Growth Sparks Midterm Census for Lea County

Growth Sparks Midterm Census for Lea County

Lea County in New Mexico is jumping ahead to conduct a census before 2020 rolls around. The idea was sparked after Hobbs was named one of the fastest growing cities in the state.

"Our community has a history of wanting to be very forward thinking and planning for future development," said Melinda Allen, President & CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Lea County.

Over the last four years the city of Hobbs grew dramatically and they don't expect the growth rate to drop.

"We wanted to have that tangible data now and not have to wait another four or five years. We need to start planning now," said Allen.

The business based census comes as an effort to help the community keep growing and bring in more revenue with new businesses calling Hobbs home.

"It's really key to us to have this up to date data so we'll be able to use it as we try to attract retail, restaurants, as we plan for future expansion of infrastructure and the schools plan to look and see what future enrollment is going to be to make sure that they have the resources they need to meet that quo," said Allen.

It's a tactic they tried back in 2007. The Economic Development Corporation say's getting those numbers before 2010 came around helped lead to them to the growth they are seeing now.

"Those turned out really well and so we wanted to do that again this year," said Allen.

A business bureau out of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque is helping them collect the data. They expect to have updated numbers by October.

"Using a census update really helps us capture what's happening in our market so that we can use it to make future projections and see where those trends are coming from, what's contributing to it, and how we can help capitalize on that going forward," said Allen.