Jal, New Mexico

Jal is a city in Lea County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 1,996 at the 2000 census.


Jal is located at (32.112102, -103.192972).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.8 square miles (12.5 km²), all of it land.


As of the census of 2000, there were 1,996 people, 743 households, and 560 families residing in the city. The population density was 412.8 people per square mile (159.2/km²). There were 957 housing units at an average density of 197.9/sq mi (76.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 66.38% White, 0.60% African American, 1.35% Native American, 27.05% from other races, and 4.61% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 42.03% of the population.

There were 743 households out of which 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.6% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.6% were non-families. 23.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.18.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.7% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 22.8% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,848, and the median income for a family was $35,500. Males had a median income of $32,125 versus $21,250 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,354. About 13.8% of families and 17.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.7% of those under age 18 and 10.7% of those age 65 or over.


In the 1880's, several brothers brought a herd of cattle to Monument Draw, six miles northeast of the present city. The cattle were branded with the initials of the previous owner (J.A.L.) and the cattle soon came to be called the JAL Cattle. The men who worked the herd were referred to as the Jal cowboys. In time the name became synonymous with the settlement itself.

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