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Age Dependency Ratio by Year, New Mexico and U.S., 1990 to 2019

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Why Is This Important?

The dependency ratio is an indicator of the amount of burden that non-working individuals in society place on the working-aged population. A high ratio means there are more non-working individuals compared to working-aged individuals. Working-aged individuals tend to pay much more in taxes. Seniors aged 65 or older and children younger than age 15 are likely to be socially and/or economically dependent on working-age population, and they may put additional demands on New Mexico families and health services. A rising dependency ratio is a concern in areas like New Mexico that are facing an aging population, since it becomes difficult for pension and tax-supported services to provide for a significantly older, non-working population.


Ratio of the combined dependent population aged 0-14 and aged 65 and older to the working population aged 15-64, expressed as the number of dependents per 100 people of working age. Higher values indicate a greater level of age-related dependency in the population.

Data Sources

How the Measure is Calculated

Numerator:Estimated population aged 0-14 and those aged 65 and over
Denominator:Estimated population aged 15-64

Data Issues

All population estimates apply to July 1 of the selected year. These estimates are considered the most accurate estimates for the state of New Mexico and should match those found on the University of New Mexico Geospatial and Population Studies website. Estimates include decimal fractions. Census tract population estimates were summed to produce County and Small Area population estimates. Population estimate totals may vary due to rounding. Population estimates for previous years are occasionally revised as new information becomes available. When publishing trend data, always be sure that your rates for earlier years match current rates on NM-IBIS that have been calculated with the most up-to-date population estimates.

Health Topic Pages Related to: Population Demographic Characteristics - Age Dependency Ratio

Community Health Resources and Links

Medical literature can be queried at the PubMed website.

Indicator Data Last Updated On 04/15/2021, Published on 04/29/2021
Community Health Assessment Program, Epidemiology and Response Division, New Mexico Department of Health, 1190 S. Saint Francis Drive, P.O. Box 26110, Santa Fe, NM, 87502. Contact Rena Manning at