Income Inequality in New Mexico Counties

Income inequality is an important social and economic condition related to instability and crime.  Income generated from EPLUS might be disproportionate across different income brackets in a given area.  Ideally, the low-income rural rancher will be able to rise above the poverty level from income generated via EPLUS.  If, on the other hand, large wealthy ranches benefit more from EPLUS than smaller and less wealthy landowners, then EPLUS might be contributing to income inequality challenges in different areas of New Mexico.

Income inequality is measured via the Gini coefficient.  The Gini coefficient is based on comparing the cumulative proportions of the population against the cumulative proportions of income they receive. It ranges between 0 in the case of perfect equality and 1 in the case of perfect inequality.  A higher Gini coefficient indicates more income inequality.

Income inequality is correlated with increasing crime rates.

The 2019 Gini coefficient for the entire state of New Mexico was 0.4768 (Ranked 13th highest in the US).

The measure of income inequality as calculated by the 2015 Gini coefficient is shown at the county level in this map.  The NMDGF GMUs boundaries are also shown in the map.  Socorro, Harding, McKinley, San Miguel, and Rio Arriba counties have the highest levels of income inequality in NM (2015 data).  Note that Catron County has a much lower Gini coefficient, which likely indicates that although it is a poor county, there is a smaller income gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” in that county.