Tuesday, December 27, 2016

More Of The Same: Latest Population Stats Confirm The Great Stagnation Continues, Plus: ABQ Crime Wave Rolls On As Mayoral Campaign Nears 

The chile is great, the weather is often delightful and what a great place to celebrate the holidays. But that and many other positive aspects of our Land of Enchantment simply can't compete with the long-term economic and social conditions crisis that has engulfed the state. The latest on the Great Stagnation:

For the year that ended July 1, 2016 the state’s population grew by 687, or 0.04 percent, according to the U.S Census Bureau. . . In the 12 months that ended July 1, the state’s net outmigration totaled 7,111, meaning that many more people left the state than came to it. . . The only reason New Mexico’s population grew was that births far outnumbered deaths. New Mexico’s dismal population growth rate was the 42nd lowest in the nation, and the lowest in the region. 

If there was any good news in the Census data for New Mexico it was that the population actually grew. The state lost population in 2014 and 2015. . In the past six years, the state has had a net outmigration of 37,780 people.

That's one big brain drain we've experienced. How slow has population growth been here? On April 1, 2010 the Census Bureau estimate put the state''s population at 2,059,198. Today--nearly seven years later--we are barely above that at 2,081,015. Are there any visible reasons the state's population will spike in the new year ahead? Not any we can see.


The ongoing crime wave in the ABQ metro is one reason folks find moving here an increasingly unattractive option and moving out increasingly attractive. And like the energizer bunny it just keeps going and going. Reader Mike McMillan can attest to that:

Hi Joe, I enjoy reading your blog from Silver City. My family and I are in Albuquerque for the holiday. Knowing the high crime rate, we removed all shopping bags from our car and took them into our hotel (near the Airport) for the evening. When we went downstairs the next morning we learned 6 vehicles that were parked right in front of the hotel had their windows busted and contents stolen. Mostly Christmas gifts were stolen from travelers en route to see family. So sad to see this crime wave continue, even right in front of a well-lit and nice hotel parking lot. 

One of the front desk staff said the hotel across the street witnessed the break ins and notified our hotel which called the police but it took an hour for an officer to respond.

And there's this new kind of crime becoming more common in the metro:

Mail problems have become such an issue in one Northeast Heights community that neighbors say the postal service has stopped delivering mail. It’s happening near Alameda and Louisiana, and the people who live there say their cluster box has been broken into again and again. Gaylene Gonzales says back in September she and her neighbors started opening their boxes to find nothing. So, Gonzales tracked down her mail carrier. “A postman was held up, and they stole the master key," she was told. The community finally got a letter from the post office telling them the case is under investigation.  Then, a few weeks later the thieves came back. “They took a crow bar and went to the back of the mailboxes and busted them open,”she said.

It's confounding how the ABQ community seems to have given a pass to Mayor Berry and the city council as this crime wave continues unabated amid a severely understaffed police force. But there is a mayoral election that begins next month and it gives the city a chance to reset its expectations--something that will have to be done if ABQ is to thrive--not just survive.


A lengthy exit interview with ousted UNM President Bob Frank and not one mention of the political influence wielded at UNM by the sitting governor through her loyal regents and how that played a role in his eventual demise? How's that going to improve the future at UNM? Come on, man.

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