Posted: Wednesday, July 29, 2015 8:00 pm
Rio Rancho Observer

Two recent studies say economic growth in Sandoval County appears bright, as one reports the county ranks at the top in New Mexico for investment in its economy, while the other predicts the county will double its work force in 25 years.

Smart Asset, a New York-based financial technology company, published a study this month ranking how counties across the U.S. invest in their local economy.

Sandoval County was placed at the top of the state’s list. Others in the top 10, in descending order, are Roosevelt County, Lincoln County, Doña Ana County, Curry County, Eddy County, Otero County, Lea County, Chaves County and Taos County.

According to Smart Asset, four factors were assessed: business establishment growth, gross domestic product growth, new building permits and municipal bond investment.

The study reports Sandoval County has seen a 2.5 percent increase in new business ventures in the area over the last two years. Of the four categories, Sandoval County ranked first in new building permits with 15.5 buildings per 1,000 homes, beating the state’s average of three buildings per 1,000 homes.
Looking forward to the next 25 years, the state’s Mid-Region Council of Governments published its 2040 Socioeconomic Forecast last month. According to MRCOG’s forecast, the areas of Bernalillo County, Sandoval County, Santa Fe County, Torrance County and Valencia County will grow in population past the 1 million mark, taking the mid-region area from 2012’s population of 915,316 to 1.3 million.

The forecast estimates Sandoval County will see a 62 percent change in population growth, growing by more than 80,000 to 220,881. The county’s population growth will be strong, just not at “the same that it has seen over the past several decades,” it says.

Although Sandoval County’s population boom is not quite what it used to be, the forecast estimates the county will more than double its job base.

The report states that employment in the county will expand from 2012’s 34,069 to 75,260, an increase of 121 percent and the largest economic change expected among the mid-region’s five counties.

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