New Mexico (Spanish: Nuevo México; Navajo: Yootó Hahoodzo) is a state located in the southwestern and western regions of the United States. It was admitted to the union as the 47th state on January 6, 1912. It is usually considered one of the Mountain States. New Mexico is the fifth-most extensive, the 36th-most populous, and the sixth-least densely populated of the 50 United States.
Inhabited by indigenous peoples of the Americas for many centuries before European exploration, New Mexico was subsequently part of the Imperial Spanish viceroyalty of New Spain. Later, it was part of Mexico before becoming a U.S. territory and eventually a U.S. state. Among U.S. states, New Mexico has the highest percentage of Hispanics, including descendants of Spanish colonists who have lived in the area for more than 400 years. It also has the second-highest percentage of Native Americans after Alaska, and the fourth-highest total number of Native Americans after California, Oklahoma, and Arizona. The nations in the state consist of mostly Navajo, Pueblo, and Apache peoples. As a result, the demographics and culture of the state are unique for their strong Hispanic and Native American influences, both of which are reflected in the state flag. The scarlet and gold colors of the New Mexico flag are taken from the royal standards of Spain, along with the ancient sun symbol of the Zia, a Pueblo-related tribe.