. However, we may be close to relieving that strain, and it all starts with the 2020 Census.
For the 2010 Census, community leaders made a plan to ensure our community was counted accurately. The result, Lea County was identified as one of the fastest growing micropolitan areas in the nation! This news drew attention to the area and attracted new retail and restaurants.
In 2016, we continued our work alongside several community partners by sponsoring a Census forecast. The forecast projects continued growth across Lea County, including a likely potential of Hobbs surpassing 50,000 people by 2020 and becoming the largest city in Southeast New Mexico! If that happens, Lea County will become a very competitive market for new retail and residential developments.
The only hurdle is an accurate count in the 2020 Census. Growing important resources for our community is within our grasp, if everyone participates. There is no negative consequence for individuals participating in the Census. All of the information is completely private and cannot be shared. So, everyone should be encouraged to participate.
Over the past couple of decades, the communities throughout Lea County have made significant investments to support a higher quality of life for their residents. The Foundation has enjoyed opportunities to participate in developing many community assets, which have helped to make Lea County an especially good place to live. With a fair count in 2020, Lea County communities will have more resources to continue making this place a great place to live and raise families.