New Mexico is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States of America. It was admitted to the union as the 47th state on January 6, 1912. Considered as one of the Mountain States, New Mexico is known for upscale spas and Spanish colonial architecture.
Inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousands of years before European exploration, New Mexico was claimed in the colonial era as part of the Imperial Spanish viceroyalty of New Spain. Later, it was part of independent Mexico before becoming a U.S. territory and eventually a U.S. state. Among U.S. states, New Mexico has the highest percentage of Hispanics, including descendants of Spanish colonists who have lived in the area for more than 400 years.
New Mexico, or Nuevo México in Spanish, is often incorrectly believed to have taken its name from the nation of Mexico. However, Spanish explorers recorded this region as New Mexico in 1563, and again in 1581. They believed it contained wealthy Indian cultures similar to those of the Aztec Empire.