Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

Infobox Settlement
official_name = The City of Truth or Consequences
settlement_type = City
nickname =
motto =

imagesize =
image_caption =


mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =

subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = New Mexico
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Sierra
government_footnotes =
government_type =
leader_title =
leader_name =
leader_title1 =
leader_name1 =
established_title =
established_date =

unit_pref = Imperial
area_footnotes =

area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 33.1
area_land_km2 = 32.8
area_water_km2 = 0.3
area_total_sq_mi = 12.8
area_land_sq_mi = 12.7
area_water_sq_mi = 0.1

population_as_of = 2000
population_footnotes =
population_total = 7289
population_density_km2 = 222.4
population_density_sq_mi = 576.0

timezone = Mountain (MST)
utc_offset = -7
timezone_DST = MDT
utc_offset_DST = -6
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 1294
elevation_ft = 4245
latd = 33 |latm = 8 |lats = 1 |latNS = N
longd = 107 |longm = 15 |longs = 10 |longEW = W

postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 87901
area_code = 505
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 35-79840
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0897496
website =
footnotes =

Truth or Consequences is a spa city in and the county seat of Sierra County, New Mexico, United States.GR|6 As of the 2000 census, the population was 7,289. It is commonly known within New Mexico as T or C.

Originally called "Hot Springs", it took the name of a popular radio program in 1950, when "Truth or Consequences" host Ralph Edwards announced that he would do the program from the first town that renamed itself after the show. Ralph Edwards came to the town during the first weekend of May for the next fifty years. This event was called the "Fiesta" and included a beauty contest, a parade, and a stage show.


Truth or Consequences is located at coor dms|33|8|1|N|107|15|10|W|city (33.133614, -107.252897)GR|1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.8 square miles (33.1 km²), of which, 12.6 square miles (32.8 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (0.86%) is water.

The city is located on the Rio Grande, near Elephant Butte Reservoir.

Hot Springs

There are several local hot springs.The combined flow of the hot springs complex in Truth or Consequences is estimated at 99 liters/second. [ "Truth or Consequences, New Mexico- A Spa City,"] John W. Lund, James C. Witcher,GHC Bulletin, December 2002.]

Before World War II, there were about 40 hot springs spas in Truth or Consequences. By 2002, the Hot Springs Association in Truth or Consequences had 8 spa facilities as members. Five of those obtained their water from wells, and Marshall Hot Springs, Indian Springs Bath House and Hay-Yo-Kay Hot Springs are from free flowing hot springs. [ [ "Hay-Yo-Kay Hot Springs and Spa in Truth or Consequences"] , David Burch,, 2003] The New Mexico State Energy and Minerals Department created two demonstration projects using geothermal energy in Truth or Consequences in the 1980s. The Carrie Tingley Hospital for crippled children, which has since moved to Albuquerque, used the state money to create a physical therapy program. The local Senior Citizen's Center benefits from a geothermal space heating system.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 7,289 people, 3,450 households, and 1,859 families residing in the city. The population density was 576.0 people per square mile (222.5/km²). There were 4,445 housing units at an average density of 351.3/sq mi (135.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.35% White, 0.63% African American, 1.77% Native American, 0.16% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 9.36% from other races, and 2.68% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 27.36% of the population.

There were 3,450 households out of which 20.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.5% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.1% were non-families. 41.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 22.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.04 and the average family size was 2.75.

In the city the population was spread out with 20.2% under the age of 18, 5.7% from 18 to 24, 20.1% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 29.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48 years. For every 100 females there were 96.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $20,986, and the median income for a family was $28,750. Males had a median income of $23,214 versus $18,207 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,415. About 15.6% of families and 23.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.3% of those under age 18 and 18.1% of those age 65 or over.


The city is a popular tourist destination for New Mexicans. It is also a common retirement location, partly due to low house prices (median $75,000). Outdoor sports such as golf, hiking and fishing are popular.

It is served by Truth or Consequences Municipal Airport.

"Truth or Consequences", a photographic portrait of the town, was published in 2001 by British photographer Nick Waplington.

Early history

The first bath in the area was built at "John Cross Ranch" over Geronimo Springs in the late 1800s. However, major settlement did not begin until the construction of Elephant Butte Dam and Reservoir in 1912. The dam was completed in 1916. Elephant Butte Dam was a part of the Rio Grande Project, an early large-scale irrigation effort authorized under the Reclamation Act of 1902. In 1916 the town was incorporated as Hot Springs. It became the Sierra County seat in 1937.


Serial killer David Parker Ray lived in Truth or Consequences. On September 20 2001, he was sentenced to 224 years in prison for abduction, rape, torture and — in some cases — murder of at least 12 people, although the FBI estimates the total number of victims could be as high as 60.cite book
last =Fielder
first =James
title =Slow Death
publisher =Pinnacle Books
location =New York
pages=(pgs. 10, 11 and 28)
isbn =0-7860-1199-8
] [ [ "David Parker Ray: The Toy Box Killer - Crime Library on"] , Accessed August 8 2008]


The town was also the fictional hometown of Cactus Jack, one of the several professional wrestling personas of Mick Foley.


ee also

*DISH, Texas
*Spaceport America

External links

* [ City office Home Page]
* [ Truth or Consequences-Sierra County, NM Chamber of Commerce]
* [ List of hot springs in Truth or Consequences]
* [ description of Truth or Consequences hot springs]
* [ Introduction to Truth or Consequences] - from
* [ - Truth or Consequences, New Mexico]

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