Las Cruces is the second-largest city in the state of New Mexico and the seat of Dona Ana County. In 2019 the estimated population was 103,432. Las Cruces is the largest city in both Doña Ana County and southern New Mexico.
Las Cruces is the economic and geographic center of the Mesilla Valley, the agricultural region on the floodplain of the Rio Grande which extends from Hatch to the west side of El Paso, Texas. Las Cruces is the home of New Mexico State University (NMSU), New Mexico's only land-grant university. The city's major employer is the federal government on nearby White Sands Test Facility and White Sands Missile Range. The Organ Mountains, 10 miles to the east, are dominant in the city's landscape, along with the Doña Ana Mountains, Robledo Mountains, and Picacho Peak. Las Cruces lies 225 miles south of Albuquerque, 42 miles northwest of El Paso, Texas and 41 miles north of the Mexican border at Sunland Park.
Spaceport America, which has corporate offices in Las Cruces, operates from 55 miles to the north, and has completed several successful manned, suborbital flights. The city is also the headquarters for Virgin Galactic, the world's first company to offer sub-orbital spaceflights.