Hobbs is a city in Lea County, New Mexico, United States. Its population was 34,122 at the 2010 census, increasing from 28,657 in 2000.
Hobbs is the principal city of the Hobbs, New Mexico micropolitan statistical area, which includes all of Lea County.
Hobbs was founded in 1907 when James Isaac Hobbs (1852–1923) established a homestead and named the settlement. In 1910, the Hobbs post office opened, with James Hobbs as the first postmaster. By 1911, there were about 25 landowners in Hobbs.
The small, isolated settlement expanded rapidly following the discovery of oil by the Midwest Oil Company in 1927. A refinery was built the following year, and in 1929, the town of Hobbs was officially incorporated. At the peak of this oil boom, over 12,000 people lived in Hobbs. When the Great Depression hit, oil prices dropped and the population fell to only about 3,000 in 1931. However, a few years later, activity picked up in the oilfields and the population climbed to about 14,000 in 1940.
On June 23, 1938, seven local men were killed and five more injured when an explosive charge used in oil drilling detonated prematurely.
Following the outbreak of World War II, Hobbs Army Airfield was built north of town in 1942.